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Overhauling Florida State Senate’s Sound System, Part 2

Feb 26, 2013 10:23 AM, With Bennett Liles


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So there’s a lot of activity going on on this touchscreen.

Absolutely, to say the least.

Okay, and you’ve got four PCs. Where are they located?

Good question. Well, one of the PCs is down there right next to the production desk, and this actually acts the portal where they can take presentations that people bring in and they can actually load those into a shared drive. Then the other three PCs are up in the second floor where the sound room is. And so through the shared drive they can then send those to any of the other three PCs that they want to be able to use. So after the content is loaded, it can be opened up on any of the PCs, basically a PC jukebox, so AV presentations can be preloaded, cued up, and ready to go. When it’s time to play something, all you’ve got to do is open up that computer to the work screen, hit play, and it’s ready to go. [Timestamp: 7:30]

Obviously, once you’ve got it all up working, the next big job is showing people how to operate everything. Did Music Masters provide training for all the onsite tech people?

Yes. As soon as we had the installation up and running, we did our first training session with the team that would be running the system. And we took them through the paces and showed them everything it could do, and then at that point they began working with the system. So they were then giving us feedback on different ways they might like windows to lay out or different various aspects, and then we were making changes during the post-install phase of the programming, which is taking the additional feedback once we showed them what we thought they needed, and they were able to say, “Yeah, that’s awesome and can we do this and can we do that?” And then we continued to add changes at that point. So yeah, we’ve got them trained up. We’ll be supporting them up through this first year as they go, and I really don’t think they’re going to need much at this point. They’ve gotten pretty comfortable with the system and it’s really exciting to see it all come online. [Timestamp: 8:33]

Was ambient lighting in the Chamber any sort of problem with the display monitors?

No, the lighting is good. It was really not an issue. All the displays are so bright and clear; they really cut through. [Timestamp: 8:44]

And as I said before, this was a real big job. What was the timeframe on that whole project?

The installation phase of the project was about three weeks. Post-programming phase, the post-installation programming phase, and final tweaking lasted a few weeks after that. There were still some details to resolve, like how to make the main speaker look like it was not going to be a speaker, but for the most part the system was installed in three weeks. All the pre-install programming was going on at our shop while the installation team was onsite building the wiring harness, installing the hardware, speakers and amps, and everything involved with that. The last week of the install was delivery of the Crestron system, already programmed, so all we had to do was connect that to all the hardware, which we’d already installed and begin testing that part of the system. That went pretty much as planned; certainly not without challenge. It was a very demanding install, but our team was outstanding in every regard and we were able to complete the project on time. I was really proud of everyone’s effort. It was great. [Timestamp: 9:45]

Is the system capable of feeding AV sources to an outside destination, say hall monitors or a video control room?

Yes. The Florida Channel broadcasts all the meetings as part of the Florida Sunshine Law for Transparency. There’s an audio feed that goes to the Florida Channel as well as a DVI feet from the Crestron DM system, giving them a direct connection to the content that’s being sent to the screen. There’s a building-wide video distribution system that’s provided by the Florida Channel. There’s also building feeds going into hallways and surrounding rooms and meeting rooms throughout the Senate office building. All the external zones can be controlled through the Crestron system. [Timestamp: 10:25]

Well, it sounds like you not only improved getting the word out to the citizens of Florida on their state legislature, but you also made getting the actual business done work better as well. Les Stephenson from Music Masters in Tallahassee, Fla. Les, thanks for being here.



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