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Suspended over two floors in an open atrium, a massive five-meter-diameter LED globe at is the center attraction of the new precinct building at Queensland University of Technology.



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Editor’s Note [by Cindy Davis]

AV TECH THAT RECRUITS According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, approximately 19.9 million students attended U.S. colleges and universities in fall 2019. For students and parents, choosing between the more than 3,000 four-year institutions is a fine dance. While universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Yale admit only about 5 percent of applicants, a recent Pew Research study of 1,364 four-year colleges and universities reported that more than half of the schools in the sample (53.3 percent) admitted two-thirds or more of their applicants in 2017. Whether a prospective student is looking to get a degree in medicine, broadcasting, or business, or working toward the path to pro sports, colleges and universities take a 360-degree approach to the recruiting process. Academic excellence is always the top priority. However, in this guide, we explore how the visceral elements of audio, video, and technology play into the hearts and minds of prospective students and parents, and why it matters.

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Table of Contents Editor’s Note........................................................................................................................................................................ 28

FEATURES On the Air.............................................................................................................................................................................29 Rolling out the Big Green Carpet..................................................................................................................................... 32 A Multidimensional Dialogue�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������34 Gaming the System������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������36 Spheres of Influence��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 40


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On the Air Students at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University work side-by-side in professional studios with PBS NewsHour producers. ELLEN O’BRIEN/CRONKITE SCHOOL

By Cindy Davis Students seeking a degree in journalism will likely apply to one of the top schools in the discipline, and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is one such school. The Cronkite School is the largest media outlet operated by a journalism school in the world, and its more than 2,000 students regularly lead the country in national competitions. On October 14, 2019, PBS NewsHour West, the new bureau of the PBS NewsHour, produced its first broadcast from the Cronkite School. In addition to producing news stories based in the western U.S., the Phoenix-based team will update PBS NewsHour’s 6 p.m. Eastern time zone broadcast for West Coast audiences. “We are excited to be partnering with the Cronkite School,” said Richard Coolidge, senior producer of PBS NewsHour West. “We currently share the studio and cameras with Arizona Horizon, the daily Arizona PBS news program.” During the past year, students in Cronkite News, the student-staffed, faculty-led news division of Arizona PBS, have produced in-depth packages for broadcast on the NewsHour. THERE’S A LOT OF COMPETITION Walter Cronkite once said, “I think it is absolutely essential in a democracy to have competition in the media, a lot of competition, and we seem to be moving away from that.” As the associate dean of the Cronkite School, Mark Lodato leads undergraduate recruitment and retention efforts and supervises the school’s broadcast and sports curriculum. There is also a lot of competition

Broadcasting from the Cronkite School, the PBS NewsHour West team includes award-winning journalist Stephanie Sy, a correspondent who serves as the West Coast anchor.

among journalism schools to attract the best and brightest students. “The relationship with PBS NewsHour adds a new level of credibility in the marketplace that I think resonates with prospective students and their families,” Lodato said. “It’s important in today’s climate to have a visual representation of dedication to journalism and the core values of journalism, and that speaks directly to what PBS NewsHour is and what we want to do at our school. It’s a nice fit for us, and one that helps us in multiple directions with different stakeholders.” An environment and curriculum like the Cronkite School’s attracts the attention of pro-

fessional broadcast executives looking to recruit students. Lodato is also the associate general manager for innovation and design of Arizona PBS, which has been broadcasting from the Cronkite School for more than 10 years. In 2010, Arizona PBS launched Cronkite News daily, giving it the biggest reach of any university-based newscast in the world. “Recently, we had a high-level NBC News network executive visiting, talking about new opportunities,” Lodato said. “Networks like ESPN and Fox News are regular visitors, as well as CNN.” Recruiters from national media companies owning several local TV stations are also lining up to hire students as they graduate. “Companies like Tegna and Scripps and Sinclair and Nexstar, they

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CAMPUS TECH all come through the Cronkite School at a regular clip,” Lodato said. “What I love is that we’ve grown our curriculum over time so that students, under tremendous faculty supervision and interacting with professionals, are able to engage at a very high level in these various productions,” he added. PROFESSIONALLY EQUIPPED Lodato’s role includes the design and implementation of the broadcast studios used on the curricular side. “My goal is to help look for opportunities to bring these different pieces of our worlds together in a way that advances both the student experience and the end-user experience,” he said. The Cronkite School has three professional control rooms and four fully equipped studios.

CTO, Arizona PBS, director of broadcast engineering and operations at the Cronkite School. Cronkite students learn the broadcast business on the latest studio, control room, and newsroom systems available, making the transition from school to the real world a seamless transition, and also benefitting employers. All Cronkite and Arizona PBS control rooms have the same equipment compliment. “The control rooms are centered on Sony MVS 8000-G production switchers, and supported by Sony BRAVIA 4K multi-viewer monitors, ChyronHego Mosaic character generators, and EVS XT3 video playback systems,” MacSpadden said. “All are top-of-theline systems you will find in many OB trucks and network control rooms.” The studios have two sets of cameras. For

other colleges that they have never seen such an impressive setup. “That isn’t an accident,” MacSpadden said. “Cronkite is always innovating, so we try to stay ahead of all of the latest industry practices and trends.” This year the team has begun to implement augmented reality into its weather segments and topical stories. “We were just selected through a Google program to receive funding to develop an Interactive Story Wall that will be used by Cronkite News broadcasters as a tool to tell data-driven stories through visualizations,” MacSpadden said. For the fifth straight year, U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Arizona State number one on its “Most Innovative Schools” list, ahead of MIT and Stanford. “Innovation is as common as sunscreen here,” MacSpadden said. PHOTOS: ELLEN O’BRIEN/CRONKITE SCHOOL

The larger studios at the Cronkite School are outfitted with Sony’s new 4K/UHD 2/3-inch HDC-4300 cameras.

“We have a lot of resources both for professional as well as student production and training,” Lodato said. “When we moved into this space in 2008 [we wanted] to ensure that we were thinking toward the future and wanted to be able to jump on opportunities for new partnerships like this one with PBS NewsHour, and equipment is a key piece of that.” As part of the “news teaching hospital” design at the Cronkite School, students have a hands-on opportunity to work with broadcast equipment on daily newscasts, special events, and in key roles for the PBS NewsHour West production. “After going through classes that provide training and academic credits, they can move on to paid positions as part of the Arizona PBS studio and control room crews,” said Ian MacSpadden,


The control rooms revolve around Sony MVS 8000-G production switchers, and supported by Sony BRAVIA 4K multi-viewer monitors, ChyronHego Mosaic character generators and EVS XT3 video playback systems.

training, Sony 1500 cameras with Fujinon 22x box lenses are used. The larger studios are outfitted with Sony’s new 4K/UHD 2/3-inch HDC4300 cameras with Canon 27x box lenses, which ride upon Vinten Quattro studio pedestals, with Vinten heads and Autoscript IP prompters. “In many cases, the stations our graduates will go to will not have this level of quality in their production systems,” MacSpadden said. “Many stations rely heavily on automation, so students who learn at Cronkite actually get to learn about each component in automation systems individually.” INNOVATING It’s not unusual for Cronkite staff to be told by production equipment vendors and peers from

ALIGNED With more than 10 years since the Cronkite School moved into its state-of-the-art journalism education complex in downtown Phoenix, Lodato is reflective. “What really strikes me is how our growth aligns with the mission of Arizona State University in that we want to be socially embedded, and that means taking responsibility for contributing to our community,” he said. In this case, that’s providing quality news and information and a wonderful education. “This partnership with PBS NewsHour is the latest manifestation of that, and it’s really a unique place to be and a unique place to work, and a unique place to learn. We’re just all very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, and excited to see what’s next around the corner.”

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Rolling out the Big Green Carpet Most high school football players have one dream—make it to the NFL. But colleges and universities want them first. Game on! DAN SCHOEDEL, IDIBRI

By Cindy Davis Walk into an NFL locker room, and you’ll find mostly what its name suggests: lockers, and maybe some comfy chairs for lounging. Enter a locker room of a Big 12 Conference, Pac-12, or a Big Ten school, and you’ll be transported to an entertainment oasis. According to an article by Stadium, which obtained the NCAA Financial Reports for the 2018 fiscal year for more than 50 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools, most of which play in a Power Five conference, the top 50 spent nearly $50 million to recruit high school football players (this does not include other sports). Again, in one year. Georgia came in at the top with $2.6 million spent, and Wisconsin at the bottom with $350,695 spent. The majority of the expenses were for meals, travel, and entertainment. One school reported spending $149,628 on “special recruiting meals” in one year, the highest item on its expense list. IN THE ZONE Once you get your recruit to enroll, you’ve got to blow their proverbial socks off. And Dallas-based Idibri is there to help accomplish the mission. Brian Elwell, senior consultant and vice president at Idibri, works with athletic directors at some of the biggest football colleges and universities to help ensure that when an 18-year-old walks into the stadium they don’t want to leave. “It is a top priority in every collegiate team,” he said. “‘How can I get the top talent to come to my school when other schools are trying to recruit them as well?’”


Baylor University McLane Football Stadium

For most non-athletic students, a scholarship that could add up to $100K or more is a hefty enticement. But full scholarships, including room and board, are a given for football recruits. “You’ve got to think about those things an 18-year-old is going to be excited about and will be made to feel important, wanted, and desired,” Elwell said. “It is about an environment. It’s about excitement. It’s about ‘wow’ factor. It’s about seeing things that just make him say, ‘This is a really cool place.’” The tools at play are cool locker rooms, cool meals, a cool place to hang out—and a cool recruiting room. “You need to walk in and just hear the energy, hear the music,” Elwell said. “And then see a big screen where you can watch the game.” Next on the list is “nice food.” Think of the rooms the recruit will walk by or into during his tour. Inside the locker room, recruits will see personalized iPads and a wireless workout companion. “The technology in the weight room is also a big factor along with a high-

powered sound system,” Elwell said. DRIVE Idibri was engaged by Baylor University to conceptualize and design the multi-level experience, including audio systems, video displays and scoreboards, production control, broadcast cabling infrastructure, and acoustics for its new McLane Stadium. Completed in 2014, the total construction cost came in at $250 million. Included in the new facility are six Founders Suites, 39 additional suites, 74 loge boxes, 1,200 outdoor club seats with 3,000 Baylor line seats and 6,700 seats designated for students. Elwell worked with Baylor’s associate athletics director Drew Pittman. In an Exceptional Experience article for AVIXA, Pittman recalled a conversation with Elwell: “[In the past,] we never built the right environment for our players to really get them warmed up before the game, ‘he said to just go wild in here.’” Today, the team

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Going Virtual Many colleges and universities are incorporating virtual reality (VR) into their curriculum and training. “We see VR as advantageous for educational applications in any form and shape, ranging from corporate training to student learning and research in schools, universities, and medical facilities,” said Garth Lobban, director of marketing at Atlona. “VR is especially useful in

Idibri was engaged to work on the three-story, 110,000-squarefoot Purdue Football Performance Complex, which was completed in 2017.

applications where real-time environments and situations are challenging to reproduce in a realworld setup.” Pilot flight training and unique medical procedures are good examples.

locker room fires up the team with a screaming audio system featuring six dual-21-inch subwoofers. “I guarantee you it is the best audio system in a football locker room on this planet,” Pittman said. “It’s crazy. It’s got to be the new gold standard. The coach loves it—the staff, the team, everybody loves it.” Elwell agrees. “It’s got to be one of the bestsounding locker rooms in the country, and when they turn that sound system on when the new recruits are in that room their jaws are going to drop.” That experience carries into the recruiting lounge with gaming stations, a 4x4 video wall to watch the game, and of course, a high-energy surround sound system. Pittman stresses that recruiting is a significant aspect of the stadium experience. “The timetable is always running for us to find new athletes to continue a successful program,” Pittman said. The field-level recruiting suite was built for prospective students and their families. “There are video screens on the wall for when mom and dad have questions about the business school, school social work, the College of Arts and Sciences, and some of our hosts can provide information and show them content about these topics.” The student-athlete experience is important because, “We want them to leave thinking they want to be part of our school.” “The way to really describe Baylor is as a stadium focused on the experience of a fan,” Elwell said. “The low frequency really gets the heart thumping; it’s the energy, it’s the feel, and it’s the shaking in the lungs and heart when it hits you. It’s the sound of a kick drum, it’s the sound of the bass guitars, and it’s the sound of the very low end of the keyboards.” Elwell explained that there are a large number of subwoofers with the ability to provide an amazing low-frequency punch. “It just

doesn’t sound that way in most stadiums.” HOW TO MAKE A BOILERMAKER The Purdue Football Performance Complex was completed in 2017 to the tune of $65 million in total construction costs. Idibri was engaged to work on the three-story, 110,000-square-foot facility, which is designed to centralize the needs of the football athletes into one building and includes spaces for team administration, student areas and support staff, football video offices for editing, NFL scout video room, players viewing room, and TV studio for in-house productions. Recruiting was top of mind when designing the complex, and AV delivers high impact. The locker room is particularly engaging with a massive 4x4 video wall in the center. A 3x3 video wall and a high-end sound system in the weight room complements the personalized wireless training. “You walk up to the weight sets, and it knows you’re there and tells you what you need to do, and then you move onto the next one, and it knows you’re there,” Elwell said. A large LED video wall in the lobby greets recruits and parents. THE ONE YARD LINE Before the end of the tour, recruits, their families and the recruiting team gather in the closing room. “One of the things that is really important is when you walk into that room, you want to be able to press a magic button that dims the lights and starts a video, and the audio is sent through a preset level, and the light levels change,” Elwell said. The final presentation has to be executed to the level of theatrical production. “This is the final visual that the school can show, and they want to pull you in.” Whether it’s a closing room or a player’s lounge, “it’s the last room that recruits go

A VR installation for gaming typically involves a server that can render VR data, video,

and command and control to the VR headset. “However, the architecture changes in an educational environment,” Lobban said. “In a classroom, you have a many-to-many relationship, which means potentially many servers and many stations with students or trainees. This situation requires some video over IP equipment.” Atlona’s OmniStream encoders and decoders and OmniStream USB extenders complete the architecture. “The latter is required to separate the signals from the server side to the client side of the system.” This allows students with their VR glasses on to control the VR environment, using VR controllers.

into, and the school needs to cast its vision.” You want the recruits to feel the excitement and the energy. You don’t want them to leave. “You don’t want them to go on a tour with another team,” Elwell said.

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A Multidimensional Dialogue Imagine 1,000 students in one room engaged in a conversation with six people from around the world. ROBERT BENSON PHOTOGRAPHY

The 81,000-square-foot Klarman Hall at Harvard Business School was designed to facilitate meaningful dialogue at large scale and features a 61.8-foot-wide SiliconCore LED display.

By Cindy Davis Completed in 2018, the two-story, 81,000-square-foot Klarman Hall at Harvard Business School was designed to facilitate meaningful dialogue at large scale. From the outset, Klarman Hall’s plans called for a design that would express the school’s unique ability to attract and inspire individuals who believe in the power of management and management education to improve societies and change the world. “This hall recruits top presenters,” said Brian Elwell, senior consultant and vice president at Dallas-based Idibri, a technology and acoustical


design firm. “When you have a list of top presenters that speak to your classes, then you’re able to recruit the top students because they want to hear these people.” While most auditoria prioritize communication from the platform out into an audience, Klarman Hall is an intimate forum designed to connect voices from all over the world to discuss critical issues. Idibri needed to throw out everything they thought about a lecture hall. “The vision shared with us was, ‘We want the people to feel like they are part of the presentation. We want people to feel enveloped. We want people to participate. We want people to feel that they have just as much right to speak as they do to listen,’” Elwell said. “They wanted the hall to be a multidimensional conversation.” The room is equipped to function as a large-

scale conference center as well as a performance hall, “but the real magic is in how it creates connection between people,” Elwell said. REAL CASE The hall was conceived to support the Harvard Business School’s case method of teaching. The cases are complex problems; yet through the dynamic process of exchanging perspectives, countering and defending points, and building on one another’s ideas, students become adept at analyzing issues, exercising judgment, and making difficult decisions—the very skills required of leadership. “The design of the hall facilitates dialogue—with 1,000 people,” Elwell said. Harvard’s case method approach requires a different design than traditional lecture-style classrooms. Students need to be able to see one another and have the ability to speak to the room, from where they are seated. “The screen is a fabulous tool,” Elwell said. “The shape, the position, the size, and the capabilities allow up to six remote sites to be present for the session.” Traditionally, in a 1,000-seat auditorium or even a lecture hall for 300, many of the attendees might not be able to see clearly. To ensure that wouldn’t be an issue for Klarman Hall, Idibri and AVI-SPL installed a 61.8-foot-wide curved LED display composed of SiliconCore 1.9mm pixel pitch modules. “With the curved screen filling the entire wall, everyone in the audience can see the multiple participants from around the world displayed—and they’re looking at you.” The oversized multimedia screen supports concurrent media presentations empowering a variety of ideas to be expressed at once. A presentation is going on at the same time as the worldwide conversation. Acoustics are inevitably a problem in a large

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CAMPUS TECH auditorium or lecture hall. “The sound systems allow for a clear presentation while a separate voice lift system supports the students in the hall,” Elwell said. PURPOSE-BUILT To maximize the 81,000-square-foot hall, the room was designed to be divisible. “One vertical divider blocks off the rear terrace seating—the parterre,” Elwell said. Carefully designed lighting visually blocks off the upper balcony when not in use and joins the upper and lower balconies when both are full. Although the hall seats 1,000, it also works quite well for an audience of 300. “That 300 was a magic number because it’s basically the size of two of their classrooms,” Elwell said. “The idea is they wanted to be able to bring two classes together into one place and have them all sit down toward the front and occupy all the seats.” The class will function more cohesively when 300 people are sitting together than if dispersed throughout the thousand-seat auditorium. From the massive screen, to the robust audio system, the flexible room design, the sight lines to the screen, to the connectivity to the outside world, “it’s all about bringing a connection to the audience,” Elwell said.

Need to Know: ADA Compliance The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 19 percent of the country’s population, or about 57 million people, have some form of disability. This includes more than 8 million people who have difficulty seeing, more than 7 million people with impaired hearing, 30 million with mobility problems, and 19 million people who have difficulty lifting and grasping, which corresponds to pressing buttons on a touchscreen interface. It is predicted that the kiosk market will increase from $46.1 billion in 2015 to $88.3 billion by 2022. Why is this important to know? “Based on the growth of technology and many wanting to be self-sufficient, self-service kiosks with touchscreen displays are becoming the ‘norm’ in many industries, offering services such as food ordering for quick-service restaurants, guest check-in for hospitality, and wayfinding for retail,” said Rob Meiner, senior technical sales engineer at Peerless-AV. “If businesses don’t ensure their AV solutions are ADA-compliant, they will miss out on revenue from millions of customers with disabilities and instead be faced with lawsuits and fines that negatively impact their brand and bottom line.” Peerless-AV’s all-weather-rated Smart City Kiosk is ideal for sharing community information, travel, weather details, wayfinding, advertising, entertainment, and more. The ADA-compliant solution features a 49- or 55-inch Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Display with 1080p resolution for a bright, crisp picture, even in direct sunlight.

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Harrisburg University of Science and Technology’s 2,300-square-foot esports training facility is among the best in the nation and features an expansive Barco UniSee video wall.

Gaming the System Harrisburg University’s Esports center proves a major draw for competitive gamers. By Cindy Davis If you’re still not sure whether esports is something to be taken seriously, consider this: according to Statista, in 2018, the global esports market was valued at nearly $865 million. According to the source’s estimates, global esports market revenue will reach $1.79 billion in 2022. The esports industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. In 2017, worldwide revenues generated in the esports market amounted to $655 million. At the pace of 22.3 percent CAGR, the market is expected to generate close to $1.8 billion in revenue by 2022. The majority of these revenues come from sponsorships and advertising, and the rest from esports betting, prize pools, tournaments, merchandise, and ticket sales.


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CAMPUS TECH NEW SCHOOL, NEW TECHNOLOGY Harrisburg University (HU), located in the town of its name in Pennsylvania, is young school having been incorporated in 2001. Ten years ago, Keith Thomas joined HU as the systems engineer, soon after the signature 16-story, $73-million state-of-the-art Academic Center had been built. With a student enrollment of nearly 6,500, with 200 full-time employees and 50 classrooms, “they needed somebody to manage all the technologies that they just brought in,” Thomas said. Thomas works to continuously expand the technology offerings that HU provides to its students, staff, and faculty. “That’s keeping on top of the latest trends and technology and making sure that our technology is always working and easy to use, so that all of our users get a consistent experience across the campus,” he said. The technologies Thomas has integrated have been a big draw for prospective students. “When students come through on tours, they see the level of technology in our classrooms, and that it’s not some cinder-block-wall room with a projector slapped on the wall,” he said. “It really shows the level of investment that we have toward our technology and our teaching resources.” HU employs the latest technology available throughout the campus. “It really works as a great recruiting tool,” he added. STRATEGIC DISRUPTION With little time from a rumor to the word go, Thomas was planning to build-out a 2,300-square-foot esports training facility (see

“The Installation” at the end of this article). “This was conceptualized by our chief of staff and president, Eric Darr PhD, who came up with this idea. When they said ‘go,’ it was all in.” In April 2018, the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology began recruiting its coaches and athletes, and in January 2019 the HU Storm became a force to be reckoned with. “When other schools decide to roll out these esports programs, they often create a club program, or give the team a classroom down the hall,” Thomas said. But that wasn’t happening at HU. “As soon as they made a commitment, they were all in on investment, time, the manpower needed, and effort into making this a world-class organization,” he said. “We’ve already come out as one of the dominant teams in the Collegiate East.” RECRUITING MODE The HU Storm practice facility is absolutely stateof-art. No different than recruiting for college football, the HU team discussed what would be most attractive to students. A full-ride scholarship was offered, but the “playing field” had to be the best. “We sat together and said, ‘Okay, what can we do here to cater to the students, but also use this as a recruiting tool?’” Thomas said. HU offers 25 scholarships to esports student-athletes. One hundred players tried out for 16 coveted spots on the HU Storm team in August 2019. “When people walk into that room, they see how cool the space is, and that it is a very modern design,” Thomas said. Outfitted with transformer-style gam-

ing chairs, the best Sennheiser noise-cancelling headphones, and fast processors, “then they go right to the massive 17-panel Barco UniSee video wall, which they all want.” It lights up the whole space. “They always exclaim, ‘Wow, you don’t see that in other collegiate esports practice spaces!’” The level of investment and commitment showed the world, and the collegiate esports world, how serious Harrisburg University was. LIVING THE ESPORTS DREAM Gaming can be a solitary pursuit. Thomas said that the video wall creates a great social interaction. “They’ll come together to watch another team play, a tournament from a different school, or a video review.” HU now hosts the largest collegiate Esports tournament, HUE International. Sixty-four teams from across the country traveled to Harrisburg for three days of furious competition. The finalists battled it out in the arena for a chance to take home the coveted HUE Invitational trophy. “The finals were held on a large stage, and we broadcast it Twitch, and all over the world,” Thomas said. “It was pretty amazing to watch.” Harrisburg University is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), and offers esports as the university’s first—and only—varsity sport. The program is nationally ranked with teams competing in League of Legends, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. And to cap off the year, the HU Storm won the 2019 ESPN Collegiate Overwatch National Championship.

Designed for Mobility

end,” Grodem said.

Optoma’s FHDQ130 QUAD LED All-In-One, 130-

makes it even more attractive for higher education.

inch diagonal (114 by 65.3 inches), 1080p, 1.5mm

What about alignment of all those LED tiles while

pixel pitch display can be set up from its meticulously

moving the display from room-to-room? “That’s the

Having the ability to move the massive 130-inch display to where it is needed and maximize usage

packed flight case and be ready for viewing in under

beauty: every tile stays in the same position because

three hours—and in just three easy steps.

the back panel is strong,” said Brian Soto, head of

“With this product, we’ve removed the complex-

product management at Optoma.

ity of a traditional LED tile display,” said Jon Grodem, senior director strategy and planning at Optoma Technology. “Absolutely everything is built into the QUAD LED when you receive it.” You can either mount Optoma’s QUAD LED in a permanent installation or mount it on the optional motorized stand. “All you need is the power on the other


Adding to the mobility value is the built-in media player. “You can use it in the digital signage market without the need to have a direct input source connected to the panel,” Soto said. End users can wirelessly control the signage content through a smartphone or mobile device. “That is very practical.”

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CAMPUS TECH THE INSTALLATION The following is excerpted from AV Technology’s sister publication SCN. “Time served as the largest challenge for this project,” said John Greene, vice president of sales, New Era Technology. “Harrisburg University engaged us early on to be part of their redesign team, which helped immensely in overcoming challenges up front. The room the training facility occupies had been a complete renovation, and the HUE Festival—the largest esports tournament to date— was housed at Harrisburg University one month after the project was commissioned.” Because of its ability to present a near-seamless image across a multi-display canvas, the team at New Era selected Barco UniSee for the video wall. Comprising 17 panels, the video wall accommodates a variety of screen layouts depending on what the players want to focus on. The team can display gameplay of several players during a multiplayer match or get hyper-specific on the progress of one or two players. “We needed top quality because of the size of the space, and Barco immediately came to mind,” Thomas said. “UniSee allows us the flexibility of different configurations and gives our players exactly what they want to see on the wall.”

“As soon as [Harrisburg University] made a commitment, they were all in on investment, time, the manpower needed, and effort into making this a worldclass organization.” —Keith Thomas, Harrisburg University A user-friendly Crestron control system was developed that allows for flexible signal routing and content layout on the video wall. To ensure the system could handle the high frame rates of simultaneous high-resolution gameplay with zero-frame latency, New Era and the university chose Aurora Multimedia’s IPX series SDVoE 10G AV-over-IP solution. In total, 39 IPX-TC2 transceiver boxes and four IPX-TC3-WP transceiver wall plates were installed. “The driving force for selecting this solution stemmed from its exclusive features,” Greene said. “This solution serves as a live esports application in which zero latency is critical for the viewing

wall. This solution also offers the ability to transmit and display 4K resolution that keeps [up] with the demand for fast-paced gaming sessions.” “Aurora worked very closely with New Era and the university throughout the entire process, from design through the final sign-off,” added Paul Harris, CEO of Aurora Multimedia. “Our technical staff provided on- and off-site support to make sure the system was rolled out as smoothly as possible. With Aurora’s close working relationship with the SDVoE Alliance and our in-house development team, we were also able to quickly deploy new features that were required specifically for this project.” “Consistent, reliable, lightning-fast connectivity is absolutely critical for our esports program,” said HU’s Darr. “Slow internet for our gamers is worse than a blackout at a football game because the entire competition may have to be restarted.” “Harrisburg University was one of the first universities to be fully vested to esports,” Greene said. “This facility has now become the standard for viable esports programs within the higher education vertical market. Additionally, with the team’s national championship win in the first year of the program, the surrounding area has become an eastern hub for esports.”

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Spheres of Influence Innovative display technology helps Queensland University of Technology inspire and engage an emerging generation of teachers By Cindy Davis In Brisbane, Australia, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) recently opened its new $94.4 million Education Precinct building on the Kelvin Grove campus. Housing the Faculty of Education and QUT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Oodgeroo Unit, the six-level, state-of-the-art facility is designed with flexible, technology-equipped teaching spaces that reflect the university’s commitment to applying technology and immersive digital environments in teaching, research, and engagement. Suspended over two floors in a large, open atrium is the center attraction of the new precinct building: a five-meter-diameter LED globe weighing 3.5 tons and composed of 1,040 individual panels and 12.7 million individual 3mm directview LED pixels. Built by Linso, a Leyard company, the Sphere is a first-of-its-kind digital marvel and cutting-edge research tool for the faculty of education to advance teacher training. The intent of the Sphere is to support the heritage of the Kelvin Grove campus as a place of learning and embrace the vision of the Education Precinct to provide the best experiences for students and faculty, according to QUT visualization and e-research manager Gavin Winter. “Initially, the Sphere was a difficult object for QUT’s content developers to get their head around,” Winter said. “Our developer team created simulations in content engines to test how standard content mapped to the equirectangular geometry, and when used in virtual reality, both developers and stakeholders gained confidence in the solution and became very inspired. The


technology is robust, and we’re impressed by the scale and level of engineering of the system. We are also greatly impressed with how the Leyard team worked with local crews to assemble, install, and commission the project in such a short time.” The Sphere is complemented by a 15.7-footwide, 4.4-foot-high Leyard LED MultiTouch video wall with a 1.2mm pixel pitch (TWA1.2) in a 4x2 configuration. Using Leyard PLTS (Pliable LED Touch Surface) technology, Leyard LED MultiTouch provides a protective, durable surface and 32 simultaneous touch points for creating a seamless and dynamic multi-user experience. In addition to offering interactive content, the Leyard LED MultiTouch allows users to interact with certain applications displayed on the Sphere. In one example, the planets of our solar system are displayed on the video wall. When one of the planets is touched, the entire Sphere transforms into a reflected image of that planet. To bring the Sphere installation to QUT, the university partnered and worked closely with global AV technology distributer Midwich as well

The Sphere—as a component of the new Education Precinct building—allows the faculty of education to infuse technology and innovation into their teaching to better prepare graduates who will be leading the classrooms of tomorrow.

as systems integrator Pro AV Solutions, which assembled, installed, and tested the technology. “The Sphere and digital video wall touchscreen are learning and teaching tools, offering QUT a

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 | av networ k. c om | T H E T EC HNOLOGY MANAGER’S GUID E TO CAMPUS TECH


Center Stage Classroom instructors are moving to the center of the room. “I’m working a training environment that’s designed for 50 students with multiple flat panel displays around the room,” said A.J. Shelat, VP of sales at Hall Research. “Students can break up into groups and work as a team group, and then come back and collectively learn as a whole.” Team-based learning is becoming more widely adopted. An example can be seen at the University of Iowa (UI). Since 2010, the TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) program has strongly influenced the design and delivery of student-centered active learning there. TILE is an approach to teaching that incorporates inquiry-guided, team-based learning to increase faculty and student engagement. TILE classrooms are equipped with circular tables, laptops, flat-screen monitors, multiple projectors, and whiteboards to encourage and support collaborative and engaged active learning. The faculty

The centerpiece of Queensland University of Technology’s new $94.4 million Education Precinct building is the Sphere, a fivemeter-diameter LED globe weighing 3.5 tons and composed of 1,040 individual panels and 12.7 million individual 3mm directview LED pixels.

changing menu of innovative and interactive content,” said David McIntyre, video business manager, with Midwich Australasia. “Given our long-standing partnership with Leyard, we had full confidence they would deliver a solution exceeding QUT’s expectations.” INSPIRE AND ENGAGE The Sphere—as a component of the new Education Precinct building—allows the faculty of education to infuse technology and innovation into their teaching to better prepare graduates who will be leading the classrooms of tomorrow. “The reason for the Sphere is that we need to inspire and engage our emerging teachers, including researchers and others who are helping realize new digital work,” Winter said. One of the education faculty’s first projects with the Sphere focused on early childhood brain and neurological development and demonstrated the importance of everyday activities—such as play,

workstation is not at the front of the room—the traditional lecture-based classroom model—but is situated to create a

games, and reading—in stimulating activity in a child’s brain. “The design and technical configuration of the Sphere provides a high-impact resource for teaching, engagement, and showcasing QUT’s research,” Winter said. “From school children up to businesses and government, we want to offer opportunities to collaborate and develop content applications of all kinds in a loosely curated setting.”

more free-flowing learning environment

ASPIRE Leyard can build LED spheres in multiple sizes, ranging from one to five meters in diameter, as well as in hanging or floor-standing applications. “There are many considerations to a project of that caliber, such as structural support and how to build it into a space,” said Leyard and Planar custom design team manager Peter Lawrence. “But before a sphere installation can be realized in the U.S., the design needs to first clear several U.S. certification standards.”

for a lot more flexibility and scalability.

to enhance the movement and interactions among students and between student and instructor. With more displays being deployed that are touch-enabled and the need for USB management, Shelat said he is seeing a greater adoption of AV over IP. “It allows You’re not going to run out of inputs. You just need one more encoder and one more decoder.” The matrix switcher isn’t going away any time soon, though. “We’re still doing a variety of matrix switching solutions, from simple video distribution systems and virtual matrix systems that are AV over IP solutions,” he said.

T H E T EC H NOLOGY MANAGER’S GUID E TO CAMPUS TECH | D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 | av ne two r k .co m


Profile for Future PLC

AV Technology - Tech Manager Guide to Campus Tech  

AV Technology - Tech Manager Guide to Campus Tech

AV Technology - Tech Manager Guide to Campus Tech  

AV Technology - Tech Manager Guide to Campus Tech

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