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Alvernia University Uses Kramer Electronics Technology for Multi−Faceted Communications

Alvernia University Uses Kramer Electronics Technology for Multi−Faceted Communications Alvernia University Uses Kramer Electronics Technology for Multi−Faceted Communications Alvernia University Uses Kramer Electronics Technology for Multi−Faceted Communications

When Alvernia University discovered a need to reach a wider audience of students on its three campuses in eastern Pennsylvania, university officials envisioned a media center that would afford students, faculty and local residents the opportunity to use and learn about key technologies.  They envisioned a space that would work for traditional classes and extend to campus and community events and performances, all supported by state−of−the−art technology.  

To formulate a plan, Alvernia University turned to the local audio/video design and installation professionals at IMS Audio Visual.  The result was a high−tech media suite outfitted with Kramer Electronics products that manage and switch audio/video sources throughout the space.  The suite includes a lecture hall, video studio, control room, sound room and an interactive computer lab.  “We had an ambitious vision and it was important to have a partner who was willing to take the time to help us realize that vision,” said Miro Liwosz, Instructional Media Specialist at Alvernia University.  “IMS created the best composite solution to meet our needs.”

According to Bob Lobascio, vice president of sales at IMS Audio Visual, it was imperative the system be reliable, because it was going to be used by a wide variety of people.  It had to be intuitive and work every time.  “The Kramer product was not only reliable, but the value associated with Kramer was also of utmost importance for an education client,” he said.

The media suite houses a 125−seat lecture hall featuring videoconferencing systems that connect to the university’s two satellite campuses as well as outside end points for distance learning.  The system allows participants to access a variety of sources quickly and easily through a seamless integration of Kramer Electronics scaler/switchers, matrix switchers and twisted pair transmitter/receivers.  Three sets of Kramer TP−121EDID and TP−122EDID twisted pair transmitter/receivers transmit VGA signals from a document camera, laptop computer and room PC directly to the matrix switcher.  Three sets of Kramer PT−571 and PT−572+ twisted pair transmitter/receivers transmit HDMI signals from a DVD/VCR, laptop PC and Blu−Ray DVD player to a Kramer VS−66HDCP DVI matrix switcher.  Three DLP projectors display video and source material in the lecture hall, and they are connected to the system through three Kramer VP−437xl HDMI scaler/switchers.  A fourth VP−437xl unit links to a Kramer FC−32 DVI to computer graphics/component video format converter, which sends a signal back to the control room.  A Kramer VP−731 ProScale® digital scaler/switcher distributes video sources to the videoconferencing codec.  Three cameras are routed through the videoconferencing system for multi−point video conferencing.  The room PC is attached to a smart podium that features a 9−inch touch panel for easy room control.  Kramer DGKat™ cabling is used throughout the media center, connecting video sources with cable runs up to 160 feet.  

A video recording studio is connected to the lecture hall via a shared rack system housing the audio/video equipment.  The studio features an HD production camera, teleprompter and confidence monitor, green screen and a live production system, sound room with MIDI keyboard and recording equipment, interactive computer la with 15 iMac computers and a 65−inch HDTV.

“The system has been a success for us, because the technology was designed to be as easy as possible,” said Liwosz.  “We want the focus to be on instructing, so we made sure the technology does not get in the way of the content.”

IMS installed the main system necessary for student and faculty use in just under 10 weeks.  The system continued to be adjusted and completed through a four−month period.  Both the technology support team at Alvernia University and the faculty received training and technical support from IMS, giving everyone a comfort level with the system.

Together, Alvernia University, IMS and Kramer Electronics made convenient distance education a reality, and demonstrated how electronics can expand opportunities for teaching throughout Pennsylvania communities.

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