Widgets Magazine

Lazy Technology

In my day job I’m a technology manager at a small community college in Southwest Illinois. Over the Winter break we were doing some preventive maintenance on our various classroom (we have 176 with some form of AV technology). During one such PM we had to replace the projector with a new one and the mounting and adjusting ensued. That’s when it struck me that we have moved beyond keystone and simple adjustments. Without much fanfare or hype the projectors we use year in and year out have become really rather sophisticated in their adjustments.
Years ago the only true adjustment we had to make the picture perfect and square was to physically move the projector or the screen. It had to be on a perfect perpendicular or you would have some not-quite-square images. These were the days of the three-cannon Barcos and the like. They were great machines, but the setup and maintenance on them were time investments.
One of the first steps in on-board adjustments was the ability to move the lens, now down to just one, horizontally or vertically. After that came the keystone ability. This allowed you to take an image that wasn’t perfectly centered on the screen and change the polygon into a squared image. And then we had Quick Corner.
Oh, Quick Corner, how I love thee. You make the hanging of projectors so simple and fair. If I’m not right on the center, or even left of center, that’s ok, you still take care of my image. If you’re unfamiliar with Quick Corner, check to see if you’re projectors have it. According to Epson’s website it is “to correct the shape of a projected image that has no parallel sides”. Well, that’s true. But why aren’t the sides parallel? Because you are one person maintaining 100 rooms and you have a week to get them done. That’s why.
So, my question to you technology managers, integrators, and even manufacturers is; has this technology made us lazy? If so, is that OK? The generation coming up behind us may never again need to find a perpendicular space for their projected images. They’ll just hang the projector where it is most convenient, press a button and “viola” all better and squared. For those of us who are just a couple of AV techs taking care of an entire campus I’d say technology hasn’t made us lazy, it’s made us more efficient.
Editor’s note: My projector of choice is Epson. We have found they work best for our campus. Our current line that we have been installing is the Epson Powerlite 96W.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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