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University ‘Superlab’ gets largest ever Wyrestorm AVoIP solution

London Metropolitan University has replaced the legacy equipment in its ‘Superlab’, opting for an AV over IP solution from Wyrestorm, integrated by Reflex. Once completed, the scheme comprised the largest Wyrestorm installation in the world.

The 8,000sqm space was constructed in 2006 as part of an ambitious £30 million programme to make the university a leading choice for science students. It includes 280 workstations and was the first educational lab to use advanced AV technology as a central part of teaching and learning.

In order to maintain the University’s standards, Reflex was asked to deliver a high quality system that could meet every requirement of cutting-edge science education.

The University wished to be able to simultaneously route and distribute video content from the Superlab’s lecturer stations to any number and combination of its 268 science students. Given that science experiments would be at the heart of the content, crystal clear video was a requirement. Removing and replacing the lab’s existing Cat5 cabling was not an option due to the labour costs, disruption and time needed. Therefore the Reflex team determined that an AV over IP system was the way to proceed and consulted with POLAR Integrated Solutions over provision for a solution using Wyrestorm NetworkHD JPEG2000 4K video over IP technology.

The image quality and ultra low latency of Wyrestorm made choosing technology simple

Oliver Holmes, London Metropolitan University

Reflex designed a Wyrestorm scheme for the Superlab and then in conjunction with POLAR and Wyrestorm, set about extensive testing to ensure that the existing Cat5 infrastructure would be able to handle the planned installation. Once testing was successfully completed, the scheme was installed.

In total 12 Wyrestorm NHD-IPTX transmitters (one for each lecturer station) were installed to carry 4K HDMI signals from the source unit and encode them to JPEG2000 data streams. These streams are transmitted through the (already existing) Cat5 infrastructure to 268 Wyrestorm NHD-400RX receivers assigned to each of the display units located at the student work stations. The streams are distributed through a group of Brocade 1Gb managed switches and are visually lossless.

Stuart Leader, director of POLAR Integrated Solutions explained: “The installation at the Superlab amply demonstrates that there is no requirement for special cabling – it operates on standard Cat5 and its scalability means that there is no inherent ‘waste’ of inputs or outputs as may be the case using a traditional matrix system.”

William Jepps, managing director of Reflex added: “Superlab has been an exciting challenge for us. We worked closely with POLAR and Wyrestorm to come up with an extremely elegant and cost-effective design solution. The project was well managed and we’re very happy with the end result.”

Oliver Holmes, deputy director, technology and operations at London Metropolitan University commented: “POLAR helped deliver a proof of concept that blew us away – the image quality and ultra low latency of Wyrestorm made choosing technology simple.

“We have jointly delivered a hugely successful project, which is already improving the student learning and teaching experience and will definitely contribute to successful student outcomes.”