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Cranfield University gets future-proof Crestron platform

GV Multimedia has undertaken a complete AV solution install with 4K capability in Cranfield University’s new signature building, the Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC). Cranfield University, located near Milton Keynes is the only university in Europe with its own airport and runway.

The installation includes digital signage, an executive boardroom, a large open flexible lab space and five meeting rooms. The AV solution had to allow for the flexible use of each space and the technology needed to be extensible to accommodate future updates.

GV Multimedia installed Crestron DigitalMedia DMPS3-4K-300-C, the first to be installed in higher education in the UK, delivering a presentation system with 4K UHD display and projection. All AV sources run through a Crestron DM-MD16X16 switcher for 4K signal routing, which outputs to the lab space and meeting rooms via a Crestron DM-TXRX-100-STR streaming unit.

“Based on the client brief and varying uses of the building, we approached the AV design with the future in mind and gave careful consideration to how the requirements might change or need to adapt over time,” said Kristian Cutting, deputy managing director at GV Multimedia. “With this in mind, we selected Crestron technology to create a strong foundation for the AV framework.”

The scale of the project was large, with all three floors within the building requiring a comprehensive installation, including 4K display screens and digital signage. GV Multimedia chose a Crestron DM-MD16X16 switcher to manage the various AV sources and deliver signal routing to each area. This solution also outputs to a Crestron streaming unit, which feeds a continuous visual of the lab space to the five meeting rooms, which are based on the second floor and other spaces on the campus.

In the executive boardroom, located on the first floor, 75in 4K displays were installed. As the output signal from the switcher needed to be capable of 4K, GV Multimedia used the Crestron DMPS3-4K-300-C. In addition, two Crestron Fliptop units with retractable cables were installed for BYOD capability on either end of the boardroom table. For easy management of the boardroom’s conferencing functionality, a 10in Crestron TSW-1052 touchscreen provides a customised interface for meetings. The boardroom was also bi-directionally linked to the first floor open space lab so that a conference call can be held in this area and any of the lab’s content can also be shared via the live feed.

The open space on the first floor has four ‘zones’ which can be combined in six different modes. Two zones were integrated with dual projectors, providing a single edge blended image, while the other two had single projectors installed. Each zone has its own custom podium lectern featuring an input plate for BYOD and a Crestron 7in touchscreen for AV control of each zone.

The five meeting rooms each feature 4K displays which are linked with a discreet Crestron DM-DGE-200-C digital graphics engine. The displays are controlled via Crestron 5in touchscreens and the addition of an input plate allows for connectivity of BYOD. Crestron occupancy sensors enable a neat automatic welcome message inviting guests to use the system.

Gio Lusignani, director of information services at Cranfield University explained: “By opting for a bespoke AV solution built upon the Crestron [DM-MD16X16] switcher, GV Multimedia has given the university a strong base from which to grow its network in the future. The AV performance is exceptional and creates a directional workspace for a new generation of innovators.”