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Case Study: Integrated Design Solutions, Troy, Mich.

Sep 24, 2010 3:28 PM, By Don Kreski

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Because all of the systems in IDS’s new facility are high-definition, everything is tied together with HDMI connections. This can pose potential pitfalls such as HDCP copyright protection on HD media and EDID handshaking. Crestron addresses these and other problems with its DigitalMedia system and DM Tools software.

For the videoconferencing room, IDS engineers designed a system using a LifeSize 200 high-definition camera, codec, microphone pod, and 60in. Sharp LCD display. It’s frequently used by IDS staff to meet with clients, especially the University of Michigan—itself a heavy videoconferencing user. Even though the university is within driving distance, both parties find the technology a huge timesaver.

Both rooms include a Crestron MC2E control processor, a Crestron TPS-6X wireless touchpanel (with wall-mount docking station), a dedicated Dell computer, wireless keyboard and mouse, two laptop inputs, Pioneer Blu-ray player, an AVerVision document camera, and a sound system using a Crestron CNAMPX-2X60 amplifier and JBL Control 26CT loudspeakers.

Because all of the systems in these rooms are high-definition, using digital HDMI connections was the obvious way to go. HDMI, however, is not easy to work with. There are a number of potential pitfalls, which include issues with HDCP copyright protection on HD media and EDID handshaking, and the ability of a digital device—such as a laptop—to supply the proper signal to a high-definition display. Crestron addresses these and other potential problems with its DigitalMedia system and DM Tools software.

DM Tools is a resource unique to Crestron, which takes the mystery out of HDMI installation and commissioning. Simply by connecting the sources and displays to the DM switcher, the installer can view associated data such as source and device resolution and HDCP compliance, as well as pinpoint any points of failure. After the system is set up, the switcher runs through a Systems Commissioning routine that includes a variety of diagnostic tests, ensuring that users get the most of their sources and displays.

Last-minute rush

Bracci says the firm is practicing what it preaches when it uses DigitalMedia in its headquarters. “While these rooms are less complex than many of the venues we design, we always want systems that are as seamless as possible. If we can buy solutions from one supplier that we know are factory designed to work together, I’m happy,” he explains.

“We don’t want a lot of boxes from different companies because bad things can happen in the field,” he says. “We love the complete package design that Crestron provides.”

Bracci says the installation of the headquarters’ AV systems went extremely well. “I.Comm did a fantastic job, and they were under the gun to get everything installed on time,” he says.

“The problem that I.Comm ran into is one that we typically run into on a job site. Construction delays tend to push the project back to the deadline, but the AV integrator can’t complete his work until everything else is finished. I mean, can you imagine installing that 60in. monitor before the painters are done?

“So any time we can minimize wiring and simplify installation, that’s a great thing. There is just too much potential for error when you’re at deadline.”

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