Durham University is a Collegiate University with ancient traditions and modern values, seeking to achieve the highest distinction in research and scholarship which make a real difference to societies world-wide. The University is committed to excellence in all aspects of learning, education and the transmission of knowledge.

Ideally located on the waterfront, the contemporary Queen’s Campus is purpose built, delivering world class courses, and combining a friendly and vibrant academic community with city living, a wealth of sport, cultural and leisure activities.

The Brief

The University planned to refurbish, update and enhance two of its largest lecture theatres at Queen’s Campus, during the summer of 2013, enhancing teaching/AV and IT facilities in each room.

Existing equipment was 15 years old and naturally come to the end of its life. The University was looking for an Audio Visual Solutions Integrator who could upgrade the AV technology as well as have the technical knowledge to stream lecture information from the main theatre to the smaller teaching room, providing an overflow facility, supporting increased student numbers should the need arise.

The rooms were to have the Wow factor, so as an extra option the University specified that the JM Graduate was to be used within the teaching space, providing an excellent teaching platform, housing all Audio Visual equipment and a branded focal point for the front of the room.

The Solution

The solution was specified by Universal AV Services in partnership with the University’s AV Team in Computing and Information Services (CIS) department, headed by Clive Bowery, AV Team Technical Manager.

The solution proposed for the main lecture theatre included twin Panasonic Projectors in both lecture theatres, controlled by an AMX system facilitating the need to share the source to the second lecture theatre. At the heart of the Lecture Theatre stood a University Branded Graduate 2000 Lectern from JM Supplies, providing the Wow factor centre piece, as well as housing all new AV equipment, and providing enough space for the lecturer to work and present.

"Having never had branded furniture before the Graduate would make the statement we wanted, and provide the wow factor", comments Clive Bowery, AV Team Technical Manager.

Installation

Work started at the University at the end of August 2013. Used to working with Universities, Universal AV understands that there is a limited window of opportunity for install within the summer months, and worked with Durham University to ensure that the tight deadlines as well as pressures of summer teaching could be met.

As with any installation there were one or two issues to overcome, such as communication and interpretation of requirements, being specific about where control systems are to be placed to ensure optimum use. The Graduate Lectern also appeared to have doors that did not close correctly, however, after further inspection from JM, it transpired that this was due to the fact the floor upon which the lectern was placed was uneven, affecting how they closed and looked.

Summary

Universal AV Services were responsible for the full install including a full AMX control system with touch panels, Dual Screen Projection, Blu Ray, Computer, Visualisers, Cameras (to facilitate flow for lecture overspill). In addition to this installation, Universal also provided Durham University with a Video Conferencing Solution.

"The Lecture Theatre was up and running in no time, so although us as a team were aware of the issues the lecturers and the users of the rooms were unaffected which is my main priority. All in all a successful installation finished" Clive Bowery, AV Team Technical Manager.

Tech Spec

  • 4 x Panasonic Pt-EZ570-WUXGA Projectors
  • 2 x SMART SP518 Interactive Podiums
  • 2 x JM Graduate 2000 lecterns
  • 2 x AMX MXD-1000 10" Touch Panels
  • 1 x Polycom HDX8000 codec with 2 x Eagle Eye 3 Cameras
  • 1 x Extron DXP88 HDMI Matrix Switcher
  • 1 x Extron DMP128 DSP Processors
  • 2 x Samsung SNP-3120HD IP Cameras
  • 2 x Ampetronic ILD300 Induction Loops