The Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU), an education services agency, contracted Visual Sound to build out a large 3-way divisible boardroom and multi-purpose space, and equip it with audio visual equipment. The design’s objective was to provide a flexible space that can host community townhall type meetings with remote attendees or simultaneous multiple individual training/meeting rooms. During town-hall type meetings, participants would occupy any of the divisible spaces with additional attendees situated in overflow rooms anywhere in the building. It was important that each section operate independently, if necessary, but also retain the ability to work together on location and/or remotely.
DCIU’s existing system suffered from outdated equipment and an unintuitive design. The Visual Sound team had to find a way to address the pain points expressed by DCIU members, while remaining cognizant of budget, space, and time.
The unit’s main goal was to upgrade their AV capabilities to enable live streaming and broadcasting of their meetings. Concurrently, providing an enhanced local user experience while conducting safety protocols during the pandemic. This allows a greater population of public attendees to participate via video streaming and in-room attendee safety separation.
DCIU was already performing some aesthetic renovations to the space, which enabled Visual Sound to work alongside and collaborate with general contractors.
A series of initial design meetings were held with key DCIU members to determine their unique needs. Visual Sound installed several systems designed to facilitate simultaneous collaboration and communication, both in-person and over videoconferencing.
Simultaneous content sharing was a priority. To this end, a Crestron NVX system was installed, eliminating the limit on the number of inputs and outputs found with a traditional video switcher. The NVX system also enables any NVX-equipped device to receive and display media from a central source. This means that a single user can easily and seamlessly transmit material from their device to all other connected devices over the LAN.
Visual Sound updated laser projectors and mobile displays throughout the space. Each display and projector were paired with an NVX box, creating total connectivity within the network system. This allowed use of the mobile displays throughout the building for overflow options with a simple one LAN cable connection.
A Mersive BYOD system was also installed, enabling quick access by those “bringing their own devices” to meetings.
An Extron system enables computer USB connectivity to the Room Cameras, Microphones, and loudspeakers for MS Teams, Zoom, WebEx type UCC meetings.
Ceiling-mounted Minrray cameras were added for video collaboration and recording capability.
Shure Gooseneck Mics were installed around the central table. Each one is wireless and connected to trigger the appropriate assigned ceiling camera preset. When the room is being used for videoconferencing, pushing the “Talk” button on a mic will cause a camera to automatically focus and zoom in on the speaker. The central presenter has access to a confidence monitor to keep track of talking points and presentation media.
The boardroom can be divided into a tri-part configuration, with one room serving as a main conference room and the others serving as overflow areas. Crestron Partition Sensors sense when the room is in its divided or complete arrangement, and automatically configure the system accordingly. Each room and sub-room can be controlled from a central iPad running a Creston control app.
The room features two separate modes of operation; boardroom mode enables only the push-to-talk table mics and the accompanying cameras.
Classroom mode enables the Shure ceiling microphones, as well as a system of speakers installed around the room. In this configuration, the room is programmed for mix-minus sound; the microphones track the speaker’s location and lower local audio volume to prevent double-talk and feedback.
The client was extremely happy with Visual Sound’s handling of the project. They are currently discussing with Visual Sound plans to install another similar room at the other end of the building. DCIU members have also presented their room to Intermediate Units from other counties as a source of design inspiration. DCIU felt it perfectly addressed their needs and should serve as a model for other Intermediate Units looking to upgrade their facilities.