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Cline Library Assembly Hall Upgrade, Part 1

May 14, 2013 12:34 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.

Northern Arizona University had its Cline Library Assembly Hall, one of the busiest venues on campus, upgraded and modernized and who better to do that than the guys who put in the original system. Intent Digital from Phoenix was on the project, and Bob Ginger is here to let us know how it went, up next on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Bob, thanks for being with us on the SVC Podcast from Intent Digital in Phoenix.

You’re welcome.

You had an installation project out there at Northern Arizona University, a fairly big place. Something like 17,000 students and Intent Digital was called in for the job. What does Intent Digital do and what’s been going on there lately?

Well, we’re an engineering firm that designs and integrates technology for a number of different markets, including mostly government, institutional, medical, and houses of worship, so that’s the real quickie version. [Timestamp: 1:16]

And that takes in a lot of very different projects, but on this particular one you were on a busy university campus and this one was at the Cline Library Assembly Hall. I’ve seen a few pictures of it. Not that huge a place; looks like it seats around 400. So what all do they do at Cline Library Assembly Hall?

Well, that’s actually one of the heaviest-used facilities on campus for meetings, and they host NAU classes, lectures, a lot of community presentations, and then there’s a couple of folks who are really into vintage films, so they have professors that host vintage film festivals. And then of course there’s some community concerts and then throughout the year there’s various orientation programs for students and faculty. [Timestamp: 1:55]

And they’re pretty well-equipped. They have a fairly small stage up front and they’ve got a document camera, a podium, and all that. So what was the situation there? What were they looking for from Intent Digital? You guys were not newcomers to this place.

This is actually an upgrade from a project we did back in 2001, and what drove it were some equipment failures and, of course, some of the equipment’s old enough that it was no longer repairable. So they decided let’s take the time to actually upgrade it and provide some more functionality, like deal with some of the new digital inputs, the multi-format video things that are going on, maybe add some Blu-Ray and beef up the surround sound system with some more sources. And then they also wanted to be able to put some multiple images on the screen—you know if a presenter is doing the computer and maybe has some DVD playback or even future interactive video kind of things, so we set that up to do that multi imaging as well. [Timestamp: 2:48]

Well, on a university campus these days you never know what sort of devices people are going to show up with and that’s pretty well where the new presentation technology gets going. The new stuff first appears on the campus.

Yep, that’s true. And you never know what’s going to come in. One of the surprising things they bring in, say, other concerts, touring people, they bring in their own equipment. The system had to be flexible enough to accommodate audio mixers and video things that other folks might bring in and plug in. [Timestamp: 3:16]

And I would think that the acoustics in the place weren’t that big a challenge, but they have to be adequate for a lot of different things.

Yeah, actually we were lucky because when the facility was built originally the acoustics were really pretty good, and since we had done a lot of the tuning way back probably in 2001, we were able to start with a pretty clean slate for this go around. [Timestamp: 3:36]

Describe the physical layout in Cline Library Assembly Hall. What equipment was installed and in what locations did you put it?

Like you say, there was a stage up front, and it’s a portable stage so they can reconfigure it. There’s a podium right next to the stage, and then at the top rear of the auditorium, or the assembly hall, is the projection booth. In the projection booth there’s the video projector and a rack that has most of the equipment in it. At the sort of the front of the auditorium, behind the stage, is another equipment room, which has all the power amplifiers and the power sequencers. So most of the interconnections were between the stage and the projection booth and the equipment room and the projection booth. [Timestamp: 4:19]

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