USF Health in Good Shape with Sony Laser Projection

Projector installation on Florida campus brings cost savings and better viewer experience

Most organizations have five-year plans for rolling out new technology, but for University of South Florida Health, or USF Health, sooner is definitely better, especially since the institution is already seeing tangible benefits of its newest equipment—Sony’s laser light source projection technology.

The university is converting to “all Sony laser projection” as part of a four-year AV standardization plan that will ultimately have the 140 meeting spaces across the university’s main campus and satellite locations all using the new Sony projectors.

“We now consider every room to have a 25 percent depreciation rate, so when the colleges install new technology in a room, they set aside 25 percent of the original cost,” said Michael Kraus, manager of the digital media communications team of Health IS. “In the fourth year, they use those funds to replace every single item in that room, including the projectors.”

This wide-scale deployment, done in partnership with integrator AVI-SPL, started in May 2015, and the benefits have been immediately obvious.

“When we started, we anticipated savings in labor costs, reduced maintenance time, and improved image quality,” Kraus said. “Already, we’re seeing success in each of those areas.”

USF Health has used Sony lamp-based projection for the past several years, a combination of mostly the VPL-FH500 and other models, with the school’s highest priority being the projectors’ DICOM capabilities for medical-grade color reproduction.

The new laser models still offer that feature, in addition to meeting the school’s needs for greater efficiencies and improved image quality and clarity.

Often, lectures and presentations are extremely detailed. When outlining cellular structures, a projector’s ability to present the highest overall image quality is a necessity.

Kraus said the Sony projectors meet and exceed all his needs.

“Besides the actual color quality, in a side-by-side comparison, the Sony laser is brighter,” Kraus said. “Also, there’s less maintenance required and no replacements of lamps needed.”

According to Kraus, the new technology cuts down on costs and provides a longer-term option for maintenance- free use and enhanced image quality.

The new Sony laser-illuminated 3LCD projectors represent a fundamental advance in projection over bulb-based technologies. The new projectors operate cooler, quieter, and with a 20,000 hour operating life for the light source that is many times that of standard lamps.

The ability to program them for automatic shutdown when there’s no signal input eliminates the risk of faculty or students not turning them off on their own. One improvement with the laser technology is the new models’ instant on/off feature. The use of a laser instead of a lamp means no waiting time for a projector to fully power up or cool off before shutting down.

Kraus noted that the maintenance cost-savings that comes from not having to replace lamps is easy to quantify over the long run. The average projector lamp, at a cost of about $400 to $500 per lamp, needs to be replaced about every 2,000 hours. The Sony laser projectors can deliver up to 20,000 hours of light source life, so the benefits are clear. But it’s not just the cost of replacement lamps.

For USF Health’s customers, their immediate reaction was, “Yes, this is brighter; it looks ‘new’ and to be of higher quality,” Kraus said. “Those are the top benefits from the users’ perspectives and, ultimately, what’s most important.”

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