New Laser Projectors Make CSU Ballroom a Nat’l First

The latest laser projection technology was added to 17 projectors that encircle the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Sony announced that the upgrade makes the 10,000-square-foot ballroom the largest single-environment application of its laser projection technology in the U.S.


The largest single environment Sony Laser installation within the U.S. can now be experienced within the Centennial Student Union Ballroom at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The national distinction announced by Sony is a second “first” for the ballroom. Following its 2011 renovation that added its original 17 projectors, the CSU Ballroom became the first video conference space in Minnesota offering near surround video within the 10,000-square-foot ballroom.

The ballroom improvements in late 2019 replaced existing projectors with new Sony units using the latest generation of laser projection technology. The system offers nine million individual on-screen pixels among the 17 projectors.

‘It’s real HD now. The projectors now use lasers rather than lamps. They are twice as bright as the original lamps.’

– RYAN STRELOW, Centennial Student Union Technical Coordinator

“It’s real HD now,” said Ryan Strelow, CSU technical coordinator who worked with EPA Audio-Visual of Rockford, Minn., for the installation. “The projectors now use lasers rather than lamps. They are twice as bright as the original lamps.”

The efficient, new lasers can go maintenance free for 20,000 hours.

Strelow said the upgrade takes the forward-thinking ballroom concept to the next level.

We were going in the right direction in 2011. It was an incredibly designed space and still is,” he said. “But technology has changed.”

Shane King with EPA, said by staying at the forefront with the latest improvements the ballroom offers “breathtaking immersive video’ with more vivid colors and seamless continuation of video imagery.

Along with improving the visual experience, the upgrade provided a more user-friendly operating system that incorporates wireless technology.

“This provides us with a lot more troubleshooting tools that we had before. It allows our tech staff to more effectively diagnosis the system from anywhere with the ballroom space,” Strelow said. “The work (EPA) did just makes everything run so much smoother.”

The CSU Ballroom is the most popular and multi-functional public venue space on the Minnesota State Mankato campus. Capable of being partitioned into five different spaces, the ballroom with its 17-projectors is a preferred site for lectures, conferences, career and community expos, festivals, banquets and wedding receptions. 

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