The Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS) is a research institute and laboratory school of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. This year, the school completed the Margaret and Wallace McCain Pavilion addition to the Institute’s Leighton G. McCarthy House. The new addition features a large multipurpose auditorium/gymnasium, seminar rooms, and modern classrooms to better serve the institute’s graduate program, Lab School, and Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Research Centre. In addition, the McCain Pavilion allowed the JICS to open its doors to serve Toronto families for best-practice teaching and family learning, as well as welcome the broader education community and related disciplines. The new facility will also support additional programming to be undertaken in partnership with governments, public school boards, and professional and community agencies.
The newly expanded facility’s mission is to raise the bar higher for quality outreach programs that will allow the community to assemble and participate in many of the programs and benefits the institution has to offer. To serve these programs and meet the needs of public assemblies, the new pavilion need to be equipped with audio and video technology that would allow them to easily and affordably drive dynamic audio, video, and other media presentations.
After surveying the video distribution options on the market, the institute’s information technology department landed on Just Add Power (J+P)’s Ultra HD over IP solution for the entire facility. Each classroom projector is equipped with J+P’s 3G Ultra HD Over IP receivers. For the classrooms, J+P’s transmitters are plugged into each of the sources in the room—one for a 5x1 HDMI switcher for instructor-supplied devices or the podium PC, and one as a secondary HDMI input that is automatically matrixed to the second projector when in use. In addition to the classrooms and breakout rooms, the gymnasium, which converts in to a 400-seat auditorium, was integrated with two Epson L1505 laser projectors, which feeding to two 208-inch custom Da-Lite Screens with up to 72-inch drop, each equipped with J+P receivers. Another receiver was installed at the audio rack to receive the J+P transmitter signal. An additional J+P PoE transmitter was integrated into the portable podium with another transmitter available for input of a computer or camera.
Delivering Ultra HD video signals over IP with an ultra-low 16ms of latency from source to screen while leveraging the facility’s common IP infrastructure, J+P’s platform provides a high-quality video distribution system that could be adapted to the variety of display and source solutions going into each space.
In addition to the transmitters and receivers, after significant testing, the institute selected J+P’s Plug-Play-Present logic controller to automate switching and projector on/off in dual projector rooms, including the auditorium. The controller makes it easier to add logic control to the school’s J+P systems and allows users to intuitively switch between sources to make presentations. Users simply connect any source to any HDMI or VGA transmitter, and the transmitter does all the work. The device also allows integrators or IT staff to create a scene based on video being present. It can power devices on and off and communicate with network devices. The transmitter can send CEC, IR, IP, or RS-232 commands to a single screen, multiple screens, or the network switch with simple conditional statements to make control possible without the additional expense of an outboard control system.
Using J+P drove down costs and allowed JICS to avoid putting in any AV cabling beyond speaker wiring. The system enabled efficient source detection that simplified the user experience: If one input is detected in the dual-projector classrooms and auditorium, for example, the video will show on both displays. If both J+P inputs are being used, the J+P system matrixes them automatically. Leveraging the J+P Plug-Play-Present feature on the second projector eliminates any source confusion by creating a control command that automatically uses the primary transmitter unless it detects the second one.
For the breakout rooms, the displays are configured to only use a single input and automatically turn on or off based on input detection. Finally, by utilizing J+P’s SwitchPlease mobile and PC application, the auditorium can be put into operator mode to allow switching between the camera input and presentation slides or other source inputs. This completely eliminated the expense and complexity of additional control systems to drive the display source switching.
“The new addition to the Institute of Child Study is a landmark for bringing awareness and public education to childhood development,” said Kurt Binnie, director, information technology, education commons for Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. “Just Add Power’s 3G Ultra HD Over IP solutions helped set the tone to meet that goal. With J+P’s world-class video distribution technology, we’re able to do so much more with the system—even scaling the system for any future display and source additions—while meeting our high technology standards and budgetary restrictions.”