Creating a bigger picture for higher education

Saville Audio Visual, leading provider of AV systems to colleges and universities, introduce large-format LED videowall technology

Celebrating a long history of quality and innovation, Saville has revealed an impressive portfolio of new higher education installations. Moving very much with the times, the firm appears to be becoming the go-to specialist for high-spec LED videowall projects, interactive displays and virtual reality systems.

In an increasingly crowded and competitive field, a succession of groundbreaking contracts have been won and successfully completed at university campuses in Scotland, Liverpool, Manchester, Chester, Wolverhampton, Leeds, York, Sheffield, Coventry, Derby, London and Southampton.

The changing theme of AV presentation facilities appears to be driven by the increase in demand for videowalls, as universities look to create improved student experiences by creating contemporary, media-intense environments.

LED videowall at Sheffield Hallam University

Saville installations at the University of West of Scotland (UWS) in Paisley and at Southampton Solent University (SSU) are perfect examples of this, where new videowalls are the first thing that students and visitors see on entering the establishment. 

The displays provide a great opportunity to share information and showcase student work, whilst providing functional AV support on a grand scale. By making dynamic contributions to on-campus events, they make the spaces truly multi-functional.

In terms of technology, UWS is one of Scotland’s most innovative modern universities. Here a newly created atrium space provides a large reception area with social learning spaces, meeting spaces and interactive smart screen technology, plus display zones and a café. 

A nine-screen reception videowall is supplemented by a unique pivoting videowall, consisting of 32 NEC 46-inch screens in an 8 x 4 configuration. The giant, self-contained display is able to pivot on demand, enabling the room to accommodate a variety of needs. 

Both are managed via PIPview blackBIRD video wall processors configured for 4K native resolution across all screens, creating a remarkable welcome area and a uniquely versatile teaching space.

At the official opening by the Princess Royal, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Craig Mahoney said: “UWS is strategically committed to providing sustainable, contemporary and inspirational learning environments. We aim to be the most technologically enabled university in the UK, placing our students in a particularly strong position in the sector.” 

New Saville installations at Southampton Solent (SSU) and Sheffield Hallam (SHU) universities demonstrate clearly how LED videowall and more traditional LCD videowalls can be used to provide unique solutions to address physical limitations created by teaching spaces.

Pod LCD videowall at Southampton Solent University

In Southampton, ‘The Pod’ is the centrepiece of the new Spark building at SSU – a futuristic, multi-purpose facility at the heart of an impressive five-storey atrium. As well as a full-sized lecture room, it features an open-topped viewing platform with views across the atrium and into the parkland beyond. In the integral lecture room, Saville provided a unique, creative solution comprising portrait-orientated screens to create a large curved videowall display that maximises the capacity of the room. 

In a teaching ‘first’ at SHU, an ultra-high resolution LED wall has supplanted a projection facility, enabling a lecture theatre to be used for groups working at close range to the screen – a departure from the traditional style of lecture theatre. This initial installation rapidly found favour across the campus resulting in a further two LED videowall screens being commissioned.

Saville installations manager Colin Etchells said: “The company’s many years of experience working in the HE sector, combined with our talented creative technical teams means we are perfectly placed to design, build and deliver these solutions. Our system designers, programmers and engineers relish the challenges these innovative new projects provide.”


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