Tampere University transforms auditoriums with AV over IP

Four auditoriums at a prestigious university in Finland are managing content distribution and switching over IP with positive results. Anna Mitchell explores a wide-ranging installation with Crestron NVX at its heart.

When a merger between the University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology created Tampere University, it seemed the time was right to upgrade facilities to serve what is now one of Finland’s leading research centres. 

The university encompasses seven faculties that serve more than 19,000 undergraduate students studying technological and social science subjects.  

Juha Sorri, head of laboratory at Tampere University is tasked with managing the facility’s AV requirements. As part of this role, Sorri carries out site surveys to determine the equipment that should be installed and when obsolete technology is due to be replaced. Keeping up to date with AV technology developments is crucial to ensure the systems provide the best experience for university staff and students. 

Prior to the merger and upgrade, Sorri notes that the AV systems had become unstableRepeater screen and unreliable. “The first thing everyone did every morning was a system reboot,” he says. “Also, functionality was totally unpredictable; an image might disappear suddenly during a presentation and would not come back until the system was rebooted.”

After witnessing Crestron NVX in action at ISE 2018, Sorri built designs for upgrades at four auditoriums based on AV over IP technology. A tender was put out based on the designs and the contract was won by Audico Systems. 

The four auditoriums range from 94 to 436 seats in size and, in addition to lectures, are used for exams and public events. 

A total of 60 NVX (DM0NVX-350) encoder/decoder units were installed throughout the four spaces for content distribution. Audico Systems used Crestron DM XiO Director to set up the network of endpoints, assign room and endpoint names and enable automatic endpoint discovery. 

As well as increasing quality and reliability, the system had to be easy to use for staff who connect laptops for presenting during lectures and events. Each space had to offer the same user experience to ensure the lecturers could be confident in operating the technology wherever they were teaching and presenting. 

Audico Systems used Crestron DM XiO Director for virtual switching, management and control. Sorri and his team can monitor AV signal status from every input and output in the university, while lecturers can control AV from table-top mounted 10-in Crestron TSW-1060-TTK-B-S touchscreens located in each auditorium. 

In 10a, the largest auditorium of the four, two Sony VPL-FHZ700L laser projectors and three LG 75UH5C 4K displays were deployed. The LG displays were mounted on Deltaco ARM-421T wall brackets. The presenter is captured by an iSmart LTC-A2001N tracking camera for display on the screens or for recording purposes. 

The 10-in Crestron control panel is installed on the lectern at the speaker’s position. A Lilliput A10 10.1-in 4K resolution monitor is provided for lecturers to view content that is shown on the screen and they can show documents and objects with a Newline Trucam TC-20P visualiser. USB is supported with an Extron MediaPort 200 HDMI to USB bridge.

Teaching deskControl for the auditorium is based on a Crestron CP3 control processor, which is housed in the auditorium’s rack along with a Cisco SG500-28P 28-port Gigabit POE stackable managed switch. 

Audio processing is managed by a Soundweb London BLU-100 signal processor from Harman BSS with Audico Systems providing additional BLU-BOB1 breakout boxes, BLU-BIB break-in box and BLU-DA Dante/Blu interface. The audio system is powered by an RCF UP 2162 amplifier. Audico Systems also installed an Ampetronic induction loop system. 

Auditorium 10b and auditorium d11, with 175 and 120 seats respectively, have similar display set ups with a Sony VPL-FHZ700L and LG 75UH5C 4K display in each. The LG displays are again mounted with Deltaco brackets. 

In keeping with the installation in the largest auditorium, iSmart cameras were deployed in each room.  The same lectern set up is also supplied for the lecturers and a similar template was followed for the audio installation but at a slightly smaller scale. In d11, a StreamPlay SP-1 all-in one video processor was added.

Auditorium 109 is the smallest of the four and has 94 seats. Its display requirements are met by two Sony VPL-FHZ60 projectors. A similar audio system to the other auditoriums is complemented by a new AKG wireless microphone system. 

In all auditoriums, Audico Systems integrated the new equipment with existing Genelec 8050 loudspeakers and AKG microphones to save the university money. 

The resulting installation marked the first deployment of Crestron NVX products in Finland. Sorri says that the system is now reliable and stable. “Picture and sound quality have improved, it’s easy to use and switching is very fast, there is less equipment inside and under the lecturer’s desk and the system is really silent,” he adds. 

The last word goes to Mikko Tenhunen, project sales manager at Audico Systems. “Tampere University wanted a solution that would be easy to use and work every time,” he says. “With Crestron NVX we have delivered that and so much more. The university now boasts a high-performance AV system that delivers 4K display and audio, instant source switching, intuitive device recognition and complete reliability.

“This technology provides the modern, forward-thinking learning environment that students, both now and in the future, expect from top universities. With this new technology, Tampere University has secured its reputation as one of the most attractive places in Finland to study.”


AKG D5 wireless microphone system
Ampetronic ILD500 induction loops 
BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 signal processors, BLU-BOB1 and BLU-BIB breakout and -in boxes, and BLU-DA Dante/Blu interfaces
Genelec 8050 loudspeakers
RCF UP 2162 amplifiers

Cisco SG500-28P switches
Crestron NVX encoder/decoder units, DM XiO Director, CP3 control processor and 10-in touchpanels

Deltaco ARM-421T wall brackets
Extron MediaPort 200 HDMI to USB bridges
iSmart LTC-A2001N tracking cameras
LG 75UH5C 4K displays
Lilliput A10 10.1-in 4K resolution monitors
Newline Trucam TC-20P visualisers
Sony VPL-FHZ700L and VPL-FHZ60 laser projectors 
StreamPlay SP-1 video processor