NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Education



Autumn 2011 saw the opening of a new £15m student hub at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk. In keeping with Edge Hill’s proven commitment to sustainable development, the energy-efficient building with eco-friendly features required kitting out with similar attention to its IT installations. The nine screen video wall delivers 138 inches of awesome high definition student entertainment to complement its ultra-modern environment.

One of the largest and fastest growing universities in the country, with a four-fold increase in applications in the last decade, Edge Hill has a student population of over 24,000. Shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education Award for the UK’s University of the Year 2011, Edge Hill’s endeavours have been recognised. The new £15m student hub houses a number of Edge Hill’s student services including the retail and dining areas to create the central point between the modern western campus and the iconic 1930s main building.

The Challenge


Designed and built with sustainability high on the agenda, the energy efficient building offers a number of eco-friendly features such as recycled heat, solar-powered hot water, LED lighting and high levels of insulation. Receiving a green award from Energy Secretary Chris Huhne MP, winning against competition from BT and E-ON, the University takes its environmental responsibility seriously.

The University recognises that to maintain its growth it is necessary to provide students with a superior experience. Pro Vice-Chancellor Steve Igoe said ‘If we want to continue to attract large numbers of high quality students, we have to ensure an outstanding student experience, particularly in a future environment dominated by increased expectations and demands.’ The new student area therefore had to demonstrate the University’s commitment to invest in the latest technologies within a sustainable environment.

The NEC Solution

In creating the ultimate student experience on the mezzanine level, media technology development manager for learning services, Donald Moffatt was looking for the ‘wow’ factor. With its ‘Green Vision’ reflecting the University’s own principles, NEC was selected to provide a nine screen video wall using the MultiSync® X461UNV ultra-narrow bezel LCD display. Controlled through a simple source selection interface from Extron, the video wall creates the ultimate entertainment centre in combination with Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, and HD Freeview channels. ‘Imagine playing video games, on a video wall, 138 inches across the diagonal in high definition!’ comments Moffatt.


With 28 year’s experience in broadcast engineering, Moffatt was confident that he had found the right solution. ‘The wall needs to look like a wall and not nine individual monitors mounted next to each other. NEC provided this solution with their ultra-narrow bezel display creating just 7.3mm between content, allowing the image to take precedence with only a hair line division between the monitors.’ He continued, ‘the video wall needs to be robust for long hours of operation, you could call this mission critical from a student’s perspective.

’The display’s performance is maintained over long periods using a unique heat management system enabling the heat inside the display to be controlled and monitored with user controllable fans.

Considering the long term investment, Moffatt recognised the benefits of NEC’s calibration software and monitoring sensor. ‘What happens if a monitor should fail or be damaged three years down the line? There is nothing worse than seeing a video wall out of calibration in terms of colour temperature and brightness. When installing a new monitor into a pre aged wall, the process of colour matching the new monitor to the wall is needed, so the image remains seamless.’


The Result

NEC’s innovation in providing the advanced features that create the ultimate experience is what attracted Donald Moffatt and his team at Edge Hill University. ‘It’s not what you see on the outside, but what’s inside which counts,’ he said, confirming his rigorous research and testing to find the best fit solution.

NEC is renowned for products designed to stand the test of time. With features such as heat management, ambient light sensor, a scheduler and eco mode designed to prolong the display’s life and reduce energy use, the X461UNV comfortably conforms to the University’s eco-friendly environment. Students at Edge Hill now enjoy uncompromised performance gaming and entertainment achieving Steve Igoe’s vision to provide an outstanding student experience to attract discerning scholars both now and in the future.