Tuesday, 12 June 2018 10:07

University of Adelaide fires up Epson projectors for 'unique' installation in main Bonython Hall

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A recent "routine catch-up" between the University of Adelaide’s Information Technology and Digital Services team and Epson sales and technical staff led to "a unique solution for a difficult projection installation in the University’s main ceremonial hall".

We're told the University required "a permanent projection solution installed discreetly into the heritage building using an existing, centrally mounted screen to reduce the amount of pre and post-event setup and pack down time".

However, there was a problem – conventional mounting was not possible due to the ornate nature and sheer height of the ceiling.

The University's Senior Project Officer for Information Technology and Digital Services, Nick Robinson, explained, “We were thinking of using a floor-mounted unit with snorkel lens but this presented difficulties as it would occupy floor space used during ceremonies and necessitate cutting into the heritage flooring.

"There were also very large north, east and west-facing stained-glass windows with no window treatments which meant using a very bright projector. This was a tricky one to say the least.”

With careful projector and lens selection, Epson, Robinson and his team were able to find a solution they could mount in the side gallery of the hall.

Robinson continued: “We hadn’t thought of using that location but Epson were confident it would work so we explored this with the state heritage authorities and between us came up with the perfect solution.

“This area is typically not used by the public during ceremonies and is high enough to clear seated occupants, so it was an ideal location. Despite being on an angle, we were still able to achieve a perfectly square projected image using Epson’s clever Quick Corner technology.

"The brightness the Epson projector achieved was also impressive for a fairly reasonable cost", he added.

The Epson projector used in Bonython Hall is mounted in custom timber joinery that hides the unit, but importantly, still provides ventilation and service access.

The video signal is from "various AMX SVSi sources and controlled from discreetly mounted AV consoles at the front or rear of the hall", with the hall "cabled with Cat6 Gigabit network and Cisco Catalyst switches to allow video over IP".

Robinson continued, “This installation is fairly unique to the University because we typically don’t have such stringent heritage requirements and are able to mount our projectors in the ideal locations.

"In addition, the feedback we’ve had about the installation has been extremely positive with the typical comment being about how much better the image is than before. Users are also grateful to have access to all the floor space now, with no unsightly cables gaffer taped to the ornate timber floor.”

We're also told that "having the hall at least partially automated now has significantly reduced the amount of time the University’s AV technical staff spend on event set-up and pack down – one of their key requirements".

Robinson concluded, “Considering the sheer amount of light entering the building from the aforementioned windows, the image is still bright enough for all of our applications and events.

"Any image distortion due to the off-centre mounting and quick-corner adjustment is not apparent to the untrained eye. The Epson projector not only fulfilled all the requirements we had for Bonython Hall, but exceeded them.”

Here's the Epson projector in-situ at The University of Adelaide’s Bonython Hall, followed a second photo of the hall. 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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