Seneca College

When this Toronto-based college wanted to upgrade to LCDs while maintaining the durability and image quality of its CRTs in its computer labs, 19" NEC LCDs were the displays of choice.

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Seneca College
Quick Facts
  • Facility: Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Challenge: Maintain image quality and durability while upgrading to LCD monitors
  • Solution: 19” NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX

Every day, college campuses endure the hustle and bustle of thousands of college students running to classes and extra-curricular activities. Whether it's a final paper or an assignment for an upcoming group presentation, computers are always a necessity for students, making a computer lab an in-demand location on college campuses. With an uncommonly constant amount of usage and a usually not-so-deep budget, outstanding durability and high image quality are a must for a lab's monitors.

Toronto's Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology is the largest college in Canada based on student enrollment, consisting of eight main campus locations throughout the greater Toronto area and 260 unique programs. The college offers public academic and computing labs for all students, and facing the above-mentioned obstacles, sought out monitors that would meet all of its performance and quality objectives.

The Challenge

Seneca College is comprised of approximately 17,000 full-time students and 90,000 part-time and continuing education students. The college takes pride in having the most up-to-date technology on all of its campus locations. Prior to the latest upgrade, Seneca College used 17" NEC MultiSync FE770 CRTs in their academic and computing labs. Faculty and staff were happy with the durability and performance from these monitors, but Seneca chose to replace them with LCDs to free up a significant amount of desktop space and provide their students with the latest in display technology.

Clare Vozza, Seneca College’s manager of client services, consulted with her IT team to determine the best LCD for the labs. Display image quality was of high concern because many of Seneca’s students are enrolled in art and computer courses, which require a high resolution. Image quality ranked as the highest consideration when deciding which display to choose during the upgrade. Other factors in selecting a new monitor included warranty, pricing, customer ratings and previous experience with a respected brand name.

The Solution

Following their monitor evaluation, Seneca College's IT department determined NEC was the best fit for its needs. During the summers of 2005 and 2006, the college replaced older CRT monitors with new NEC LCD monitors. The 2006 upgrade was massive, consisting of 1563 19” NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX monitors. "The I.T. team evaluated the NEC monitor based on the specifications, including the resolution and brightness,” said Vozza. "We found that NEC was the best value for the quality, technology and price."

Seneca not only evaluated LCDs on image quality but also physical durability. The IT department wanted displays that would not damage easily if students bumped into them or touched the screen. They were pleased with how well NEC's CRT models withstood the daily rigors of their labs and, in their testing, found that its LCDs showed similar characteristics. Through their evaluation Seneca chose to stay with NEC because of the product availability, warranty, pricing and a very positive previous experience with the NEC CRTs.

Before the upgrade, a few students in the computer technology program requested LCD monitors rather than CRTs. Their concern was eyestrain from using CRT units. Since the first implementation of the new displays, Vozza noted positive reactions from students. The MultiSync LCD1970VX displays eliminated this concern and made working on the computer for long periods of time more comfortable and enjoyable. Other reported benefits of using NEC LCDs were increased desktop space, less energy used and brighter screens with no flickering as compared to CRTs.

"Seneca College prides itself in having the best technology, and we feel that the NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX demonstrates the best in monitor technology and works best for our students' needs," said Vozza.