Princeton University’s prestigious McCosh 50 Lecture Hall received a technological upgrade as Absen Inc, and integrator Washington Professional Systems (WPS) installed Absen’s Acclaim 1.5mm LED Wall to enhance the educational experience of the lecture hall.
Built in 1907, McCosh 50 is the main lecture hall within this venerable building. With the seating capacity of 445 people, the grand lecture hall has been used for a plethora of events and activities, including undergraduate classes and special lectures. However, 113 years has gone by and the lecture hall was in need of a new upgrade due to poor acoustics, limited technology and aging seats. The renovation project was broken down into 2 phases over the summers of 2019 and 2020. WPS and Absen were brought in during the 2nd phase of the modernization project. Part of the new upgrades for Phase Two included an Absen Acclaim 1.5mm 3840x2160 Ultra High Definition (UHD) LED wall.
The Acclaim 1.5 is a 1.5mm pixel pitch commercial LED solution. Acclaim series boasts a number of extraordinary advantages including 27.5’ diagonal design, 16:9 aspect ratio, easy installation and maintenance, along with a bezel-free look, providing a perfect video wall solution for various applications such as education, corporate lobbies, museums and retail environments. The installation would allow the users of the lecture hall to present an enhanced educational experience for students, faculty, and other events taking place in the hall.
Princeton’s renovation team diligently researched different LED manufacturers that would fit the old building. Absen Inc and another well-known dvLED manufacturer were vetted for this project. The team took site trips as part of the process and looked at different installations that would mirror their project. After a couple of site trips, Absen’s Acclaim 1.5 was chosen and included as part of the 3-month bid process, which ultimately awarded the installation contract to WPS. The team at WPS in conjunction with 1100 Architect and Princeton’s Facilities and Instructional Support Services departments planned the project out for a June 2020 installation time frame.
The installation of the wall encountered a few challenges. The first challenge involved fitting the Acclaim LED wall into a space that had chalkboards and 113-year-old walls. 1100 Architect, working together with partners including Princeton’s Instructional Support Services and Jeff Zamborsky and his team at WPS, were able to discover the answer. WPS and their expertise contributed to this successful project by using their engineering expertise to safely install the LED wall without damaging the venerable wall. Second, the teams had to overcome another unexpected hurdle, the Covid-19 global pandemic and the safety protocols that were required and implemented for the installation. The final challenge occurred when a batch of LED panels did not work during installation. Absen Technical Support Engineers worked remotely to troubleshoot the problem and fix the software issues as well. A request for new panels was also made, and Absen shipped out a new batch of panels to WPS. “Absen prides itself with us our strong customer service program. It is a core value and part of our companies’ culture for Absen to maintain our global leadership role as a LED manufacturer”, says Ken Kalish, Senior Sales Manager – Key Accounts for Absen Inc. “Our engineering team worked closely with WPS prior to the installation and our on-site team was there for the installation, commissioning and turn over to ensure that both WPS and the University were pleased.”
The project was completed right as the 2020 fall semester was due to begin and Jeff couldn’t say enough about the Acclaim 1.5. “It fit perfectly. The images are pristine and it only 50% of the brightness was used. It also has easy repair and maintenance.” 100 panels were used to build the 20’ wall and the ease of installation for the Acclaim 1.5 a believer out Jeff, as this was his first time working with an Absen product. “It was easy to install and having the Absen Tech on call made this a worthwhile installation. Richard Bakken, Associate Director of A/V Design and Integration was pleased at the outcome as well. “The renovation of McCosh 50 will improve the ability for instructors to share content in a meaningful way that enhances teaching and learning.”