The leafy eastern suburbs of Melbourne has a number of excellent Catholic secondary schools, where demand for places is high and demand for the best students is just as high. Emmaus College Vermont campus is a mid-sized school of some 1200 students. In late 2017 it cut the ribbon on a brand new education learning centre.
The jewel in the crown of the new facility is a lecture theatre with a point of difference: a 3x3 LG video wall. Well, that’s the most obvious point of difference, as the venue packs an estimable AV spec not often seen in a secondary school… chances are you soon will. Light & Sound Solutions was the integrator and helped walk principal Tony Hirst and his team through the process of selecting the right technology. The school was convinced of the merits of a high brightness display at the front of the theatre but was unsure if a high-spec projector, video wall or LED display would best suit. After assessing the options and consulting with Light & Sound Solutions, the school decided a 3x3 LG video wall would provide the best bang for the buck and the wow factor Tony Hirst so desired. “We wanted something contemporary,” Tony Hirst commented. “A projector might have been impressive 10 years ago, but we wanted something more eye-catching.” The LG 55VM5B 55-inch displays have an ultra narrow bezel (1.8mm image to image) which gives the video wall an almost seamless look, and the video wall is easily visible from the first row to the last.
Light & Sound Solutions’ Project Manager Daniel Thomas oversaw the video wall installation:“With a display that’s almost bezel-less you really need to get those pixels lined up perfectly. Fortunately the Chief LVS1U video wall bracket makes the installers’ life easier. The mount also makes servicing any of the screens easy as well, simply pull on a cord and the screen pops out around 300mm. It’s good solid American engineering. Chief will never be the cheapest option but when you’ve got multiple screens to line up and install there’s no point skimping — Chief can saves you hours of crew time."
The screen accepts a PC input from the lectern, a Blu-ray input as well as a Brightsign media player. There are actually two XT1143 4K Brightsign digital signage media players in the rack, which allow the school to push content to the video wall and to an impressive 84-inch LG display in the foyer. “The foyer screen can be used locally as another breakout learning space,” noted principal Tony Hirst. “But it’s particularly useful as digital signage. We can display images of our students taking part in activities, events etc. Those images help create a positive culture. We can also post up announcements.”
This isn’t your average high school theatre. But one suspects other schools will already be casting a green eye in its direction. Light & Sound Solutions’ Daniel Thomas appreciated the chance to work on a project that was aspirational: “The school had a budget that allowed us to spec high quality AV — a Nexo PA, Crestron control, LG display, motorised lighting bar with quality LED fixtures. You don’t often see that in a secondary school lecture theatre. Still, I believe the AV installation represents great value for the client.” A sentiment echoed by Emmaus College school principal Tony Hirst:“There’s nothing better for a principal than to see students’ jaws drop when they enter a new building for the first time. Their eyes light up — ‘this is unbelievable!’. That’s what happened. It makes the install and the planning all worthwhile.”