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Medialon Offers Complete Media-management Solution For New Welsh Parliament Building

Aug 10, 2006 8:00 AM


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Medialon has provided a complete media-management solution for the new building housing the National Assembly for Wales. The solution has been implemented in the main debating chamber and the committee and media briefing rooms, and includes building signage.

The Welsh government opted for ultimate digital AV technology in equipping the new parliament building on the sea front of Cardiff bay. The building hosts 60 assembly members and their staffs for debating sessions and daily operations and welcomes Welsh citizens in public areas to follow debating performances and voting results.

Siemens handled IT supply and integration for the parliament with IVC, an English systems integrator who specializes in long-term and complex projects and is responsible for the AV portion. Any assembly member can access personal data and assembly media materials from his own desktop, home, or the debating-chamber desks. All resources, data, and media are digital and accessible through a very powerful and secure network.

Medialon Manager control technology was selected to meet the challenge of making so many digital media resources and assets easily accessible to a large number of users through the regular IT network. Medialon was chosen for its native compatibility with Windows OS, digital, and IT environments; 180 licenses of Medialon Manager and Medialon Display are deployed on the assembly network.

Among the AV resources are 22 MPEG digital video channels simultaneously accessible for incoming and outgoing contents from the assembly building, broadcast transmission of sessions and events, and live feeds of public gallery signage screens. Working space can easily be rearranged to flexibly adapt to the type and number of people in the audience with automatic reconfiguration of the AV resources management.

Each desk in the new debating chamber is outfitted with a computer running Medialon Manager control technology, which gives delegates, ministers, and officers access to all materials needed during a debate including the Internet and his personal mailbox. A simple messaging feature enables delegates to communicate inside the chamber.

All of the desks are connected to Medialon Manager, via Manager On Network devices, for AV resources management. The assembly’s presiding officer (PO) has control of all AV resources in the chamber and can display DVD content, TV channels, web pages, any document stored on building servers, video conferences, and broadcast signals on four main LCD big screens and the delegate screens.

In addition, Medialon Manager control technology is linked to a Televic Voting system. During a vote the PO has a complete overview of voting status. When a vote is closed the PO can display vote results on the main screens and delegate screens; the tabulations are also written in a SQL database and can be fed to digital signage for public viewing.

Each of three committee rooms and a media briefing room contains a touchscreen running Medialon Panel graphical user interface. Depending on the room operation mode selected on the main AV controller, the Panel proposes different control and monitors user pages. The panels provide control of AV resources, through Medialon, including DVDs, TV channels, videoconferences, and broadcast signals, which can be displayed on big screens.

Medialon is also connected to the room-booking system database. It publishes current meeting information in both English and Welsh to the AV panel and a clock display manager panel. It also provides technical information and allows, for example, use of the videoconferencing resource. A simpler configuration is present in the members’ tearoom as well; it displays DVDs, TV channels, and building broadcast or plays audio CDs. A general overview of meetings in progress in each room is also available via room-booking system information.

Finally, the building’s multimedia signage is based on Medialon Manager control technology. Four Medialon Medialon Manager control systems and 70 Medialon Display Players (MDP) integrated in the new MDP box have been installed to display current meeting and building orientation information and to stream video. Some MDPs are also used as interactive kiosks.

"The impressive IVC-designed building-wide AV IT solution recently completed at the new National Assembly for Wales is a world-leading example of merging many technologies on to a single common infrastructure,” says Jim Maynard, IVC Project Engineer. “Medialon was approached by IVC to supply the software for this solution as their products could be tailored to suit the environment rather than designing software solutions from the ground up. This meant much less development time was required and the end product would fully integrate with XP platforms. We were responsible for the design, development, and integration of all AV IT facilities and worked very closely with Siemens to ensure that the network facilities provided would support what we intended to deliver. Medialon's experience and expertise of their technical staff was excellent and we would be delighted to embark on such a solution with them again in the future."



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