Porsche South Africa Chooses Epson

The Porsche Centre in Johannesburg chooses Epson

The Porsche Centre in Johannesburg is the world’s largest dealership of this premium brand. The Centre is home to all the elements expected of a globally recognised centre of excellence, including an audio-visual facility used for product launches, training, and client entertainment, alongside a technical training centre that meets international standards.

Identifying the need

The centre boasts a 70 seat auditorium, which was fitted with audio visual and projection equipment when it was built five years ago.

In keeping with Porsche’s focus on excellent design and superior technology, the centre’s management team identified the need to upgrade and improve the auditorium.

They sought an energy efficient, easy to use projector that would offer top quality imaging in the auditorium, packaged in a design aesthetic that is congruent with Porsche’s design ethos of clarity and functionality of form.

The auditorium projector also needed to support the 16:9 aspect ratio in which DVD and Bluray content from its parent company in Germany is supplied.

Porsche also required full HD capability with the flexibility of HDMI and VGA ports, in a device that incorporates seamlessly into the existing decor of the auditorium. Ease of use, minimal noise pollution and lens adaptability were also key criteria, as was a crystal clear image regardless of ambient lighting conditions.

The centre also features a technical training facility, used for up skilling technicians on new products, techniques and technical and mechanical best practice. This facility uses a combination of video and hands-on experience for training purposes.  The Porsche team additionally required a projector that would be able to function well in a bright, clinical environment, offering crisp clear projected images.

HFX Systems, an independent supplier of high-end audio visual equipment since 1989, has had an established relationship with Epson in South Africa Having recommended and used Epson equipment at many of his other clients, HFX Systems recommended two high-end Epson projectors to Porsche.

Epson’s solution

Epson's EB-Z8455WU projector was the perfect solution to meet all of Porsche’s specific auditorium requirements.

The EB-Z8455WU offered the full multimedia functionality required by the Porsche team, further enhanced with the three chip solid state optical engine that is included in all Epson’s 3LCD projects.

This means that the EB-Z8455WU is able to deliver incredibly bright, true to life colour. The colour light output of up to 7000 lumens and 5000:1 contrast ratio gives great greyscale for small print and figures, as well shadows and light.

The projector’s centred lens design made installation easy, a particularly important consideration in a retrofit such as this. In addition, the HFX team required very few modifications to be made to the existing structure in the auditorium in order to fit the EB-Z8455WU. This meant that the auditorium saw very little down time, with minimal interruption to regular Porsche activities.

The auditorium is used often, for a variety of events, so, it was also imperative that the projector chosen by Porsche be easy to manage and maintain.  The EB-Z8455WU met both these requirements.

Since Porsche place great emphasis on energy efficiency, the EB-Z8455WU was once again the perfect solution. It features energy efficient 3LCD technology and an innovative cooling system resulting in quiet, unobtrusive operating that doesn’t interfere with the auditorium audio tracking.

There was also no risk of projector lamp downtime during a Porsche presentation as the EB-Z8455WU featured a dual lamp system which means that the projector continues if one lamp were to fail.

Lamps also last up to 3500 hours in ECO mode, and up to 2500 hours in Normal Mode, giving impressive extended running time.

HFX Systems’ sales director Eugene Oosthuizen also suggested that Porsche install Epson's EB-G5950 projector in its training facility.

With 5200 lumens of white light output, and 5200 lumens of colour light output, the EB-G5950 offers the brilliant image quality that Porsche required in the brightly lit training environment.

“The EB-G5950 features 3LCD three chip technology, meaning that it can be trusted to offer brighter colours, and reliable performance,” says Oosthuizen. “Its XGA resolution and C2Fine technology ensure crystal clear images, even if the ambient lighting is bright enough for the Porsche technicians and mechanics to be working on real-life products, while learning from a presentation projected by the device.”

The EB-G5950 has five interchangeable bayonet lens options, allowing it to offer short-throw, long-throw and rear projection capabilities. This means that the Porsche team can use all sides of the technical training room, making the most of the available space.

Key benefits

The management of the auditorium at the Porsche Centre needed its new projector to be easy to maintain, with minimum downtime caused by any servicing or repairs.

The EB-Z8455WU is easy to operate and basic servicing and cleaning can be undertaken by members of the Porsche team who had been given an instruction session by HFX Systems.

Not that this would be needed on a regular basis, as the EB-Z8455WU has a filter designed to protect the optical engine, lamp and electronics from small dust particles. The filter captures particles as small as 3 microns, which means that it only needs to be cleaned after every 10,000 hours of operation.

This is a simple process that can also be carried out by a Porsche Centre employee since quick lamp and filter access means maintenance is simple - even though the projector is mounted onto the ceiling - with no screws or special tools required.

With one air intake and one exhaust path, the EB-Z8455WU’s airflow and cooling systems keep the device functioning optimally at all times. If an inappropriate temperature is experienced, the projector sends an email notification to alert service professionals to take action. With HFX Systems providing an ongoing link to Epson’s support professionals, the Porsche team can rest assured that, in the unlikely event of a fault with the EB-Z8455WU, a speedy response is guaranteed.

“We’re always happy and confident to specify Epson projectors to our customers,” says Oosthuizen. “They are reliable, suffer minimal downtime, and we have always found their lamp life claims to be true.

“We also receive great support from the Epson team in Johannesburg, and it is the exception to the rule that we have to call on any warranty claims.”

Oosthuizen emphasizes that the fact that the EB-Z8455WU and the EB-G5950 were easy to set up, and that it was simple to identify optimal settings on both devices.

“Epson’s menus are logical, and quickly take you to where you need to be, to achieve the expected results. The projector is easy for the Porsche team to operate. Our clients have never been disappointed with their choice in Epson projectors – and neither have we!”

Conclusion

“The EB-Z8455WU in our auditorium has given us the ability to project a wide variety of file formats while achieving superior quality images,” says Andrew Baldwin, Group Property Manager, Porsche Johannesburg. 

“The EB-G5950 projector makes it possible for our technical teams to benefit from up to date training and information about Porsche’s vehicles, standards and protocols, reassuring our customers that although we may be far from the company’s head office in Germany, Porsche technicians in South Africa are as well trained in every aspect of the brand as their international counterparts.

Both projectors are easy to use, and to maintain, and we’re highly impressed with the results we’re seeing,” he concludes.