Sized For Needs
CueBlue’s efforts to keep things simple for the client in some ways created a bigger challenge for them, room by room. That included carefully selecting the perfect matrix switcher for each space.
“Atlona has a broad range of matrix and wallplate switchers,” said Fertitta. “We were able to use the same 4×4 matrix switcher model (an AT-UHD-PRO3-44M) in the classroom and training room, but we needed to think differently in the board room.”
The board room is home to a monthly board meeting, along with specialty meetings that are often scheduled on short notice. Fertitta explains that the district needed a system that could accommodate a variety of connection options, since so many different people give presentations in this space.
“The original request was for HDMI and VGA, which has been the standard for AV wallplates for some time,” he said. “My goal was to ensure they were future-focused, which meant shifting the design to HDMI and USB-C. That is where the world is headed.”
The CueBlue team added Atlona AT-HDVS-210U-TX-WP* wallplate switchers on each side of the room to support USB-C connectivity. “These are perfectly positioned on each side of the room so that anyone can plug in, run an HDMI to the podium if needed and conduct a presentation. We also added an Apple TV on request to provide a third primary video input.”
(*The AT-HDVS-210U-TX-WP has been replaced with the AT-OME-SW21-TX-WPC as an HDMI and USB-C input wallplate for HDBaseT systems.)
CueBlue specified an Atlona AT-UHD-CLSO-824 as the core matrix switcher for the board room. This is a better fit than the AT-UHD-PRO3-44M for the more complex AV requirements of this space, which includes AV equipment not seen in the other two main rooms.
“The CLSO-824 gives us an 8×2 matrix to support the greater number of inputs that come from some unique AV elements compared to the other rooms,” said Fertitta. We needed something in this room with two parallel outputs, and the ability to handle at least three HDBaseT feeds. Its core functionality is perfect for this space.”
Post-switching, the Atlona AT-UHD-CLSO-824 sends content across what Fertitta calls “two distribution chains.” The first goes to MIMO UM-1080H HDMI monitors arranged across the front of the room. Each board member and the secretary have a personal monitor to watch presentations shown on the video walls. An Atlona AT-HDVS-150-RX HDBaseT scaler and receiver takes in the video prior to hitting the MIMO monitors, which Fertitta says offers more lock control over resolution scaling, especially when audio is passing through. Atlona Rondo 444 and 448 distribution amplifiers split the signals for delivery to the different monitors.
The second signal chain feeds two Absen iCon Video walls supported with NovaStar MCTRL-700 video wall control processors. Each processor feeds a separate video wall, with a Cat6 connection for each screen quadrant. The signal for the first NovaStar processor comes from an Atlona AT-HDVS-150-RX for image scaling. The second processor is daisy-chained to the first, and both pass video feeds to their respective video walls.
CueBlue specified a Symetrix Solus NX 16×8 networked DSP for audio traffic, which functions as an auto-mixer for the board members during meetings. “The DSP brings the volume down as needed,” said Fertitta. “There are a wide range of board members, and the Solus adapts to a range of voices from low and boomy to higher pitched. This keeps a check on leveling issues and eliminates the need for manual mixing.”
The Symetrix DSP is also routing the audio traffic, including Clockaudio C 8SW-RF-CP shotgun microphones that are suspended from the ceiling; and Sennheiser SpeechLine digital wireless handheld microphones.
“The Clockaudio mics pick up the voices of board members that might forget to activate their desktop microphones,” said Fertitta. “That is not unusual because often mute buttons are accidentally activated, or are pressed and simply forgotten as meetings progress. The SpeechLine base stations have a little LED that is lit red or green to show on/off status. We added five Sennheiser CHG-2W dual wireless tabletop charging stations that live in the adjacent board room. When the microphones are not charging, the pads can be used to charge wireless charging-capable devices, including smartphones.”
The Symetrix DSP also routes microphone audio to a Tascam SS-R250N solid-state audio recorder, which was installed to comply with meeting recording laws. The Atlona AT-UHD-CLSO-824 switcher sends its video feed to the Epiphan ESP-1440 for use in live streamed video presentations. The system records the video to a removable SD card and USB Flash Drive. The Tascam SS-R250N is fed from the DSP and is only capable of audio recording. It also uses a removable SD card to simplify file transport. Alternatively, users can securely connect to the Epiphan system to download stored video files direct to a personal computer.
“One of the more advanced features of this workflow is that we programmed the Atlona CLSO-824 switcher for record, start, stop and pause functionality with the Tascam recorder,” said Fertitta. “It is one of the more interesting programming elements we did for this entire project, along with the fully custom tailored GUIs for each space with Velocity touchscreen controls.”
A total of 16 Community D10 ceiling speakers provide sound reinforcement inside the board room and outside in the lobby area. Velocity controls allow the lobby feed to be turned on and off as needed.
Powered by a Crown DCi two-channel amplifier, CueBlue
co-owner Bill Sellers personally specified Community loudspeakers for the board room, citing their enhanced directionality as a deciding factor. “We needed a full-range speaker with a dispersion pattern that met the needs of the room,” said Sellers. “The Community speakers worked well for us in a similar application, and were recommended by both Community and our friends at Biamp.”
Similar technology is used across the divisible classroom and the technology training room, though there are some important differences. The divisible classroom is the closest to the board room in technical infrastructure, though drops some components like the camera, scalers and distribution amplifiers.
The latter two were not required since video walls were not added to this room; instead, three Vivitek DH3660Z DLP laser projectors and three Draper projections screens (one 92-inch and two 119-inch) show video content to attendees. The signal flow starts with three AT-HDVS-210U-TX-WP wallplate that feed Atlona Omega™ AT-OME-RX11 receivers, which also provide power to the wallplates. The HDMI signal then goes to the matrix switcher; the switcher’s three HDBaseT outputs feed three Atlona AT-UHD-EX-100CE-RX HDBaseT receivers, which send HDMI signals to the Vivitek projectors.
Twelve JBL Control 47HC ceiling speakers provide sound reinforcement across the classroom; the JBLs were chosen for this space due to a tighter dispersion pattern, which is critical when the room is divided for simultaneous events.
“The divisible classroom was originally supposed to be three distinct spaces, but became two through budget reconciliation,” said Fertitta. “That said, it was still important to support three video feeds in this room. This is a long rectangular room, and there is a wall-mount Draper screen on each end.”
The third screen is a custom recessed Draper screen that can be used in the middle of the room against either side of the divisible wall. “When they set this up as two rooms facing opposite directions with the air wall closed, people can look at the projection screens on the ends of the room,” he continued, “Or, they can open it all up and rotate everything to be a short-depth, long-width room.”
The technology training space is exclusively dedicated to video gear, with four Atlona AT-UHD-EX-100CE-RX HDBaseT receivers feeding content for Vivitek DH765Z-UST ultra-short throw DSP laser projector and three LG 65-inch UHD LCD displays.
“This is really a learning space for trainings and certification courses,” said Fertitta. “However, it doubles as a mixed-use space. They were throwing a birthday party for an employee on a recent visit. It gives them a comfortable space to accommodate events that might need video, but really shouldn’t be done in the board room and classroom.”