Off to Uni, in ultra-high definition


The university experience is yearned for by many as a rite of passage; the chance to break free from home, forge new friendships and improve career prospects. Sadly, for the 2020/21 cohort, a proportion of this experience has been impacted, although technology has largely mitigated any loss of learning.

There is a myriad of reasons why universities will be keen to welcome their students back as soon as it is safe to do so, with the all-important student experience being one of the top priorities. Technology provision is a vital element of that experience and keeping up to date and aligned with the world of work is essential to attract prospective students.

With the corridors of campus currently empty, now is the time to prepare for the happy return of students when life becomes more normal again.

A visual experience in ultra-high definition

Today’s learners are digitally innate, with the expectation that their learning experience will match that of their social and entertainment experience. Delivering content in UHD resolution therefore not only ensures the high-quality detail of teaching material but also satisfies the discerning eye of your students. A student’s university lifestyle should be vivid and vibrant – a life experienced in ultra-high definition!


For many faculties such as those teaching art, film, design and digital media courses plus engineering and medicine, where content is highly detailed and accurate colour and greyscale rendition is vital, only UHD imagery will do. For larger classrooms and lecture halls, where teachers are addressing large numbers of students in conditions which must continue to respect social distancing precautions, bright and impactful laser projection offers a versatile solution with scalable image sizes.

Discover NEC UHD laser projectors

NEC P506QL laser projector – cost effective UHD and 5,000AL brightness for classrooms

NEC PX1005QL laser projector – professional UHD and 10,000AL brightness for lecture halls and auditoria.


Continuity of teaching delivery

The current health crisis has presented universities with an opportunity to re-invent their approach. Different education providers have used a varied mix of teaching delivery methods but in general, online distance learning via both live and recorded sessions, supplemented by some carefully managed face to face time has provided students with the connection they need.

For overseas students, time differences add an additional layer of complexity when planning and scheduling live lecture delivery, whereas recorded sessions offer opportunities to host, post and recycle material for access at any time, now and again in the future.

Particularly important in the present Covid19 situation, where lectures are being recorded or live streamed, minimising background noise is essential, especially where ceiling microphones are built into the ceiling mount of the projector. NEC’s innovation in silent projection technology has been well-received by educators.


The resilience of the higher education sector to maintain a good standard of teaching over the lockdown period has been commendable, and the flexibility of the technology at their disposal has allowed them to maintain continuity. Now, with the benefit of experience and hindsight, universities need to review the suitability of products for certain spaces when planning for the future.

A once 300-seater lecture theatre is now likely to be transformed into a 120-seater space, taking into account social distancing. The same can be said of traditional classrooms, and universities may need to review the technology and associated economies of scale when looking at 5-year technology or standards refreshes.

Maximise usage of digital signage

Even after nearly a year of experience living under the specter of Covid19, for young people especially, it is a constant challenge to be mindful of Covid-safety guidelines. Visual reminders are needed to help students and staff remain vigilant, but it’s easy to overlook these after a while. Dynamic, high bright messages that cannot be ignored, located in areas of high footfall, or areas within the university campus used for relaxation or sport, are necessary to keep the ever-present danger front of mind.


Digital signage offers a multi-use communications channel which can be quickly and easily updated with constantly changing, animated imagery. Not only can it flash up hands, face, space reminders, but it can also be utilized for more general cross-campus student outreach, including how to access mental health support which will be more vital than ever in the current situation.

By utilizing signage which can be quickly and easily relocated, this should ensure that the viewer doesn’t become complacent and blind to its presence, helping to keep students vigilant. Large format displays mounted on movable trolleys for instance, or the NEC A Series LED digital poster meet this brief yet with high bright, dynamic animation, similar in format to traditional static roll-up banners.

DOWNLOAD FOR FREE, images and video for use on NEC displays to support your Covid-safety measures.

Supporting the teaching and learning process

The major advantage of digital signage screens is the fact that they can be repurposed for a multitude of uses. Even beyond the current health crisis, your investment in visual technology can be redeployed across campus to support the teaching and learning process, wherever its needed.


Sharp/NEC employs an open, modular approach to its technology meaning embedded computing modules can be easily upgraded as required without having to replace the screen itself, whilst teaching and collaboration software can be loaded and updated without restriction. It is important to be mindful of future-proof features such as these for life beyond Covid-19.

Our interactive UHD touch bundles with Quicklaunch™  provide teachers and students with intuitive one-touch access to a fully collaborative workspace. For sharing, collaborating and mentoring, in small group learning and seminar spaces, this fully customizable solution is out of the box ready to support your unique learning processes.

Where professional high resolution desktop displays are required for medical or research applications, Sharp/NEC offers a range of specialty displays such as the EA271U with ultra-high definition resolution.

An investment now to equip the relevant faculties with the latest technology will enhance the experience for returning and prospective students and lecturers, once the current restrictions are lifted.

Keeping the student community safe

Further usage of digital signage might employ access control systems. Sharp/NEC’s Entrance Control Management solution, for instance, uses sensors to measure and control the movement of people to restrict the number gathering in any given space to support social distancing protocols. Technology such as this might enable canteens and libraries to maintain better control over student numbers enabling them to safely remain open for 24/7 access.

A regular cleaning regime will help to keep equipment sanitized, especially important for touch screens used in collaborative learning spaces. Sharp/NEC has published a step by step guide and video ensuring safe cleaning without damage to the screen surface.

When preparing to welcome students back to campus, we advise institutions to check the latest government guidelines as they could be different across countries.

Sharp/NEC is a preferred supplier to higher education with a vast range of large format displays, LED and projection solutions.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you to make the student and staff experience ULTRA memorable, with the display technology to match and exceed their expectations.

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Exclusively for our education users we offer FREE 5 year warranty on our large format displays and laser projectors.

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