UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
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University of Louisville (UofL) Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence
Building a new Academic Center for existing students and for the attraction of new recruits/prospects. Designing Audio Visual (AV) platforms and content distribution for large video wall, conference rooms, huddle spaces, dining area, student lounges and auditorium. Requiring seamless device and content control throughout the Academic Center.
Strategic designed and installed a complete AV solution including 40 screen mosaic large format video wall in the main lobby, and 4K digital signage menu boards in the dining area. Strategic designed and installed a fully loaded large auditorium complete with a 12,000 lumen 4K projector, large format projector screen, ceiling microphones, cameras, Blu-ray players, Crestron AirMedia presentation device and Extron digital recorder. Strategic installed and programmed Crestron control touch panels throughout the Academic Center. In addition, Definitive installed 4k displays throughout lounging areas, conference rooms and huddle spaces.
Enhanced visual and operational appeal for existing students, as well as new recruits and potential prospects. Enhanced learning and video collaboration capabilities. Seamless one-touch control for every video display and audio system throughout the Academic Center.
INTRODUCTIONThe state-of-the-art Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence houses academic operations and provides a central location for all student-athletes and academic staff, further assisting UofL student-athletes to excel in the classroom.
The 204-seat auditorium is equipped with an 18.5 feet by 10.5 feet screen and projection system. The facility, which opened in August of 2017, is located beneath the Norton Terrace at the south end of the Cardinal Stadium.
CHALLENGESLooking to enhance their campus appeal and learning operation, The University of Louisville constructed The Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence. “They were looking for an Audio Visual (AV) solution possessing a wow factor”, said Chris Mills, Sales Director of Strategic Communications. “They wanted to make a statement as soon as someone walked into the lobby. Also, they wanted the facility to be a catalyst for collaboration and team learning”.
To achieve seamless collaboration in a facility over 40,000 square feet poised a challenge for UofL. Another challenge was content delivery, control and management for every video display and audio system within the Academic Center. “UofL needed a company who could deliver on large-scale AV rollouts and meet mission-critical timelines”, continued Mills. UofL found that company in Strategic Communications.
General Area AV & Control SystemStrategic designed the system to have all displays and content fully connected with the ability to show any source on any display. The system contains all source content routed through a Crestron Digital Media 32x32 Matrix with full support of 4K resolutions. The system is controlled with 10.1 inch touch panels installed on walls in the building.
Main Lobby Video WallStrategic designed and installed a complete custom 40- screen, 4K mosaic Planar video wall. The video wall is comprised of three separate sections of displays that can operate independent or be comprised to make one larger overall video wall. Brightsign Media Players are the source for the content to the video wall system. The Brightsign media players are managed from a server located in the AV equipment room. The server can be accessed locally or from the network via remote desktop. All locally produced content that is needed to be displayed on the video wall is stored on the server. The Brightauthor software is used to assign the content stored on the server for presentations. In addition, the content is remotely pushed to the video walls and stored on the Brightsign player.
Multiple presentations are integrated for scheduling and playing at different times of the day via the scheduling utility in the Brightauthor software. In conjunction with content produced by UofL, l the Brightsign players also have live cable or inputs from the main Crestron DM placed into the presentations. The inputs overlay on top of the content in the presentation. Strategic managed the training of UofL staff on how to incorporate the content into the presentations.
AuditoriumStrategic designed and installed (1) NEC Laser 4k resolution with 12,000 Lumen projector located in the AV room in the 2nd floor level of the auditorium. The projector has a maintenance free design, doesn’t have a lamp to replace, and possesses 20,000 hours life span. The projector will is connected to a scaler to allow for any screen resolution to be up scaled to 4K UHD resolution.
In addition, Strategic provided and installed (1) DaLite Screen 121” by 216”. The screen is 16x9 HD format and is fixed non‐motorized, and located above the entrance doors to the auditorium.
Strategic provided and installed (1) 36U equipment rack located and installed in the AV room in the 2nd floor level of the auditorium. The equipment rack houses all the equipment for the auditorium system. Lastly, (1) Crestron DMPS 300C Digital Media Matrix was integrated into the equipment rack.
The Crestron DMPS 300C Matrix is the hub for all the audio visual routing in the auditorium system. The matrix possesses an output to send signals from the auditorium to the Main Crestron DM 32x32 and the conference room system. JBL speakers, Shure microphones, an integrated Crestron 10 inch control touch panel and a lecturn/podium were provided and installed in the auditorium.
2nd Floor Conference RoomStrategic designed a complete conferencing and visual collaboration solution for the 2nd floor conference room. The solution included the following elements:
- (1) 70” 4K Planar Display on a tilting wall mount
- (6) Crestron Ceiling speakers
- (2) Crestron FlipTop cable connector boxes w/ VGA and HDMI connection
- (1) Crestron 10.1 inch touch panel controller on the table top
- (1) Crestron Air Media network presentation device
- (1) audio conferencing telephone
- (1) Credenza below the display to house the equipment
Dining AreaStrategic provided and installed (8) 46” Planar 1080P displays ceiling mounted in the food serving area. The source content for the displays are uploaded and updated by the food vendors. The displays are commercial grade and come with a 3 year manufacture warranty for 24/7 use.
In addition, Strategic provided and installed an 84” 4K wall mounted display, as well as (6) 50” 4K ceiling-mounted displays. Lastly, Crestron 10 inch control touch panels were integrated throughout the dining area.
Huddle SpacesThe Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence houses multiple huddle space collaboration areas. These areas provide students the capability to work in teams in collaborating on group assignments.
Strategic provided and install (5) 50” Planar 4K displays on the furniture manufacturer’s mount. The displays are commercial grade and come with a 3 year manufacture warranty for 24/7 use.
Student Lounge AreasThe University of Louisville wanted the Thorntons Academic Center to not only be a place of work for students, but also be a place they can visit and relax. From this idea, multiple lounge areas were created.
The University of Louisville wanted the Thorntons Academic Center to not only be a place of work for students, but also be a place they can visit and relax. From this idea, multiple lounge areas were created.
RESULTSThe University of Louisville now possesses an immersive, visually impactful, and fully collaborative AV solution for The Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence. “The University of Louisville is extremely pleased with the AV solution implemented by Strategic Communications”, says Mills. “The Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence continues to serve as a great recruiting feature for the university, and it is constantly visited by students and faculty. The AV system can be easily managed and controlled through either a mobile device or through control panels located throughout the facility. It accomplishes what UofL wanted, and more.”
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ABOUT STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
Strategic Communications is an Information Technology (IT) company focused on Cloud Solutions, IT Security, Network Engineering, and A/V systems design. Founded in 1994, the company works with commercial enterprises, State/Local/ Education (SLED) institutions and federal agencies across the United States delivering solutions to fit specific business requirements and end-user needs. Leveraging our partner relationships, business longevity, and experience we provide clients with the highest level of customer support. Strategic Communications is a Cisco Gold Partner, Microsoft Silver Partner, AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and an ISO 9001:2015 certified business, offering best in class technical solutions. In addition, the company is classified as a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).