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CASE STUDY: Friendswood Independent School District, Houston

When metro Houston’s Friendswood Independent School District (ISD) outgrew its old boardroom, which was both too small and outfitted with failing equipment, it enlisted the help of integrator Prime Systems, which partnered with TEKVOX to provide a complete boardroom solution.

“We converted a former cafeteria into a new boardroom that could also serve as a training room,” explained Chi-Chiu “C.C.” Wu, executive director of technology at Friendswood ISD. “TEKVOX came up with a very good turnkey solution for the space at a very affordable price. It’s a system we don’t have to manage or worry about.”

Alex Murdoch, account manager with Prime Systems, suggested that TEKVOX design the boardroom’s mic system and control system while Prime Systems supplied multiple screens, projectors, and a podium. Together, “we were able to make a much more economical system with more functionality,” he said. “Ease of use was key.”

Friendswood ISD required three screens and video projectors to accommodate board meetings and separate meeting areas and a dais microphone system. To control each projector for the individual areas, they wanted two wall-mounted touchscreen controllers, a tablet touchscreen, and three simple touchpads. To fulfill these needs, TEKVOX designed a system with TEKVOX control products, its DSP microphone system, and the TekFlex-16 video matrix.

TEKVOX designed the decentralized system to allow each touchscreen controller to independently operate the system and access back up in case of failure. At each projector position a TekTouchPad is mounted on the wall for simple, independent control of the projector. Each screen is built into a wedge to give improved viewing when mounted on the wall. The screens are controlled by TEKVOX TekController TCX9s, 9-inch wall-mounted touchscreens with PoE LAN connections. TCX9 also supports VNC operation for remote viewing and control.

The multiple touchscreen controllers can also work together by deploying TEK 3 device controllers, which communicate directly with their connected devices. The TekEzLink protocol allows up to four touchscreen controllers to establish a connection to each TEK 3 and synchronize their feedback.

A Biamp TesiraForte handles audio distribution, room combined audio, and volume control. The Tesira also allows for multiple touchscreen controls to connect and synchronize their feedbacks; any time a change is made by any one of the touchscreen controllers, all of the other controllers will get updates. For video, TEKVOX’s TekFlex-16 modular seamless matrix allows the user to pick and choose input and output card types and their positions. Each room has an HDMI/VGA wall plate with HDBaseT connection. At the dais a PC connection allows for both HDMI and VGA; a TEK 51T is used for connecting an external laptop at the podium.

A TEKVOX CB-1A ceiling box at each projector contains a TEK 3 device controller, HDBaseT receiver, and audio amplifier. The ceiling box comes preinstalled with this equipment and prewired by TEKVOX for easy installation and cable connection.

“The ability to control everything from one interface or one mobile device is great: One person can control zones within the boardroom from one location,” said Murdoch. “This ease of control is unique to boardrooms, and the cost savings are also good.”

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