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A simple way to cut energy costs for classroom devices

AMX SchoolView can schedule automatic power-downs of equipment at the end of the school day

AMX SchoolView helped Joe Squiers see the light on energy savings. Or, to be more accurate, the dark.

Before Squiers' district in Franklin, Texas, installed AMX SchoolView—a hardware and software package that features a single set of streamlined controls for public address systems, classroom video distribution, digital signage, security monitoring and energy management—he and his tech staff would find themselves in the role of nagging parents, telling staff members to shut off unneeded equipment.

"I would drive by the school at six or seven in the evening, and I'd see classrooms with the projectors left on," said Squiers, technology director of Franklin Independent School District.

Gentle reminders didn't work with teaching staff. Neither did stern emails.

For a district with 100 projectors, AMX SchoolView can yield savings of more than $20,000, not including reduced costs from theft deterrence.

"Nine times out of 10, we would have to come by the classroom and turn it off," he said.

That led to frustration for Squiers, lost time for his tech crew and wasted energy and bulb life for powered-up equipment that wasn't actually in use. The latter might seem like a little thing, but it's not. AMX estimates that a school with 200 computers will consume $3,000 of extra power each year if the devices are left in sleep mode overnight.

The costs are even higher if audio-visual projectors—a staple of modern classrooms—are left running. Projector bulbs can cost $300 to $500 apiece, with an average life of 1,500 hours. A projector left on overnight can waste as much as 15 lamp hours. One left on over the weekend can burn through 60 hours. It's easy to see that a big chunk of bulb life can be wasted even when there are only a few forgotten shutdowns each month.


How does AMX SchoolView help? Administrators can schedule automatic power-downs of computers and AV equipment at certain times of the day or for large blocks of time, such as vacations. Teachers and students are notified of a pending shutdown through a pop-up box on their computer, and can request extra time if they need it.

Besides making sure that the Franklin district's 200 projectors are turned off at the end of the school day, Squiers said he's also programmed them for shutdowns during lunch.

"That's an hour of bulb time," he said. "It's a huge money saver." AMX SchoolView works over a district's existing data network. It allows remote system diagnostics, and it can track projector use and lamp life for each device. It also permits scheduling of routine maintenance and flags problems if a device isn't working. Energy management helps simplify maintenance and support, which frees up Squiers' staff so they can fix other pressing problems.

Another valuable feature helps prevent theft. If a projector is disconnected from the network, AMX SchoolView detects it and automatically sends out an email alert to designated school staff. At the same time, a graphic alert is triggered on the office touch panel and, if desired, it can generate an audible notification, too.

What kind of a return on investment does AMX SchoolView provide? It's not uncommon for an AV projector to be left on overnight twice a month, and five times over the weekend through the course of a year. That translates into 675 hours wasted each year, or 45 percent of a lamp's useful life. For a $400 bulb, that comes to $180. Wasted electricity for the 250- watt bulb over 675 hours comes to $23, assuming costs of 14 cents per kilowatt.

The total bill: $203 in extra costs each year per projector. For a district with 100 projectors, AMX SchoolView can yield savings of more than $20,000, not including reduced costs from theft deterrence.

For more information about AMX SchoolView, please visit