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Behind the AV Programming and Installation at Henkel Dial, Part 2

Jun 24, 2010 2:32 PM, By Bennet Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

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Behind the AV Programming and Installation at Henkel Dial, Part 1
When German company Henkel AG acquired the Dial Corporation, they built a huge new headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., complete with videoconferencing and digital signage....

An all-new facility with world-wide videoconferencing and digital signage was needed for the Henkel Dial Corp., in Scottsdale, Ariz., and they called in Level 3 Audio Visual to get the job done. Jeremy Elsesser is here to wrap up the conversation on how Level 3 made it all happen.

OK Jeremy, in part one we were talking about the Henkel Dial headquarters, an all new building with Crestron AV control systems and Polycom videoconferencing. You mentioned in part one that they had satellite receivers in there. How is the signal distributed from the satellite receivers? On distribution amps? Or how do they do that?
That’s a good question. We’ve taken all eight satellite receivers directly into the Extron 6400 matrix switch, and it then distributes out over twisted pair to anywhere in the building. So although you wouldn’t be able to have 15 different conference rooms watching different channels because you are limited to eight satellite receivers, they don’t use satellite in the conference rooms all that often. When they ask for it, an AV person from the integration team routes that down from the AV head-end. It’s all distributed through the matrix switch, out to the twisted pair, and down into the local rooms themselves. [Timestamp: 1:43]

OK, so all they have to do is let the tech guys know that they’re going to be using it.

You’ve mentioned before that there’s a Crestron Pro2 dual bus controller in there. How do you use that?
Each room has its own control processor and touchpanel for managing and processing local control for that room and the equipment local to each of the conference rooms. The Pro2 system is used up at the head-end to control the Extron 6400 matrix. It’s used to control the bi-amp audio flex VSP system; it’s used to control all eight of the DirecTV satellite receivers; it’s also used to route and control camera video as well as DSP audio from each of the conference rooms into the codec farm itself; and it also controls each of the twelve codecs so when you’re down in a conference room using one of those touchpanels and you need to do a videoconference you begin sending commands to the Pro2 up in the AV head-end, which talks to the codecs themselves, and it’s all seemless to the end-user. [Timestamp: 2:50]

And that’s a key thing because you never know who’s going to be in there trying to operate the system and that’s usually a very high-profile thing. They’ve got clients in there and everything has to work because they don’t want to look like they don’t know what they’re doing. Obviously they don’t just walk in there; these are scheduled events.
That is correct.

But they want to concentrate on the people end of things and not have to mess with the equipment. So what kind of information do they need to have so they connect with the right place?
Well, I am going to answer your question in two parts. So how the user goes about initiating a videoconference is that they go into the room, address the touchpanel. We put a lot of preset macro-type buttons on the touchpanel, so with one touch, it turns on the system, drops the screen, turns the projector on, switches all your inputs and all your outputs the way they need to be so when you actually hit “videoconference” on the touchpanel it talks locally in the room to all of the equipment, turns on the projector and the screen and routes everything. As I just mentioned, it also goes to the head-end processor and runs through what we call the queue, a dynamic queue. So it sees if any other codecs are being used. If codec one, two, and three are already being use for a conference, it knows that codec four is the next available codec. It takes video and audio of the microphones as well as the camera feed from the room that you are hitting the touchpanel in, dynamically routes that into codec four, and then routes the output of codec four dynamically back down to whatever conference room that you are looking for. When you reserve the videoconference on the touchpanel, it asks you for an approximate time of how long your conference is going to last: 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 5 hours. It then sets up a schedule in the queue saying this codec has been reserved for the next 4 hours if that’s the time you chose as well as it routes the IP address information for the codec down to the touchpanel so you could go into the same room three times in the same day, get three different codecs, but you’re always going to have the IP address and dialing information locally right there on the touchpanel itself as it routes it down from the individual codec. Now, the second part of your question, which is how do they know where to dial? This is where the AV team for Dial comes into play. One of their largest responsibilities is managing the videoconferencing. We supplied Dial with a RMX 2000 videoconferencing MCU bridge, which allows them to handle and host multiple conferences in one room. So very often the conferencing is pre set up by the AV team themselves and the participants just come in, hit “Give me my video conference,” it comes up on the screen, and they’re already on the bridge and ready to go. If it’s a simple point-to-point call, they have a directory set up so everything on the Dial-Henkel network, both locally to the United States as well as afar in Germany and in other parts of the world, host a E.164 directory that allows people to dial up other codecs and offices by a three- or four-digit extension just like you would on your telephone. That’s all published within the directory that they can access right from the videoconferencing unit itself. [Timestamp: 6:11]

All right, complex behind the scenes and a piece of cake out front. Now that wasn’t the only thing you did though. You put in a very sophisticated videoconferencing facility. Didn’t you install a whole new digital signage system for them too?
We did. They have three displays in the entrance of their facility as you walk up, they have two large 52in. Sony LCD displays in their lobby itself. They have four LCDs in their workout gym facility. They also have four displays in their cafeteria, which also doubles as their company meeting facility and room, which has a full integrated system as well. We took a similar approach to the digital signage as we did the videoconferencing, and instead of putting digital signage players behind the individual LCDs or displays, we put them all at the head-end and allowed them to be routed anywhere. So if there’s a particular digital signage that the marketing wants to look at in a conference room, they have the ability to route that into a conference room as easily as they can route it out to the public display that they want the signage to be on. [Timestamp: 7:23]

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