University of Idaho Engineers Dynamic New Learning Environment with Advanced LG Video Wall Technology

Goal: The University of Idaho, the Gem state’s oldest public university and the state’s flagship land-grant and primary research university, was seeking new ways to enhance the education experience. The university’s Classroom Strategic Planning work group was charged with assessing instructional spaces on the main Moscow, Idaho campus to make improvements to those areas that appeared particularly tired and outdated. After careful examination, the committee found the most striking needs in the “Life Sciences South 277” auditorium, which was extremely out of date. In order to restore the lecture hall to its intended collaborative and innovative work space, the university sought out an audio visual solution that offered ease-of-use to instructors, displayed vibrant colors for detailed, dynamic content and fostered a visually appealing environment to all students and guests.

Solution: Working with Diversified, a leading provider of complete customer solution platforms that provided expert counsel throughout the installation, the University of Idaho’s A/V team employed a distribution amplifier to feed nine 55-inch thin-bezel displays from LG Electronics to the lecture hall’s lectern, resulting in a unique 3×3 video wall display to provide eye-popping, high-quality visuals from any seat in the classroom. The centralized controls also provided professors an easy-to-use solution that did not interfere with their ability to teach.

Results: Since the video wall’s installation, the university has experienced an overwhelmingly positive response from both professors and students who continually request to be placed in Life Sciences South 277. Most notably, professors are appreciative of the lack of projector glare while lecturing. Professors have also attributed the new display to more productive and attentive students, who are more apt to pay attention as a result of the vibrant colors and precise image accuracy that are still highly visible even with the room’s ambient light. As a result, the university says the LG LV75A displays have created a more successful learning environment for all involved.

The Challenge

A 120-person lecture hall, Life Sciences South 277 is used primarily for critical biology, engineering and science classes where class materials often include highly detailed and colorful images of cells, organisms, CAD drawing, diagrams and charts. In order to provide the best possible learning experience, the university was seeking a solution that accurately displays the rich colors and vivid details of course content in large formats that are visually clear and appealing, even to those sitting in the last row.

The university also had received complaints from professors who requested not to teach in that room due to the projector’s bright light, which often shined directly in their eyes. Replacing the pre-existing technology with a rear projector that would provide the image size, contrast ratio and color needed was problematic, because it would have required the removal of a large number of seats in the room.

Utilizing nine 55-inch LG LV75A thin-bezel displays, the University of Idaho created a 3×3 video wall that could be controlled and managed entirely through the lectern, an inventive solution that fostered a lively learning environment without compromising seating or quality of instruction.

Visually Captivating Content

“One of the main goals of the remodeling was to improve the audio and video presentation experience in the room,” explains Greg Clifford, Classroom Technology Service Manager at the University of Idaho. “The former projector was underpowered and the image on the screen was often washed out by the room’s ambient lighting.” In addition to rearranging the seating flow, adding energy efficient dimmable LED lighting and installing new motorized shades, the LG video wall transformed the room’s ability to portray the necessary picture quality in order to foster a productive learning environment.

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The displays’ TruMotion technology drastically reduces motion blur and its higher brightness uniformity ensures high-quality images, producing vivid details and colors across all nine displays that together create an Idaho-sized 11-by-6-foot Ultra HD image. “The contrast, resolution, and color reproduction of the LG video wall are vastly superior to the projection system that used to be in the room,” said Clifford. “It has vastly improved the classroom experience.”

Ease-of-Installation for a Time-Sensitive Project

The university A/V team was tasked with installing the video wall, an installation project they had little to no experience in themselves. As they like to say in Idaho, the task was no small potatoes. The team needed to work within a brief timeframe between the spring and fall semesters, leaving them a truncated, less-than-ideal installation window. “LG’s engineers were there every step of the way, providing support, making installation recommendations, assisting with calibrations and even testing solutions in their labs before we bought the product to ensure it was the right fit for us — something competitors just weren’t offering,” says Clifford.

LG’s customer support enabled the installation team to complete the entire project in less than three months with budget to spare. Even more, the display’s SuperSign V software allowed for easy configuration of the video wall layout, which saved the team time as they worked.

An Aesthetically Pleasing Learning Environment

As a part of the remodeling project, The University of Idaho’s Classroom Strategic Planning committee also wanted to ensure the new displays possessed a modern and inviting aesthetic to complement the room’s recently re-tiered, collaborative layout. The university often showcases Life Sciences South 277 to prospective students on campus tours, making its design and appearance a critical element for student recruitment.

“Visually, the new video wall is an attractive showpiece. Visitors usually stop and stare,” explained Clifford. “The installation appears sleek and clean without any visible wires and certainly turns heads.” When paired together, the LG LV75A’s super narrow 3.5mm bezel-to-bezel width creates a seamless display that blends together as one video wall and each panel’s slim depth allows it to mount flush with the wall.”

Enhanced Instruction for a Top-Notch Classroom Experience

Since installing the LG LV75A video wall, university staff and students have benefitted from a state-of-the-art classroom experience. Professors are able to control the video wall display entirely from the lectern, making it easy to use by simply connecting a PC or streaming Blu-ray content. The university can use the built-in diagnostics on the displays to monitor each individual panel’s output, enabling the ability to make any adjustments quickly in order to optimize performance. Without the distraction of projector lights, professors enjoy more productive instruction, and the enhanced color and capabilities of the video wall fosters a dynamic, engaging environment for students who are less likely to become bored or distracted during lectures.

“The addition of the LG video wall has truly elevated the learning environment, quality of instruction and overall classroom experience,” says Clifford. “All parties involved have seen a remarkable improvements, and we’re extremely pleased with the results—tangible and intangible—that LG’s displays have produced.”