Our clients at Barnum Financial in Shelton, CT. have a conference room they use for clients, employee conferences and presentations, but needed the technology to make it work in the manner in they wanted. They needed the ability to present wirelessly or via HDMI connection to TV and speakers in the ceiling. They also want ability to watch live TV from cable in this location; for catching up on news of the day or while entertaining clients.
Remotes can get easily misplaced or lost altogether. While a remote is needed for easy control of the cable box, this setup must have touch screen control. This touch screen will be to turn the room on and configure it for its intended use when employees enter the room. It must also offer control of the sources (most importantly cable box) because the remote may be missing. Lastly, when finished the room can be turned off with just a single button press. A special request was asked – while the touchscreen will be easy, can the room turn on and configure itself automatically?
This is not a basic conference room with simple office furniture. This furniture in this room was chosen for it’s appearance as well as it’s functionality. The firm wanted a room that would feel warm and comfortable so the technology had to disappear as much as possible. We used a 75” flat screen on the wall and agreed with the client that ceiling speakers would give a clean look to the TV wall by not having speakers mounted on and around the TV. We used 4 ceiling speakers to give even sound reinforcement throughout the entire room. The equipment is hidden in a closet in the room, neatly wired into a rolling equipment rack. Hiding equipment in the closet helped with the client’s request to make the technology disappear. The rolling rack allows our technicians to easily install and maintain the equipment. Proper planning is important and we had to coordinate with the electrician for an outlet in the closet in addition to the TV outlet.
Having design phase conversations after being chosen for the project is key to executing the install on time. By default, closets do not have electrical outlets (or network jacks) in them and having the electrician return for an unnecessary second trip is wasteful and can delay the project.
Touchscreen at entry to room allows for single button configuration of the room. The client can choose to show a presentation or watch cable. With just that button press, the room is properly configured. For cable, a control page is presented so channels can be changed to select the desired program.
We were even able to accommodate the client’s special request. Because we used Crestron presentation equipment for this room, the devices are able to detect if a laptop is plugged into the system for presenting. With the detection of the HDMI ‘hot plug’, the room will auto configure. The room will turn on the TV and audio equipment and automatically switch to the input the laptop is connected to. This means no instruction is needed and anyone can walk into the conference room, plug in their laptop and wait for the room to turn itself on. There just isn’t an easier setup than that, no remote or touchscreen needed.
Engineer, Jared O'Mara