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Eight must-have projectors for learning environments

Projectors are a must-have for all schools, colleges and universities. These vital pieces of kit have come a long way in recent years, so read on for  AVTE’s selection of some o

Projectors are a must-have for all schools, colleges and universities. These vital pieces of kit have come a long way in recent years, so read on for AVTE’s selection of some of the best

Projection is a more crucial part of today’s education experience than ever before. Gone are the days of old overhead projectors using transparent film; today’s new generation of laser projectors offer levels of brightness, colour reproduction and energy efficiency that far surpass traditional lamp based projectors.

The Panasonic PT-RZ570 is a popular laser projector within the education sector. It uses a 5,000 lumen Solid Shine laser light source, removing the need for lamp or filter changes and significantly lowering the total cost of ownership as well as the environmental impact.

The technology offers approximately 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, as well as a level of colour reproduction that exceeds conventional lamp-based projectors. Laser projectors also have instant on/off functionality, which is ideal for education and allows lectures and classes to begin straight away.

Laser projectors also offer an extremely slow rate of brightness deterioration over time compared to traditional lamp-based projectors. The light source can maintain the same lamp brightness for about 10,000 hours, the equivalent lifespan of five conventional projector lamps.

Projection clarity is further improved with Panasonic’s Daylight View Basic technology, which uses a sensor to measure ambient light and adjusts the halftone colour and brightness level according to the surrounding illumination, for excellent projection quality even in the most brightly lit rooms.

In addition, the extra brightness provided by laser projection makes it possible to maintain excellent projected images whilst the room is lit, making it easier for students to take notes and participate in the session.

Finally, like most Panasonic projectors the PT-RZ570 is compatible with a wide range of sharing software in order to fulfil the growing requirement for BYOD, which helps encourage collaborative working.

The PT-RZ570 is in use in Sheffield University’s £81 million Diamond Building, as well as Kingston University’s £30 million IT infrastructure project.


The Sony VPL-FHZ700L is a WUXGA 3LCD B2B laser projector. Capable of delivering crisp, brighter images with 7,000 lumens, the VPL-FHZ700L uniquely combines great picture quality with reliability, extended operating life and reduced running costs.

The laser projector is capable of switching on/off virtually instantaneously without waiting for conventional lamps to warm up or cool down, and fits seamlessly into any education environment, offering excellent zoom and throw range coupled with a wide lens shift range. Its high light output means superior performance in situations where other projectors would struggle, even in bright ambient light.

The VPL-FHZ700L is capable of over 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance free use, while also eliminating the need for lamp bulbs, which can be costly and difficult to replace. Solid state laser projectors also do not fade over time as conventional projectors do, meaning they can be used for more permanent installations. Coupled with the range of energy saving features and versatile installation options provided by the VPL-FHZ700L, this technology is becoming increasingly popular in higher education such as university and lecture halls, where the ‘virtually zero maintenance’ appeal of laser promises real reductions in total cost of ownership for heavy usage applications.

The University of Bath recently installed multiple VPL-FHZ700L projectors from Sony in its lecture halls to futureproof its technology and capture students’ attention with a more engaging teaching experience. The on-campus AV team has been impressed with laser’s efficiency and reduced power consumption, even with the projectors running up to ten hours a day. The University of Bath is now enjoying the reliability and low ownership costs of laser technology, safe in the knowledge that the image quality will remain consistent throughout the projector’s lifespan.


Casio’s Core series has been designed to make laser and LED projection accessible to everybody through its entry level pricing. The Core XJ-V10X boasts a brightness of 3300 ANSI lumens, meaning that lights can remain on and curtains open to create the perfect learning environment.

The V10X also provides a 1.5x optical zoom, perfect as a replacement projector compatible with existing mounts. Casio’s lamp-free projector line up ensures consistent brilliant imagery is maintained across the whole 20,000 hour lifespan with no lamps or filters to change, virtually eliminating maintenance. The sustainable design and environmentally friendly light source means that a power savings of up to 50% is achieved.

The Core XJ-V10X is affordable, with additional benefits of low energy consumption, no parts to replace and minimal maintenance. It easily incorporates into pre-existing AV and IT systems for seamless use and works across a wide range of connections, perfect for the modern BYOD environment.

The Core XJ-V10X also offers total flexibility in lesson formats, as its instant on/off capability means that there is no waiting required for lamps to warm up or cool down required before the display is functional. This means teachers can bounce between several different teaching techniques and learning activities.

The University of Manchester recently upgraded its science faculties and required a display solution as multi purpose as the 24 study rooms they were being installed in. The unusual proportions of the spaces required a large format display solution that could create a tutorial space, a collaboration centre or a BYOD study room. Casio’s comprehensive five year or 10,000 hour warranty in combination with the lack of consumables meant that the University was able to fix its projection costs for five years with no surprises.


The EB-595Wi is Epson’s first finger touch interactive, ultra-short-throw projector, and it is perfect for educational environments. With a brightness level of 3,300 lumens, cutting edge 3LCD technology and WXGA resolution, the device produces impactful imagery, empowering tutors to supplement their teaching with visual aids and captivating displays.

Perhaps the projector’s greatest strength is its ability to foster collaboration; thanks to its finger touch technology, students can engage with the displays in front of them. It is also easy to use, coming with optional wireless capabilities, multi-PC projection and a moderator function, allowing the teacher to stay in control at all times. Plus, it’s got a lamp life of up to 6,000 hours.

The EB-595Wi is changing education in several ways. The projectors are replacing electronic whiteboards in classrooms, as they are producing more powerful, colourful images and encouraging a more collaborative form of learning, while the size of the 100 inch screen means they are able to offer visibility to all in the classroom. In addition, they are far more convenient for teachers, who can present wirelessly from a PC, iOS or Android device. The EB-595Wi also benefits network managers, as these projectors use less power and are easier to control using Epson’s Network Monitor software, saving institutions time and money.

Teachers and students at the King Edmund School and South Essex College have benefitted from using Epson interactive projectors. The interactive features encourage students to engage with learning materials and teachers to create more innovative lessons. They’re also simple to use for teachers; the simplicity of finger touch and stylus pens allows them to flick through their PowerPoint presentations with ease.

In addition, as these institutions begin to implement BYOD, these devices are perfect to support wireless connectivity, allowing a student’s tablet display to be beamed on to the interactive screen.


Reliability of equipment is crucial, especially when installed in lecture theatres above seating or school halls with high ceilings where the projector is fairly inaccessible. The dust-sealed design of Optoma’s DLP projectors prevents dust and dirt from affecting the system ensuring optimal image quality with minimal maintenance.

Optoma’s bright new ZU650 lamp-less laser-phosphor WUXGA projector is perfect for high ceilinged installations, as there are no lamps to replace and it has an expected life of 20,000 hours. For this reason, Oakwood High School, Rotherham, installed the ZU650 to project a six metre wide image in its high ceilinged main hall. This bright, compact and quiet projector has five motorised lens options with lens shift. It can be installed in portrait mode with 360 degree rotation and has HDbaseT connectivity.

Meanwhile, schools also need large screen sizes to be able to share content with the whole class. Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen School, near Bridgend, recently supplemented its interactive flat screen displays by installing 20x W320USTi interactive projectors to create bigger imagery the whole class can see with more touch points for student collaboration.

The goal of greater collaboration in the classroom is driving the growth of interactive projectors such as Optoma’s super bright 320 range of ultra short throw projectors. Its TouchBeam finger touch interactive technology enables several students to work simultaneously on the screen without using a pen. Students can draw, annotate, zoom and rotate images on the projected image. They can open documents or browse the web without even touching a computer.


Resource-stretched education establishments are constantly seeking ways to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. New solid state light source technology offers these organisations compelling benefits which go a long way to fulfilling their needs with tangible and measurable results.

NEC’s PX803UL, along with its entire line up of SSL projectors, is an ‘install and forget’ projection solution. Requiring virtually zero maintenance throughout its long life cycle, once an organisation chooses to move to a laser projector it will enjoy a significantly reduced total cost of ownership, as the projector simply gets on with the job.

The NEC PX803UL projector is designed for professional installation scenarios including universities and colleges where a low cost of ownership is crucial. A flagship product in NEC’s line up of solid state light source projectors, users benefit from the new long lasting laser light source, whilst maintaining a consistent and reliable projection of outstanding image quality.

A first grade high end blue laser diode light source, combined with a unique quality phosphor wheel technology and no filter replacement required, results in up to 20,000 hours hassle-free operation. These features, bundled with a low overall power consumption, provide reliability and a good total cost of ownership.

Offering excellent installation flexibility, a wide selection of lenses, 4K signal support and professional installation features, the PX803UL promises a cinema quality projection solution and a secure investment for higher education establishments.

Several universities have chosen the NEC PX803UL for large teaching auditoriums including the University of Kent and Portsmouth University, convinced by the long term savings offered by laser projection.


Vivitek has recently announced the successors to its interactive family of ultra-short throw projectors with the DH759USTi and D756USTi. These two advanced Full HD and WXGA resolution ultra-short throw interactive projectors offer increased ease of use, functionality and connectivity over their predecessors.

Ideal for all education institutions, the models deliver high brightness, contrast and colour performance to create up to a 110 inch diagonal image, making any finely detailed images clearly readable from the back of the classroom or teaching areas. Perfectly suited to rooms where space is limited, the DH759USTi and D756USTi ultra-short throw projectors bring to the classroom all the essentials needed to keep students engaged, while meeting a school’s typical space, budget and maintenance considerations.

Aiding convenience further is the models’ upgrade from a four finger to a ten finger touch capacity, via the optional sensor, to create a true interactive education session. The multi-touch capacity can facilitate touch gesture usage – like pinch and zoom, rotation, click and flicking – thus supporting more intuitive finger writing for a more natural user experience.

Also, with the complimentary NovoScreennote Interactive Whiteboard software, multiple students can work simultaneously on an assignment on the whiteboard and screenshots can be captured and retrieved again. It can also record the user actions performed on the computer for added convenience. To increase collaboration and interaction even further, the additional NovoPRO wireless collaboration device can be added to engage up to 64 participants at the same time, allowing them to share files and response to voting or polling questions.

It also allows up to four students to share content spontaneously on the split screen from their connected devices. Vivitek believes these tools will help drive creativity and improve the sharing of knowledge and ideas in the learning environment.


Projectors still offer a host of advantages that cannot be matched by digital displays, including the best value per screen inch. The ViewSonic PJD5353Ls and PJD5353Lws’ widescreen short throw lens enables large images to be projected from short distances (100 inch screen from approximately 100cm from the wall). In a classroom environment this means there are no distracting shadows cast on the projected image and no blinding lights in the eyes of teachers or students when presenting.

Available in both XGA and WXGA resolutions, the PJD5353Ls widescreen short throw projectors are able to be ceiling or table mounted. The PJD5353Ls widescreen is suitable to replace existing either 4:3 or 16:9 classroom projectors in almost any classroom. Featuring HDMI and VGA inputs for flexible connectivity and packed with 3,000 lumens brightness, the projector is guaranteed to produce bright images in any environment, even in high ambient light conditions. The high 20,000:1 contrast ratio also ensures that text and documents are crystal clear whilst ViewSonic’s SuperColor Technology offers a wider colour range than conventional projectors for true to life colour performance.

ViewSonic education projectors incorporate robust audio capabilities to support the range of multimedia applications in digital classrooms. Designed from the ground-up to deliver audio that fills classrooms with clearly audible, wall to wall sound, ViewSonic’s LightStream projectors with SonicExpert technology deliver more powerful and distortion-free audio. This is thanks to multiple design enhancements that include high quality speaker components and larger speaker chamber for full frequency range coverage.

An optional cable management hood connects onto the back of the projector to hide unsightly rear cable clutter, making it compact and tidy for ceiling mounting, while handy features such as auto power on/off and a super-fast power shutdown makes the projector the ideal economical, budget friendly, short throw classroom projector.

To find out more about the author, Heather McLean, click here