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Above the Fray

Sep 19, 2011 2:14 PM, By James Careless

UWB for wireless microphone clarity and security.

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The audio from the wireless system, plus audio from the speaker’s podium captured using a Shure dual-channel wireless mic system, is fed into a Biamp AudiaFlex CM chassis with CobraNet. The chassis has nine Biamp AEC 2-channel echo cancelling mic input cards, an OP2e 2-channel mic/line output cards, and a TI-2 telephone interface card. This forms the backbone for the teleconferencing system. The boardroom also has a Stewart Audio DA-770-2 two-channel 80W amplifier and eight Tannoy low-profile ceiling speakers.

Video is projected on a Draper 4:3 aspect ratio 92”x69” recessed electric projection screen, which is mounted at one end of the boardroom. The video is delivered via a Hitachi 4000-lumen XGA LCD projector, which is ceiling-mounted. At the podium, there are inputs provided for HDMI video and VGA from a laptop, supplemented by a built-in DVD/VHS player.

The system is controlled using a Creston CP2E control system, which is managed with a Creston 8.4in. Wi-Fi-connected touchpanel—again in keeping with the client’s desire for portability and flexibility. A Creston ceiling-mounted Wi-Fi access point, lectern mounting kit, desktop docking/charging station for the touchpanel, and Crestnet distribution block rounds out the installation. A Crestron iLux integrated lighting system controls the lights.

Alpha Video’s installation inside the boardroom has managed to provide the functionality the client wanted, while maintaining the historic character of the room. “We were fortunate that there was already a drop ceiling installed, which gave us a place to run and conceal the wires,” Mathison says. “Still, we did have to do some custom millwork to create a setting that was in line with the boardroom’s history and decor.”

“It is fair to say that Fairview Health Services were very happy with the job,” Mathison says. “The technology does everything they want it to do. In particular, the SpectraPulse wireless mic system is working as billed. The signals are getting to the receivers reliably, and yet security is not an issue. Neither is RF interference from other sources, which is a great relief.”

Alpha Video’s success with the SpectraPulse system proves that there are technological solutions to RF crowding. This said, SpectraPulse has its limits: “This technology works well where there are walls to bounce the signals back to the receivers,” says Mathison. “For outdoor integrations, the system would require more receivers to cover the area.”

In a perfect world, all microphones would be wired, simply because wire provides a guaranteed, totally secured pathway that wireless cannot match. Still, in those cases when clients insist on being able to move their teleconferencing desks around whenever they choose, a robust, secure wireless solution is a viable option.

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