The seat of government

AUTHOR: Inavate

Leading Egyptian integrator and AV distributor Tatas has provided a new boardroom for the Assuit Governorate, the administrative hub of the country’s most important region. Chris Fitzsimmons reports.

The Assuit Governorate is one of the oldest in the country, and the administrative capital of the region known as upper Egypt. It is responsible for governing eleven major cities and population centres.

Due to growing demands on its capacity, the governorate commissioned a new meeting facility in which to hold its monthly conference of all the local governors. These meetings can be attended by up to 45 people, plus a chairman. Each attendee brings a laptop with their information and contributions to the meeting.

The scope of the project, as determined by the client therefore included the design, installation & commissioning of an audio visual system including a discussion system, and data presentation solution in the established meeting space which is around 25 metres by 10 metres in size.

Tatas were selected to provide a solution, and a team of five installed a system designed by General manager Emad Hassan. There were two key components. Firstly Tatas supplied a Bosch DCN next generation conference system, this included 45 delegate units and a chairman set as well as the central control unit. This was tied in with a Bosch camera system. A pair of PTZ cameras were ceiling mounted above the table, and these are pre-set to track towards the speaking delegate.

According to Mr Hassan, this represented one of the most challenging aspects of the project. “The two cameras are each responsible for half the delegates. During each person’s speech, their image and presentation is displayed. Once they are finished the camera automatically tracks to the next person.

“The other key challenge for us was that the governorate wanted the system to be fully automatic with no need for an operator or technician in the room. We worked hard to make the system as self-sufficient as possible.”

The presentation system itself is a combination of a Panasonic PTD-4000 projector and six 50” plasma displays. The projector fires onto one short edge of the meeting room, paired with a motorised Euro Screen projection screen. The six plasma displays are then spaced around the walls to ensure all delegates get a good view of the presentation.

To get content from the many laptops to the plasma displays, Tatas made use of Panasonic’s TY-FB10WPU wireless option cards in all of the screens and the projector. This allows them to connect to a 802.11b/g Wifi network, along with the laptops, which is more than adequate for displaying PowerPoint or documents. It’s also a simple way of connecting up to 45 laptops to several displays.

The installation, worth around €70,000 was carried out over the course of a month at the end of 2008, with other Egyptian governerates also having expressed interest in a similar system.