Econolite

Challenge

Econolite Group, Inc. needed a display solution for its boardroom to replace an aging projection television. The screen would need to be reliable, bright and large enough for anyone to see from anywhere in the room.

Solution

Reseller MMS recommended two Panasonic TH-85PF12U Professional Plasma Displays because of their size, Panasonic’s reputation for reliable products and ease of integration with the existing teleconferencing equipment.

Result

The TH-85PF12U Professional Plasma Displays integrated seamlessly with the existing teleconferencing technology and provide a more personal feel to board meetings, as those teleconferenced in appear in bright, vivid color, almost as if they were actually in the room.


Econolite Group, Inc. is one of the world’s largest innovators and manufacturers of transportation management solutions such as vehicle and pedestrian signals, traffic control cabinets, and traffic management and data collection solutions. These technologies are employed to reduce traveler time, ease congestion, enhance transit operations and provide safer mobility.

Executives from Econolite, based in Anaheim, CA, were in the Oakridge area of Tennessee exploring new business opportunities and, through a mutual business partner, were introduced to the work of Multi- Media Solutions (MMS), a Pro AV integrator and reseller. Econolite was impressed with the Panasonic plasma display-equipped boardroom at MMS headquarters and asked the company to come to California and evaluate its current teleconferencing installation because the equipment it used across North America had become dated and required frequent repairs. In particular, the main rear-projection television in the boardroom of the company's Anaheim headquarters had run its course and was now delivering a diminished picture quality and requiring frequent IT visits.

Mike White, president and owner of MMS, and his team traveled to California to evaluate the situation. Econolite wanted a display that would maximize impact on the room, be large enough to display small fonts in documents without losing any picture quality, offer easy integration into existing equipment and require minimal IT support. It was also important that those farthest from the screen could easily see the content. MMS evaluated the room, using a mathematical equation to develop sightlines that gave them a minimum size requirement for the new display.

Econolite quote

After evaluating a few potential solutions, MMS decided two Panasonic TH-85PF12U, 85” Professional Plasma Displays would best serve the company. They chose the TH-85PF12U because of its sheer size, crisp image and ease of integration with the company's existing PolyComm System and Crestron command and control touch screen. Any size below 85” would have diminished the value of having new displays installed, and only plasmas offer the kind of resolution Econolite was looking for in such a large size. Additionally, the plasma displays offered better performance, showing movement in video conferencing environments and a higher contrast of colors than LCDs. The TH-85PF12U also features new NeoPDP™ technology, enabling the display to be larger, thinner, lighter and more energy efficient than previous versions.

Before installation could take place, the MMS team needed to reinforce the walls of the conference room, which were not sufficient to support the weight of the new displays. As part of this process, the team used the old projector televisions to counterbalance the new plasmas. After reinforcing the wall, MMS also ran safety wire through the building to help support the new displays in case of an earthquake. Additionally, the MMS Crestron Programmer, working with the support of the Econolite team, significantly modified the Crestron programming to include custom graphics with Econolite’s branding.

Since their October 2010 installation, the two TH-85PF12U Professional Plasma Displays have provided the company with the perfect boardroom display solution. Thanks to the reliability and ease of use of the Panasonic plasma displays and customized controls on the TouchPanel, Econolite’s IT team no longer spends time troubleshooting display issues or configurations, freeing up valuable resources to devote to other duties and thus improving its overall efficiency.

“Within the first two weeks, employees really embraced the new plasma displays,” said Martin Zapata, Econolite IT Project Manager. “Both people and documents are much brighter and more vivid on the TH-85PF12U. Our CEO has appreciated how the large screens minimize the gap of those conferencing in from remote locations and creates a more personal experience for all. It keeps the audience more engaged in the conversation, which is a primary goal of any video conferencing solution. And although we were concerned about an increase in heat output, we haven’t detected any noticeable changes from the previous solution.”

The Panasonic TH-85PF12U met Econolite’s every requirement. Small font sizes are readable from anywhere in the room; video conferencing is sharp and smooth, making it seem as if the person on the screen is almost in the room; the display integrated seamlessly with existing equipment and has freed up invaluable time for the IT department. Following this successful first installation, the company is planning a phased rollout of new HD conferencing equipment in regional offices across North America.




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