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Beckman Hall

Aptly illustrating the incorporation of A-V technology into education is Chapman University's Beckman Hall, Orange, CA. This ongoing project currently

Beckman Hall

May 1, 1999 12:00 PM,

Aptly illustrating the incorporation of A-V technology into education isChapman University’s Beckman Hall, Orange, CA. This ongoing projectcurrently consists of 14 rooms, including several different classroomconfigurations, computer labs and a boardroom. Ove Arup & Partners wascontracted by the architect of the building, Dworsky & Associates, toprovide system design. Hoffman Video is the primary A-V contractor. All ofthese groups are currently involved in a large number of educationalprojects in Southern California.

The goal behind each room is to have access to multiple media sources thatwill make use of large projection screens for display with LAN support ateach desk. All rooms and existing core equipment must also be ready toincorporate videoconferencing equipment once budgetary resources areavailable. Both aims must be accomplished while incorporating the equipmentas seamlessly as possible into the environment of each site.

To achieve the stated goals, the systems in each room have been builtaround audio and video matrix switchers, including Extron Matrix 50 models.Other primary components include Sharp XG-E3500U LCD projectors withcomputer-video interfaces, signal distribution products and line doublersfrom Extron. Also present are a variety of source devices from JVC, Kodakand Panasonic. Audio systems are built around 360 Systems matrix switcherswith products manufactured by QSC, Atlas/Soundolier, Klark Teknik, Rane,Sabine, Shure and Sennheiser. Sennheiser products include IR transmittersand headset receivers to comply with state and federal assistive listeningrequirements. Students acquire the headsets at the university’s library andmay carry them from room to room.

AMX control systems tie the equipment of every room together. These systemsprovide not only the easy-to-use, visual interface necessary in thisenvironment, but also seamless integration of equipment and environmentalcontrols. In Beckman Hall, these systems also allowed for the configurationof controls for videocon-ferencing and other forthcoming systems before theequipment was actually in place. This will make for little or no downtimeonce the required equipment-including codecs and scan converters-isavailable.

The control systems used in Beckman Hall are isolated to each room,although media retrieval systems such as AMX Synergy may be installed laterwhen the campus has access to DTV. Toward this end, each Extron Matrix 50at Chapman may be field-upgraded to handle component video. Thisarrangement provides the access to source materials desired by the school’sinstructors while simultaneously leaving open an avenue for future upgrades.

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