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teleconference solutions video conference biamp nexia audix State Bar

*** The State Bar Of Georgia does not endorse individual products or services. The following is for informational purposes only. ***

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The State Bar Of Georgia is known to attorneys and non-attorneys alike for their unwavering integrity and strict code of ethics. To facilitate this, each attorney must take a minimum number of hours each year of continuing education (CLE) to stay current on laws and trends. Audio Visual technology is a key component to reaching every attorney across the state. In this Project Profile we will discuss how Syncomation identified the issues at hand, designed a cost effective solution to remedy the issue, completed the installation on time and on budget, and the results of the project.
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The Presidents Room is one of the most prestigious spaces at the Bar. It has the technology to match, but there were major issues with the sound and teleconferencing. We were asked by Kyle Gause, Conference Center Manager, to offer a phased solution to fix their issues.

As we investigated we discovered some surprising facts. The speakers placed in the table had foam surrounds and very thin paper cones. Over time, these had deteriorated to the point of being useless. The microphones were designed for full range pickup and had low sensitivity, not ideal for teleconferencing. Finally, the existing Polycom Vortex devices were having stability issues, losing programming and randomly muting the microphones. Our findings were confirmed when we sat down with Kyle and he said "We were having big problems where the phone call audio would drop in and out. It got to the point where we stopped using the system altogether and just placed a portable Polycom phone on the table." Not only did this cause the teleconferencing to be unusable, but the sound reinforcement was unpredictable as well. Any proposed solution also had to work independently of their existing Crestron control system to avoid reprogramming and keeping costs in check. We knew we could offer a robust, stable solution that would make the Presidents Room useful again.

Since we had identified three major problems, we offered a three stage solution.

Stage 1 consisted of replacing the microphones. We suggested the Audix M60 microphones. They are specifically designed for teleconferencing and vocal sound reinforcement. It is a mini condenser microphone with fully integrated electronics, and immunity from RF interference caused by cell phones. They operate on 18-52v phantom power. It has a striking solid brass design, that we chose to get powder coated black to match their installed locations.
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Stage 2 consisted of replacement speakers. Due to their location built-in the table, our choices were few. A 3" speaker would fit well. We suggested speakers from Visaton. Well known in the UK for their PA systems, sturdy designs, and versatile placement options we knew they would work well. They also have a heavy duty paper cone, rubber surround, and steel frame. Perfect for cost effective long term high quality sound.

Stage 3 would address the dialer and sound processing. BiAmp offers award winning acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) in their Nexia line of processors. They do not have 'presets' that can be easily lost, and are known for their stability and sound quality. With 12 speakers and 12 microphones it would take more than one Nexia to support the room. BiAmp has no problem here though, using NexLink you can connect multiple devices together to create one large system. We were able to use a Nexia TC and Nexia VC to give us 12 AEC inputs, and 8 line outputs. But, with 12 speakers we needed to create zones on the table. This was actually beneficial, because combining the three speakers at each end of the table into a single zone allowed us to enhance the sound reinforcement for much stronger levels without needing to tax the DSP for feedback prevention. BiAmp also offers an iPad app for dialing, address book, and level controls which would allow us to bypass the Crestron system. We would also able to include PC audio input, VCR/DVD audio input, the ability to record meetings and teleconferences, and expansion possibilities!
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After presenting the phased solution, it was decided to do all three at once. This would minimize the impact during the day, allow us more time to integrate and balance all the sound levels, and reduce the labor charges for multiple site visits.

We were on-site for 2 days, during which time we removed each speaker box, custom built mounting plates, installed the speakers, replaced each microphone, placed the new BiAmp Nexias in the rack, wired, programmed, and tested.

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Everything sounded crystal clear. The sound reinforcement allowed someone at the far end of the table to hear anyone else in the room even if they were whispering. The telephone calls were clear and highly intelligible for remote and local participants. We returned on Day 3 for a brief training session, during which time we showed Kyle how to dial and adjust all levels, without the need to use the Crestron control system.

The overall result was a marked increase in the requests and usage of The Presidents Room, allowing it to facilitate the communication in the room and around the state. A few weeks later Kyle told us "The new system, every time we use it, everyone is giving me thumbs up and good remarks. They say they can finally hear the other end of the call crystal clear, the people on the other end say we are crystal clear, and that is with EVERY single seat. AND, no one is trying to change seats to get near the 'good' speaker, they all work equally well now. People are not shying away anymore now that they know it actually works."

When asked if they are pleased with the investment, Kyle said "100% yes. So far, absolutely 100%. The Executive Director and CFO have both used it and loved it. They are happy."

As an integrator and a/v solutions provider, that is the best result we could ask for.

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