Monday, January 25, 2010

Lone Star College-North Harris Campus Outfits Classrooms And Labs With Hitachi CP-X615 And CP-X417 3LCD Projectors

Campus Decision Makers Cite Reliability, Maintenance And Networking Capability As The Basis For Purchasing The Hitachi Projectors

The Lone Star College-North Harris campus in Texas recently purchased 147 Hitachi 3LCD projectors for its classrooms and labs, in an effort to provide students with state-of-the-art presentation technology for a more dynamic learning experience. Troxell Communications sold and installed the projectors throughout the Lone Star College-North Harris campus. The majority of the projectors are the CP-X615 and CP-X417 models.

The Lone Star College System is a publicly supported, 2-year comprehensive community college system, involving diverse individuals, businesses, and the community in quality education opportunities for the successful development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes for a rapidly changing world. The North Harris campus, nestled on 200 acres of piney woods, is the original college in the Lone Star College System family. Celebrating 36 years of service in 2009, LSC-North Harris opened its doors in 1973 and offers more than 80 programs of study, including university-transfer and numerous workforce education courses and programs. Lone Star College-North Harris is keenly focused on leading-edge technology in emerging technical job fields.

According to Butch Juelg, director of technology services for the Lone Star College-North Harris campus, the decision to purchase Hitachi projectors was rooted in reliability, easy maintenance and networking capability, all of which contribute to an overall lower cost of ownership. “Hitachi has made significant improvements over the years with regards to ease of maintenance, such as bulb replacement and filter cleaning when mounted to the ceiling in our classrooms,” Mr. Juelg said. “Because we are able to network the projectors, we have a central control system that allows us to monitor bulb life and be proactive on maintenance, such as the cleaning of the filters. If something malfunctions when a projector is in use, the class will never get that time back, therefore, it is extremely important that we have reliable equipment and a great monitoring system. Hitachi projectors help us do that each and every day throughout our campus.”

The Hitachi CP-X615 and CP-417 3LCD projectors offer built-in networking, which allows for the monitoring and management of one or more projectors from a remote location. With Hitachi’s proprietary PJ Man software, users can easily monitor the status of the projector (or many projectors), such as power on/off, input source, lamp/filter hours and condition. In addition, the software allows for control over these functions. Users can also schedule power on/off events on an hourly, daily and weekly basis. Events can be applied to an individual or group of Hitachi projectors. Other features such as e-mail alerts for scheduled maintenance or error conditions, as well as password protection, give the user a new level of control at no extra charge.

With technology becoming ever more ubiquitous in day-to-day life, the implementation of projection technology at Lone Star is also a response to the growing technological savvy of the average student. “Students today need to be actively engaged in the learning process with both verbal instruction and visual instruction,” Mr. Juelg noted. “It is important to provide our faculty with the tools that allow them to provide this type of instruction to the students, which in turn provides a higher degree of understanding among the students.”

What’s more, to help bring the faculty up to speed with the new technology, Mr. Juelg and his team created quick reference guides for each classroom and lab, while also offering a wide variety of training opportunities to members of the staff that use the equipment.

“With 60 percent of our faculty being part-time, we needed to make the operation of the AV systems in the rooms as seamless as possible,” Mr. Juelg added. “These faculty members are only on campus for one or two classes each week, usually in the evenings, so training opportunities are scarce at best. We were able to combine the features of the Hitachi projectors with an AV control system to give them an extremely easy system to learn and operate.”

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