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Out with the old

Four important things to consider when replacing projectors in the classroom

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | December 09, 2016 | Business

Technology has a finite lifetime. There comes a point where it makes more economic sense to replace a school’s old projectors to take advantage of lower operating costs and the new features that up to date models offer. Below, we’ll take a look at four important things to consider when replacing projectors in the classroom.

High brightness is essential

Modern projectors are able to display images with much more brightness than ever before. Extra brightness may sound like a non-essential feature, but it can actually have a dramatic impact on the smooth running of a lesson.

If you’re currently using an older, dimmer projector in the classroom, you’re likely familiar with the need to draw the curtains on sunny days to get a clear picture that can be seen by students from the back of the room, or to avoid glare on the screen. The issue with this is that in a darkened room, it’s harder for students to read any textbooks on their desk or to take notes, which can get frustrating quickly. 

Newer projectors are able to display much brighter images that are visible even in a bright classroom on a sunny day. The latest High Lumen Density technology from Hitachi is one example. Their LED projectors featuring this technology offer brightness up to 3,500 lumens and a 30,000:1 contrast ratio. The result is a crisp, clear image with bright colours. Unlike older projectors that use lamps, there’s no deterioration of brightness or colour decay over time.

Avoid shadows on-screen with an ultra short throw projector 

One issue with interactive projectors tends to be that when students are writing on the screen or presenting in front of it, their shadow can obscure part of the image, making it hard for others to see. The further away the projector is from the screen and the lower down it is, the worse this issue tends to be.

Fortunately, there is a solution, by choosing an ultra short throw projector. These projectors can be mounted extremely close to the screen, usually on the wall or ceiling above the screen itself, while still offering a clear, undistorted image.

Thanks to advances in technology, the prices for large TV style displays have come down, meaning a new breed of interactive flat panel displays are now more affordable than ever 

Thanks to the close placement of the projector’s lens, there are no shadows when someone is presenting in front of the screen, and fewer shadows when users are drawing or writing directly on the screen, making it easier for students to see content onscreen clearly.

Consider an interactive flat panel display 

A projector isn’t the only choice for a screen in the classroom these days. Thanks to advances in technology, the prices for large TV style displays have come down, meaning a new breed of interactive flat panel displays are now more affordable than ever.

These typically come in sizes of 65, 75 and 84 inches, which are ideal for use in the classroom, matching the common screen sizes of a projector or interactive whiteboard. On top of that, many models can be configured with a PC built in, meaning no additional hardware is needed. Interactive flat panels can also be mounted on wheeled stands, allowing them to be easily moved from classroom to classroom, which can be a great cost-saving option when a screen isn’t required for all lessons.

Cut total ownership costs through low energy consumption 

Checking the energy consumption of your new projector or flat panel is essential as this is an area where cost savings can be made, particularly as projectors can be in daily use for upwards of ten years. While lower-end projectors may offer an initial cost saving, these don’t tend to offer the cheapest costs over the life of the product, as they don’t usually feature the latest energy saving technology. 

Take the latest LED projectors, for example. These projectors don’t use lamps, so they last much longer than traditional projectors, while using much less energy, which really adds up to big savings over the lifetime of the unit. On top of this, LED projectors create less waste, since they contain no phosphor wheel, no mercury, no colour wheel and no lamp, making them easier on the environment when they are eventually replaced. 

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