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Built to Order

Dec 2, 2009 11:47 AM, By Jessaca Gutierrez

From the ground up, the tenants of the David Braley Cardiac, Vascular, and Stroke Research Institute help envision the facility’s complex and sophisticated AV systems design.

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Taking up the largest portion of the facility’s seven-figure budget, the auditorium features an HD Polycom videoconferencing system with two Vaddio PTZ videocameras, a 3-chip DLP Christie Digital DS+10K-M 10,050-lumen projector, and an Accordent Capture Station.

The Auditorium and Hallway

At the heart of the 165,000-square-foot building is the auditorium. Housed on the first floor, this space’s AV design took up a large portion of the budget. When Prashad describes the space, he starts by listing the extensive number of video inputs: There’s a dedicated PC (housed in a centralized AV rack) that provides six guest laptop input connections, three Blu-ray HD video inputs, an input for the digital signage system in the hallway so presenters can push their material there for overflow purposes (or push backward if the presentation is originating from the hallway), a videoconferencing input, an input for two Vaddio WallView Pro HD1 videocameras, an input for the 3-chip DLP Christie Digital DS+10K-M 10,050-lumen projector, and an input for the Accordent Capture Station and Media Management System.

Having a videoconferencing system was a primary desired component so that research teams could collaborate with doctors around the world. Duocom selected the Polycom HDX 9002 HD videoconferencing codec after considering systems from Tandberg and LifeSize. Polycom’s system was more cost-effective, would display 720p at 24fps, and didn’t need a dedicated room as the LifeSize systems would have, which Prashad says would have been counterproductive considering the facility needed flexible rooms that could meet the changing needs of its research teams.

To avoid possible latency issues, the research facility had Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN) put in high-bandwidth video lines. OTN, a nonprofit organization funded by the Ontario government, is one of the largest telemedicine networks in the world.

“OTN provides the backbone, the bandwidth, the connection network cloud, and the ability to connect sites for the hospital so they don’t have to go to an external video service provider,” Prashad says. “You have to request [HD video lines] because if we went to all this trouble of putting 720p, 24fps HD videoconferencing in and OTN goes in the back end and puts in 384kbps video­conferencing lines, we just eliminated any possible benefit we could have had with putting in all this great hardware.”

Besides videoconferencing, the system’s projector and videocameras lend themselves to the room’s other applications as well. The two HD videocameras are independently controllable and on a separate input in the system, so overflow audiences can watch video shot in the auditorium, along with any presentation materials, on the digital signage monitors in the hallway and the custom screen in the atrium. Three 46in. Mitsubishi LCD screens also line the auditorium walls, each with a distinct input so the presenter can send different content, including feeds from the videocameras, to each one.

For voice pickup, Duocom discussed hanging cascading choir mics from the ceiling, but the idea was knocked down because the mics needed to be moved based on the room’s use instead of stationary.

“Then the question was, ‘How the hell do we mike 100-plus people in this room without putting mics somewhere?’” Prashad says. “We used [nine] Sennheiser [ew 300 series] wireless mics, all on independent frequencies. That allows them to put out any number of microphones they want on stands and different areas using Biamp audio DSP to allow us to control those each so you don’t get tons of feedback, echo, white noise, and HVAC pickup.”

Two of the mics, Sennheiser ew 100 models, are dedicated to broadcast, giving the facility a long-range option should a presenter want to walk around anywhere on the first floor. Using the Biamp DSP, Duocom’s programmer was able to eliminate any dropout areas on that floor.

Audio reinforcement for the auditorium is provided by 44 Tannoy CMS501 BM recessed ceiling loudspeakers. For the hallway, Duocom put in a four-zone audio system that allows the audio levels to be adjusted depending on its use. For example, at the receptionist area, the audio level can be set lower so guests don’t have to speak over the background audio.

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