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Modern Government AV, Part 2

Apr 2, 2013 3:55 PM, With Bennett 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.

A complete courthouse renovation included new sound systems and acoustic modifications. RG Sound and Communications in Celina, Ohio, was brought in for the job and Shawn Snider is back to wrap up his account of how it all happened when he brought new sound technology to an 19th century building.

SVC: Shawn Snider from RG Sound and Communications, thanks for being back on the SVC Podcast for part two on the Auglaize County Courthouse renovation project. A total revamp on the inside of the building, but they didn’t want to spoil the classical look on the outside of it. Three courtrooms to outfit and we talked in part one about the Ashly Pema amplifiers and processors but we didn’t talk about the ceiling speakers. What did you pick out for those?

Yeah, we actually went with surface-mount speakers, the Community DS-8s. I have the specs right in front of me and they’re just an 8Ω, 8in. and a 1.25in., so they’re about probably 1ft. tall and maybe 8in. deep—very compact, sound wonderful. In this case we got them in white to match. That was one of the things they were concerned about was aesthetics. And they all mount on a ball sort of hinge mount, so they can be directed any direction, which made it very versatile for hanging. [Timestamp: 1:48]

Yeah, I was going to ask were there any architectural or electrical challenges in this. The thing was a complete re-do, but that’s an old building. How much was the electrical system redone?

You know, not too much. I think they left a lot of that intact. One of the things they did for us was run the wire, and I don’t want to say it was unfortunate, nor was it fortunate. We were very limited to speaker placement and exactly where we were going to aim the sound. However, we also didn’t have to run the wire, so it was sort of a two-fold, you know. [Timestamp: 2:20]

Well, it was a little bit of a trade-off.

Right. Exactly. It was a good and a bad scenario. Obviously they were concerned about the architectural appearance. They had a brand new place, but still inside of a very 19th-century-looking building. And that is one of the reasons we went with the Community speakers, because they’re very timeless. You know, they’re very smooth and sleek and they blend right in. [Timestamp: 2:39]

Now we talked before about these really nifty monitors for the people in the jury box. Who controls when the monitors come up? I guess the judge handles that?

Yeah, I’m assuming it’s just a button that he pushes and up they come.

Right, so they can see stuff and then not see stuff.

That’s correct. [Timestamp: 2:54]

And I would think that it could make an important difference on whether there’s a mistrial or the outcome of an appeal and so forth about which evidence the jury was allowed to see.

Yep, absolutely. I know that they had big plans for using that. You know, it’s one of the things that all of the prosecutors said, “Boy, I wish we had that.” And now they do, so I’m sure it will be put to good use. [Timestamp: 3:15]

And you also put in an NTI AV matrix switcher?

We did, yep. And we were really excited about this product. It was something that we had never really used. We’d played around with the idea and this was a great application for it, so we went for it. NTI was great throughout the whole thing; plenty of support. How the system essentially works is it’s a Cat-5 matrix and we used a series of Cat-5 extenders to reach out to the monitors and in from the sources. So the system is set up so that, for example, a prosecutor can come in and sit down at the table and all he has to do is plug his laptop in sound as well. So he’s got a VGA out and an audio out. The matrix will automatically detect that and it automatically scales and it finds that stuff. So the judge says, “Okay, the prosecutor wants to show a video.” He pulls up his web-based interface, because everything again is on their network, and he can just select a preset or he can select exactly what table and what monitors he wants that video and audio to go to, and it’s magic, you know? There it is. And it can’t be much simpler than that with auto-scaling and with things like that it’s in a one-U box, so it makes for a very compact package. [Timestamp: 4:35]

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