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Kramer Electronics Products Update Historic Old Main at Widener University

Kramer Electronics Products Update Historic Old Main at Widener University Kramer Electronics Products Update Historic Old Main at Widener University Kramer Electronics Products Update Historic Old Main at Widener University

When the renovation of the oldest building on its 190−year−old campus began, Widener University officials were careful to plan around its history.   Old Main had been home to the Pennsylvania Military Academy and the Widener University Nursing School.  The challenge:  create a presidential−level meeting facility while maintaining the historic architecture and providing seamless access to easy−to−use technology.

According to Peter Shoudy, chief information officer at Widener University, the design had to accommodate the constraints of the aging building and incorporate a state−of−the−art audio/video system.  “The room had to be built with flexibility in mind, and one of the objectives was that the technology should be invisible – literally,” Shoudy said.  The room already had woodworking and casework in the ceiling, and trim that had to be left intact.   

Widener University officials turned the challenge over to local integrator IMS Audio Visual, who created a flexible solution.  Taking in to account the high− beamed ceilings, the length of the room and the difficult viewing angles, IMS began with a drop−down 62 x 110−inch projection screen and a projector with a lift that would be hidden in the ceiling.  They added a second, movable 60−inch flat panel LED display in the back of the room.  To meet the challenges of obtaining the best resolution on both screens, IMS recommended Kramer Electronics products for switching and scaling all signals.  The system features four Kramer VP−729 ProScale™ digital scaler/switchers used to scale to the specific display, three sets of PT−571 and PT−572+ DGKat™ HDMI twisted pair transmitter/receivers to transmit the signals to the displays, and a VS−88H HDMI switcher to manage the signals.  A videoconferencing system with three pan/tilt/zoom cameras, audio conferencing with removable microphones and lighting control are all included in the system, with everything controlled by a nine−inch touch−panel display housed in a portable lectern.  All the sources are numbered and pre−set for easy selection.

The equipment is housed in a built−in rack hidden in a closet in an adjacent room.   All of the furniture in the room is movable for easy configuration based on the meeting needs, and the room seats up to 36 people.  Tables are five−feet square with a well in the middle, and the microphones are placed by seats as needed.  The lectern with the touch−panel control and a computer can be moved to any location in the room.  

“There is no product line better than Kramer for a flexible solution like this,” said Bob Lobascio, vice president of sales for IMS Audio Visual.  “Kramer is extremely versatile and reliable, as well as cost−competitive for this marketplace.”

IMS Audio Visual provided technical training for the staff at Widener University, and a university technician is available during meetings to troubleshoot.  “The response has been great from everyone who has used the boardroom,” said Shoudy.  “People have commented on how easy the system is to use, how totally integrated it is in the room, and how functional it is.  We are very comfortable with the entire system.”

Kramer Electronics brought the technology of today to the history of Old Main, for a presidential boardroom that is a successful blend of form and function.  



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