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Interactive Flat Panels

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There is no doubt that Interactive Flat Panels (IFPs) are overtaking projectors in classrooms and boardrooms, and there are lots of features that make each panel stand out in its own way.

So what should you look for in a panel?

IFPs come in sizes ranging from 55” to 86” and are available in up to 4K resolution.

Software is just one in a series of components that are needed to make the panel choice work for you and the people who are going to be using it.

Total cost of ownership is now a serious consideration as panels have caught up to a five to seven year point, meaning a panel costs about the same as a projector in 55”-65″ over this period and less over even longer. Factor in running costs, maintenance, lamps, filters and cleaning and this time can become even shorter.

Warranty should also be a consideration, with three years as standard and up to five years available on most panels. On-site warranty is definitely the best and the company you decide on should come to you. Even better is an advanced replacement model where the faulty unit is swapped with a new one while the faulty panel is repaired or replaced.

Modern day panels have eye care features.

Selecting a brand that is genuinely looking after our eyes is most important, especially for this generation, so look for one with low blue light that is flicker free.

Low blue light is the technology that looks after your eyes when you are looking at a direct LED light source, such as an interactive flat panel.

Anti-glare coating in the glass is a must have in any room with windows or lights in the ceiling. Reflection seen on the screen is what stops people in the room being able to see the screen properly and a proper anti-glare panel does not suffer from this.

Anti-germ coating or silver nano technology on the screen to actively kill the nasty germs is also a must have.

Some panels only have a single HDMI Input but this is not enough! You need at least three HDMI inputs, a VGA input and multiple USB inputs. While you are at it, if you ever need to put a second panel beside the first one, make sure it has a VGA or HDMI output.

Built in whiteboard software … Android … apps? All of these are nice but are possibly not the reason to buy a panel for a long term solution. In most circumstances when installing a panel we are plugging into a PC that is already setup.

About Matt Walker

Matt Walker

Matt Walker
Matt Walker started in the home entertainment industry in 1991 straight from school with Clive Peeters and over the following years worked in some of Australia's biggest home entertainment and electrical stores.

In 1999 he co-founded Audio Visual Dreams and in 2008 joined the team at Selby Acoustics, becoming a driving force in the growth of that business until 2010 when he started the Home Theatre chain, The Cable Connection, which he sold in 2013.

After a short stint in distribution, Matt is now a Regional Sales Manager for BenQ Australia.

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