VIP treatment: Comprehensive conferencing at the Mohammad bin Fahd University

VIPs need facilities built to the highest standard, and the new conference room at the Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU) is no exception to this rule. Reece Webb finds out how Enpro delivered a comprehensive meeting space fit for a king.

The Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University in Al Khobar (PMU), Saudi Arabia, was founded by the Former Governor of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammad bin Fahd. PMU has become home for state-of-the-art IT solutions and the highest quality spaces and has committed to employing technologies to serve its educational mission. That commitment is clear in PMU's new meeting space which was especially designed for VIPs, foreign dignitaries and royalty.

The university turned to its long-standing systems integration partner Energy Projects Support Company (Enpro) to provide the latest technologies in a sleek and elegantly designed room which melds functionality and style seamlessly.

Ahmad Alsayd, project manager, Enpro, explains: “We have been working with the university since it was founded in 2006 and have been involved in most of its AV projects.

“Because the university is related to Prince Mohammad, sometimes ministers or the King of Saudi Arabia and consulates of other countries visit. Therefore, while the university has its own boardroom, it started to think of creating an additional VIP boardroom.”

The university contacted Enpro to carry out a site visit and to select technologies to accommodate the flexible meeting space for 40-50 VIPs.

“The PMU President is keen on integrating the latest technologies and smart solutions for the campus and has been particularly involved with the vision for this smart room,” continues Alsayd. “For over six months the teams have worked on the designs, the technologies selection and the final implementation. We had to define all the details and specifications from scratch; that included the ceiling design, the floors and wall designs, down to the slightest element in this unique room.

“It turned out to be one of the best meeting facilities in the region, equipped with the latest technology with advanced presentation features, a 3m LED screen, a cutting-edge videoconferencing solution, a smart table with microphones and many more features. The PMU President wanted the latest technology in the field to make this space unique, and more of a technological landmark. The large room is equipped with a screen for each of the guests and a complete voting system.”

Guests are greeted by a gorgeous wooden table stretching for the length of the room, with Enpro selecting a custom made Gesab multimedia table, seamlessly concealing a variety of equipment.

Alsayd said: “The table was customised to our requirements. They made places for specific features such as holes for microphones, complimentary tissues and bottled water and more. The meeting table has cases to run the cables through, so you don’t need to run conduits through the table, it has boxes for power, trays for AV cables and spaces for maintenance as well.”

The Gesab table incorporates an Arthur Holm Dynamic3 motorised monitor at the head of the table which can be used both vertically and horizontally, flanked by two additional Dymanic3 monitors to assist the main speaker during presentations.

“We needed to specify everything from scratch, including the ceiling design, ground design and wall design.” – Ahmad Alsayd, Enpro

Arthur Holm DB2 monitors are also fitted for all participants with motorised, retractable cables that allows portable devices to be connected and discreetly disguised within the table when not in use.

The Arthur Holm displays were supported by a range of Televic products, with Enpro providing Confidea F-DV integrated flush mount delegate panels and custom Arthur Holm integrated units with a microphone connector, loudspeaker, an RFID badge reader and voting facilities for users.

Alsayd: “The voting system is important and often used by VIPs. Televic played a huge part in this installation with microphones, discussion systems and digital signage software. The Arthur Holm and Televic products are linked together as most of them are connected into the table; for speaking, to mute etc.

Clear and comprehensive audio plays a key part in the room, with Enpro selecting a range of JBL CBT 100LA-1 line array columns flanking the LED screens with control 16C/T ceiling loudspeakers covering the width and breadth of the room.

The system is also supported by Sennheiser EW 112 G3 clip-on microphones and EW 135 G3-Bwireless microphones to accommodate additional speaking needs.

Alsayd said: "For displays, the room features a Mitsubishivs-15np180 LED wall in a4.8x1.62m configuration with1.5mm pixel pitch.”

There are also Sharp screens [PN-VW652, 65-in] in the walls, with two of them with mechanisms to support them in the ceiling, all of them are capable of 8K resolution. There is also a line of Sony PTZ cameras [BRC-H800’s] installed with a tracking solution to track the speakers.“If you are in a videoconferencing call and the chairman is talking, the camera will detect their face automatically and will move automatically,” said Alsayd.

“If any of the attendees in the meeting are talking, their faces will also be tracked automatically. Tracking is very important here, we integrated Sony cameras, AMX and videoconferencing. The cameras also have features for broadcasting directly to YouTube.”

The system is all tied together by an AMX control system, using a NetLinx NX-3200 integrated controller, DGX3200-ASB audio switching boards and DX-TX/RX twisted pair transmitters/receivers for fluid and effective control of the plethora of kit in the room.

Alasyd added: “The switchers are from AMX; This includes lighting control and touchpanels. They have all the features that we needed to make the integration work. Switching is an important part of the room to transfer the inputs and outputs, to select inputs and more because we have a huge number of screens on the tables and we needed a solid product to fulfil this requirement. We also use AMX as the control system, which was a crucial part of the system.

The project was not without its challenges as Alsayd explained: “The biggest challenge for Enpro was the integration as many of the products are linked together, getting the products on time and meeting the project schedule because this is a civil project and civil work takes time. We had to coordinate between the vendors in Europe and everything in the design had to fit perfectly. It was a major challenge for us, but also a major reward at the end.

“We showed our capability to design, procure and install such a high standard project. It adds a lot of value for us and great value for the customer here in the region. Meeting without adequate facilities is nothing, this room makes life easier for the client and shows exactly what Enpro can do.”

Dr. Alsanari,President, PMU, commented: “The idea of the project emerged from the ties that link PMU with the community, from royalty, to major donors and businessmen, and from the nature of the global connections with major international advisories, partners and academics serving education and research globally. There was an increased need for trusted, reliable and modern meeting technologies. We are committed to integrate the latest solutions available to serve our mission, and we are keen to ensure a unique futuristic outlook to all of our activities.”

 

Kit list

Video

Arthur Holm AH22D316GA21,5-in wide screen monitor, TS2216G,Multi-touch Screen, AH17DB2 retractable monitor, ERT interface, DynamicTalk UnderCover for microphones,15NP180F LED display,VS-15NP180F LED display

Sharp PN-VW652 65-in LED Display

Sony BRC-H800 PTZ COLOR camera, RM-IP500/1 Professional Remote Controller

Audio

BSS signal processor

Crown DCI4X300-U-EUFX amplifier

JBL CBT 100LA-1 line arrays, 16C/T ceiling loudspeaker

Sennheiser EW 135 G3-B wireless microphone, ew112G3 wireless clip-on mic set

Control

AMX DGX3200-ENC / - EnovaDGX 3200 digital media enclosures, NX Series controllers, Enova DGX 8, 16, 32 and 64 enclosures,Integrated Controller

Atlona AT-UHD-EX-70-KIT HDBaseT transmitter/receiver, AT-RON-442HDMI distribution amplifier

Televic Plixus Multimedia Engine, network extender,Confidea F-DV delegate panel, CUST-F-DV customised delegate unit, CUST-F-CV customised chairman unit

Polycom RealPresence Group 700-720p:Group 700 HDcodec,EagleEyeIV-12xcamera, mic array, univ. remote