The D. H. Hill Jr. Library on the campus of North Carolina State University (NCSU) has been a resource for students and the surrounding community for decades. The library has reinvented itself over the years and completed its latest major renovation in 2021. Extron AV switching, distribution, and control were successfully deployed in the renovation to add audio and video capabilities.
The Tech Challenges
The renovation involved extensive remodels to the structure, and many high-tech additions and upgrades, including cutting-edge audiovisual amenities. New AV-enabled spaces include the Innovation Studio, a venue to display virtual reality and other emerging technologies; the Visualization Studio, with immersive 360-degree projection; and the Data Experience Lab, a collaborative space for data science and analytics. Also included in the renovation are more group study rooms, more learning labs and more presentation spaces.
The in-house AV technology team at NCSU made a strategic decision to implement Extron AV switching, distribution, and control in the Hill Library partly because they were already using Extron’s GlobalViewer Enterprise software to manage their extensive deployment of Extron systems in many of the school’s other learning venues.
The Visualization & Innovation Studio
The Visualization Studio is an immersive theater-in-the-round experience, designed to showcase engaging content produced by faculty and students all across the campus. Eight projectors and twelve speakers deliver 360-degree video and enveloping Dolby Atmos surround sound for teaching and learning, research talks, special projects and events.
The Visualization Studio relies on a 16×16 XTP II CrossPoint 1600 matrix switcher to select and distribute program content to eight projectors. XPA U 1002-70V and NetPA 1001-70V AT amplifiers deliver Atmos audio from analog and Dante sources to seven SM 28T surface mount speakers surrounding the audience and four SF 26PT pendant speakers suspended from the ceiling.
AV functions and lighting in the room are operated through a touchpanel interface on an iPad mini running the Extron Control App. Responding to the touchpanel selections, an IPCP Pro 555 control processor controls all AV system components, while an IPCP Pro 250 controls room lighting.
The Innovation Studio is a learning space that showcases work of students and faculty using a interactive projection experience, in which 4K laser projectors in the ceiling project images onto display tables and depth cameras sense people’s’ hand motions in 3D space above the tabletops as they interact with the projected images.
The effect is a touchscreen, but without the “touch.” An XTP II CrossPoint 1600 matrix switcher handles AV switching to the projectors and to MPA 601 amplifiers driving speakers above the tables. Controlling all AV functions are IPCP Pro control processors and a variety of wall-mounted and tabletop TouchLink Pro touchpanels.
Those who walk through the D. H. Hill Jr. Library are benefitting from state-of-the-art audiovisual technology that holds the interest of even the latest generation of students accustomed to pervasive technology in every aspect of their lives.
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