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Barix Exstreamer installed in Texas schools

test 9 June 2008

The tightly integrated solution provides administrators and teachers with an easy-to-use control system that interfaces with nearly every audio and video device in each school. It also presents students with cutting-edge technology that offers everything from PA communications to broadcast and A/V education.

The CampusSV system from SchoolView Technologies of Plano, Texas is at the heart of the solution, providing a single integrated platform with a simple GUI for district administrators to distribute audio, video and control signals throughout the schools. The Exstreamer 100 Audio over IP devices (pictured) integrate with CampusSV for audio distribution, including bells, music, live PA announcements and automated school-wide alerts.

Audio amplifiers from Calypso Control Systems of Hudson, Wisconsin communicate with the Barix devices to playback audio over speaker sets in classrooms, common areas, or the entire school. All audio is delivered over a 3GB IP network backbone and can be scheduled and automated over the CampusSV system.

The CampusSV platform also enables live and recorded video delivery from the central media headend to any number of classrooms using the same 3GB data network backbone. In the classroom, the system tightly integrates with Calypso interface equipment for control of multimedia and presentation devices from the teacher’s computer, including projectors and DVD players.

“The goal was to standardise on a system that would require few changes beyond adding an occasional piece, without having to completely overhaul the system backbone,” said Joe Squiers, director of instructional technology at Franklin ISD. “The IP backbone eliminates the hard-wiring aspect while also laying the foundation to install a control system such as SchoolView that has a direct communication path to hardware devices around the school. This includes everything from programming bells and music to multiple Barix devices, to distribution of student video broadcasts from the central headend. Add the Calypso interface that gives our teachers more control of the classroom AV element, and it’s clear our technology has reached a new level.”

The complete system, incorporating CampusSV, was designed by Elert & Associates for Franklin High School and Franklin Elementary School, and will be replicated in the district’s renovated middle school, scheduled to open for the beginning of the 2008-09 school year. The schools are also in the early stages of building out digital signage networks for data and video distribution to display screens.

Squiers added that the Barix and SchoolView interoperability opens the door to scheduled emergency drills and add pre-recorded messages in the event of security incidents.

“The audio portion is so much more than a standard PA and bell clock system,” he said. “We recently used the system to play music over the cafeteria speakers as part of a student celebration. I was able to select cafeteria only from the SchoolView interface to ensure the music was zoned only to play over those speakers. The Barix units decode the music at high quality, and allow the bells to take priority over the music output when they are scheduled to ring.”

Barix, SchoolView and Calypso representatives will be on hand at the InfoComm show in Las Vegas, on 18-20 June, to discuss the technologies in use at Franklin ISD.

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