Bringing Control to the Classroom
Aug 6, 2008 12:00 PM, By Linda Seid Frembes
The problem facing many K-12 classrooms these days is integrating its AV products effectively. A classroom may have all the AV toolssuch as a projector, DVD player, iPod, document camera, interactive whiteboard, and classroom computerbut lacks an affordable control system that brings a cohesive ease of use. To address the issue, Calypso Control Systems, an AV manufacturer based in Hudson, Wis., has introduced the ezRoom classroom bundle. With prices starting at $1,999, Calypso's ezRoom bundle offers open architecture control, user interface, audio amplification, and connectivity in one solution.
"In 2007, our company had products installed in 7,500 classrooms," says David Parish, president of Calypso Control Systems. "After meeting to discuss the current market, it was clear that the biggest challenge was making sure the classroom AV was integrated smoothly. We left the meeting with the task to help shape AV for an integrated room."
The standard ezRoom package includes the ION-LT2 controller, Calypso's CA-1000 32W four-input amplifier, the CB-1000 wall-mount button panel, Cat-5 AV wall plates, encore! user interface software, Maestro admin monitoring software, and a universal ceiling projector mount. The pre-assembled package does not include input sources or a computer. "The ezRoom bundle is a price benefit for customers. It is shipped as a prewired solution, which also saves on labor costs," says Parish, who points out that most of ezRoom's wiring uses standard RJ-45 Ethernet cables to minimize any installation mistakes.
Dealers can use the encore! user interface software to create a custom user interface for the classroom computer. Parish adds that teachers will often use the classroom's interactive whiteboard as a projection surface and use it like a big control board. In addition, the ION-LT2 is network-capable and, coupled with the Maestro monitoring software, it gives school administrators the ability to monitor the AV equipment for maintenance and theft.
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