21.05.07

Visionary eye care

AUTHOR: Inavate

A true integration of audio visual technologies has provided medical giants Johnson & Johnson with a fantastic modern training facility for eye care professionals in the Czech republic.

Vision Care is a division of Johnson & Johnson, concerned with the development, product and distribution of disposable soft contact lenses. In a new training facility in the Czech capital Prague, the company’s team of specialists share their expertise with colleagues, who come from all over the world to conferences in the Czech Republic.

The facility, which occupies two floors of a larger refurbished building was equipped with a conference and presentation system by Czech system integrators AV Media. The company won a competitive tender process in the autumn of 2005 to equip a large conference room, six training rooms and three smaller meeting rooms with AV technology.

The project was led by AV Media’s David Dalecký: “The tender process was held in September and was overseen by Johnson & Johnson’s American AV consultant we beat two other Czech integrators for the job and began work in October.”

The six training rooms are the business end of things, and everything that goes on can be observed from the conference room and smaller meeting rooms. Equipped with the latest specialist eye examination equipment they allow the detailed examination of the human eye. Enlarged images are captured digitally and can be shared with observers in the conference room / lecture theatre for discussion and diagnosis.

Beyerdynamic SHM 22 H SW ceiling microphones and ceiling mounted Sony EVI-D70 cameras in each room capture all that goes on and these sources are recorded on Bosch DVR4C1161 hard disk recorders. Video signals from all 6 rooms are routed to the conference / lecture room via an Extron SW6SVA s-video switcher. To allow two way communication with the conference room, each examination suite is also equipped with SP-Q16 desktop multimedia speakers, although an in ear monitor could also be used by the examiner. Behringher UB 802 and MX 882 mixers and a Bosch LBB 1928/00 anti-feedback processor provide audio processing.

One of the training rooms is connected to an adjoining observation room via a one way mirror. This room is also served by SP-Q16 multimedia speakers to allow the occupants to see what is going on.

The main conference room seats 54 people including the chairman and each delegate is provided with a desk-mounted Bosch DCN Next Generation conferencing unit. The room is also equipped with a Panasonic PT-D5500E ceiling mounted data projector and Elpro electrol electronic screen. Activation of the delegate unit when a person speaks also causes one of two Bosch G3BPWW50W cameras to focus on their position. A third camera, a Bosch G3BS50, is permanently focused on the chairman’s position.

The output from the cameras can be displayed via the projector, allowing everyone to see who is talking, and is also fed to the video matrix for recording on the four channel Bosch hard disk recording system. The cameras are also coupled with a Polycom VSX 8000 video conferencing codec, allowing conferences to be shared around the world. The videoconferencing system is integrated with the DCN set up to provide audio capture from individual delegate microphones.

AV equipment in the conference room is controlled by a Cue system. “We chose Cue over other control solutions because it is a Czech manufactured system and we get excellent local support from them,” observed Dalecky.

The chairperson’s lectern is fitted with an airCue-XM8 wireless touch panel and matching docking station. This allows control of the lighting, screen and the projector’s Kindermann motorised lift as well as the DCN system with signals routed from the matrix via Assistant N and ipCUE-alpha controllers. The video source to be displayed on the projector is also selected via the Cue touch panel. Options include DVD / VCR, output from the training room cameras and examination equipment, VGA sources such as a laptop and the feeds from the three cameras in the conference room. Finally, if the video conferencing system is in use the projection system also handles the display for this. These sources are processed via an Analog Way Centrix matrix switcher and Extron amplification equipment mounted in the equipment rack.

Also on the lectern is a second touch screen, a 19” LCD display from ACER. This is connected to the video matrix and acts as a monitor for the chairman to see what is displayed on the projector. However its primary function is to control the Bosch DCN system. The chairperson can operate the DCN in various permission modes. Open or un-gated operation means anyone can speak but this can lead to problems with the camera focusing. Alternatively a delegate can ask to speak using his push button and the chairman can allow it via selecting the delegate on his LCD display. To enable the screen to perform both functions a Smart X-Port 40 multimedia switcher is needed to interface the screen with both the DCN and AV systems.

Audio in the lecture theatre comes from a THX Ultra 2 certified system. Seven Jamo D 7PEX loud speakers are mounted at head height around the room, and bass is supplied by two Jamo D 7SUBs at floor level. The audio is mixed by a Cloud CX 462 with the CDI S100 RS232 interface connecting it to the Cue room control system in the chairperson’s lectern. Feedback is eliminated by a Bosch anti feedback processor.

An adjoining “teaching room” to the main lecture theatre and conference room provides up to three languages of interpretation for international events. It is equipped with three Bosch interpreter units as well as a further two 19” ACER LCD displays. These allow interpreters to see who is speaking, via the ceiling cameras. Interpretation is supplied wirelessly to all delegates via an additional Bosch headset. The reasoning behind this was that it was envisaged that there could be potentially be more than 54 attendees to international conferences. With the wireless arrangement, interpretation can be provided to both those with fixed delegate positions but also to any additional guests who don’t have a fixed place but could, for example, be seated around the edges of the room.

Supplementing the main conference room are three smaller meeting rooms. They are all equipped with Christie Vivid LX37 data projectors and an Elpro electronic projection screen. As with the conference room, the projectors are ceiling mounted ad they can be hidden from view when not in use by Markan C-lifts. Source selection is provided by a wall mounted Cue keypad near the door. The projector can display from a laptop, or from the Panasonic DVD/VCR player mounted in the equipment rack. Each room is also fitted with two desk mounted Extron access points which allow attendees to connect laptops via VGA to the projector, and to access the internet via an RJ-45 Ethernet port. Simple source switching for the projector is possible from these access points. Audio reproduction comes in the form of more Bosch ceiling speakers and amplifiers.

David explained the reasoning behind this arrangement : “These smaller meeting rooms are exact copies of what Johnson & Johnson use on their other international sites. It is important to them that when people come to use these rooms they are immediately comfortable with the equipment and the layout.”

In addition to their use as stand alone meeting rooms, these spaces are also linked over a cat-5 network to both the main conference room and training rooms If there is a need for greater capacity the proceedings in an examination room or the main theatre can be watched. However this is only a one way connection so whilst it is possible to observe meetings or training sessions, people in the smaller rooms can’t interact with the others.

Aside from the AV in the training, lecture and meeting rooms, AV Media also installed a public address and background music system in the facility. This consisted of Bosch 16 LBC ceiling speakers and a pair of LB1-UW06 cabinet speakers driven by LBB mixer / amplifiers. The reception area was also equipped with a Panasonic 32” LCD display showing general information.

The interesting thing about this installation that much of the initial specification and brief from the client came from a recently completed one in the US. However David believes that AV Media have improved on the original: “We think this solution is a step up from what Johnson & Johnson have in America. For instance they did not use the Bosch DCN system. Their conference solution is just a collection of microphones with an inferior interpretation system.”
The choice of audio solution for the main lecture theatre is also curious. Instead of opting for the standard Pro-audio suspects, AV Media have installed what is essentially a very high end home cinema product in Jamo’s D system. “The client stated that they wanted extremely high quality audio in the room for DVD playback so we suggested this system, and explained the benefits that THX would bring. It’s not particularly more or less expensive than more common systems but the client agreed to our suggestion.”

Although the project was due to be completed in December 2005 delays in the installation of other services and also some civil engineering changes pushed the final commissioning date back to January. The decision to only have one examination room with the one way mirror instead of the original plan to have two caused some problems as well as the usual fun and games that goes with large projects. These kinds of delays are more often not outside the control of the integrator and AV Media appear to have delivered an effective solution within the budget of €225,000.