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Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Builds New Conferencing Solution around the Panasonic 103” Plasma


The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, is one of the highest ranked business schools in the United States awarding bachelor, MBA and doctorate degrees. As an Ivy League school on the forefront of business higher education, it must also provide students, faculty and alumni with have access to leading technology tools.

The Wharton campus has a number of large conference rooms used for events such as graduations, alumni meetings, weddings and fundraisers. These rooms were equipped with two Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) 70” projection displays. These displays were used to show anything from PowerPoint presentations, digital signage to wedding videos. After five years in service, the devices began to show their age and replacement parts were becoming difficult to locate. The IT team began to search for a replacement.

A key consideration for the new solution would be its ease of integration with teleconferencing equipment, which was necessary for communicating with the school’s other campus in San Francisco. They wanted a solution that was affordable, reliable, could handle digital and HD content and would eliminate unsightly bezels common in the current projection display solution.

Wharton worked with Pro AV integrator Video Visions Inc., which designs, sells, installs and services single and multi-screen presentation systems for professional applications. Together they selected the Panasonic TH-103PF12U 103” professional plasma display. The school chose this device because of its price, Panasonic’s reputation for reliability, its ease of integration with the school’s current Polycomm and Tanberg teleconferencing equipment and three year warranty. Additionally, given the room’s usage, it was important that the screen’s size would impress attendees, including possible donors. Video Visions Inc. also installed two Panasonic TH-50PH20U 50” professional plasma displays which helped fill the space vacated by the former solution and allow users to show additional content feeds.

These 50” Panasonic professional plasma displays are mounted on custom swing arm mounts so they can move a full 18” to either the left or right. This allows for the person driving the presentation virtually to be in the same spot as if he or she was physically presenting in the room. Additionally, the new Panasonic plasma displays reduced the number of necessary inputs and outputs, overall maintenance, and dramatically reduced issues with connecting external devices, whose images were also hard to see because of the bezels of the projection screens.

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Rick Albert

Rick Albert is Vice-President, Flat Panel Displays & Hospitality Vertical Sales Team, of Panasonic Solutions Company (PSC), a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America that delivers content creation, collaboration, information-sharing and decision-support solutions for customers in hospitality, government, healthcare, education and media production, as well as a wide variety of commercial enterprises. Rick has over 33 years of experience in the Broadcast, AV, and Professional Display industries, including positions in sales, product marketing, marcom, and executive mgmt. Prior to his role as Vice-President in PSC, Rick was Vice-President of Panasonic Professional Display Company (PPDC), a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America that supplied Professional Plasma and LCD solutions to Fortune 1000 companies, Hotels, government agencies, and many commercial customers in the Professional AV markets. PPDC was part of a group of B2B focused divisions within Panasonic that were merged in April 2010 to form PSC. Rick started with Panasonic in 1986 and over the course of his career has managed sales, product marketing, marketing communications, channels, engineering, and product development. Rick Albert holds a B.S. in Business Mgmt. from West Virginia University and has completed US and international executive development programs at Panasonic.

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