Page 8 - Campus Technology, August/September 2017
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I also set out this show to investigate some cost-effective, feature-rich audio processing options for smaller classrooms and meeting spaces. Installing a full-blown 12x8 DSP in these spaces to handle a couple installed web conferencing microphones isn’t a very cost-effective model. I find that many designers neglect the importance of proper microphone processing when installing web- based conferencing systems. A basic fixed USB camera may be enough to handle the video side of things, but poor audio will ruin a conferencing system. Ceiling, table and wireless mics are still needed in the midsize/larger rooms. I was looking for smaller boxes that would still provide basic DSP functions, AEC, Dante support, USB output and auto mixing. Shure, Audio-Technica and Biamp all
caught my eye with some viable options. Shure showcased its P300, which is a cost-effective DSP mainly built to provide processing for the company’s Microflex Advance Dante ceiling and table mic array units. Audio-Technica introduced its ATDM-0604 Digital SmartMixer, which is an auto mixer with echo cancellation that seems like a cheaper alternative to a full-blown DSP. Biamp added to its popular TesiraForte line of DSPs with a smaller VT4 model, with is a 4x4 model with the same features we know from previous TesiraForte experience.
4) Video
For those involved in higher end video production in classrooms and campus event spaces, Vaddio introduced
the AV Bridge Matrix Mix. This rack-mounted box offers production-quality video switching and routing, with a built-in AV Bridge USB 3.0 output for web conferencing/ streaming integration. While there may be quite a few video production switchers on the market, I took notice of this box because of the potential for it to be installed in a large classroom to pull double duty as a production switcher operated by production staff, or in a more automated design operated by an instructor for basic classroom web conferencing, lecture capture or distance learning applications. This box can be controlled via a web interface, a separate and familiar production-style camera switcher/controller interface from Vaddio, or connected to a third-party control system for a standard classroom touchpanel scenario.
5) Digital Signage
Corporate and commercial AV seems to be booming right now with creative digital signage solutions. While this may not directly relate to the basic digital signage applications typically seen on higher ed campuses, it made me start longing for more creative digital signage to start making its way into our corner of the industry. Direct view, fine- pitch LED video wall panels were everywhere — and looked stunning. Manufacturers are also offering odd aspect ratio flat-panel displays made for applications like
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | August/September 2017
Vaddio’s AV Bridge MatrixMIX
Photo: Vaddio

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