AV/IT TEAM: Deep Batra, IT manager and section head of Computing Services Centre
GOALS: City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is an English-language public research university in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The university has nine main schools offering courses in business, science, engineering, liberal arts and social sciences, law, and veterinary medicine. For a recent AV upgrade, CityU needed a networked audio solution that would be easy to monitor and manage—a design that would provide a theater-quality audio experience; was scalable; and was powered by a high-performance, cost-effective digital signal processor.
CHALLENGES: “Our vision was to develop a space that would bring awareness to the use of AR/VR for employee training and put it in the hands of local business and industry, as well as to offer classes in XR content development,” said Workforce systems administrator Corey Durham. “Businesses are facing a constant revolving door of employees and they can’t keep up with the training needs. When companies use XR to help prepare workers, they conserve resources and reduce turnover.”
The scope of the plan encompassed four distinct areas: A central demo center would showcase the capabilities of XR for training, and would therefore require a large display to make visible the modules trainees would experience through their headsets; and then three labs would serve as facilities for teaching AR content development, providing specific employee training experiences. These labs needed interactive displays to facilitate engagement and collaborative learning. All of this hardware needed to be reliable, commercial-grade tech capable of meeting the Center’s anticipated high demand.
FINAL INSTALL/USER BENEFITS: Together, the Bose Professional Hong Kong and CityU AV teams designed a solution that not only meets their needs now, but also in the future because of the system’s high quality, flexibility, and scalability. After reviewing multiple manufacturer offerings, the team created a holistic solution that met all the university’s requirements.
The Bose Panaray MSA12X steerable array column loudspeakers, DesignMax DM5C in-ceiling loudspeakers, and DM8-C Sub subwoofers worked together to provide outstanding vocal intelligibility and tonal consistency—while complementing the existing building’s aesthetics. The MSA12X's proprietary Articulated Array transducer configuration allows wide, 160-degree horizontal coverage throughout the room. With its modular design, two of the lecture theaters utilize loudspeaker stacks containing two MSA12X units per side.
Bose ControlSpace EX-1280C conferencing signal processor, Bose DesignMax DM5C loudspeaker, Bose DesignMax DM8C-Sub subwoofer, Bose Panaray MSA12X steerable array loudspeaker, Bose PowerShare PS404D adaptable power amplifier
Known as a flexible DSP platform, the ControlSpace EX-1280C conferencing digital sound processor supports rooms of various sizes. Paired with each MSA12X stack, using Dante protocol to connect to the ControlSpace EX-1280C digital processors over the network greatly simplified device connectivity. The system is powered by reliable and adaptable PowerShare PS404D amplifiers. “This was the first time I’ve set up AV provisions for the lecture halls without any form of analog cables,” said Batra. “This is the future—where all devices will be digital and analog issues will become a thing of the past.”
Bringing more than 50 years of audio experience to the project, the team illustrated their clear understanding of how sound behaves and the mastery of loudspeaker placement. The solution also not only provided an ideal acoustic experience for all attending, but it improved the room aesthetics by blending the audio technology with the architecture.
CityU is now able to use AV over IP to inter-connect more than six large, separate spaces into one cohesive virtual space that can seat more than 1,000 students. This efficient, cost-effective solution would not have been possible using traditional analog cables. All devices now reside on the university’s IoT network and are managed by their network engineers—who provide an IP address to each device and set its firewall rules specific to their security needs.
[ Check out more from The Class of 2023: The AV/IT Teams of Higher Ed ]