The University of California M.I.N.D. Institute
"Audia's built-in CobraNet® technology eliminated the need for a large and costly audio matrix, and we replaced multiple wires with one Cat5 twisted-pair cable per room."- DEMETRIUS PALAVOS, DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING AND PRODUCTION, PRO MEDIA
The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) M.I.N.D. (Medical Investigation of Neuro-development Disorders) Institute's goal is to "find the causes and cures of autism by 2033." Located on the UC Davis Medical Center campus in Sacramento, CA, the new research facility incorporates a $1.6 million AV installation throughout its 19 observation, examination and doctor's charting rooms, which are used for studying and treating children's neurodevelopment disorders.
The AV team's goal: facilitate research with unobtrusive audio and video capabilities that enable researchers, doctors and parents to view patients in any examination room.
The major challenges revolved around space, especially the amount of equipment and volume of cabling routed to the media distribution head-end. A compact solution to accommodate audio interconnectivity needs was also essential, to offset the video matrix's size and cabling.
To overcome the space limitations, Pro Media based the system on Biamp's Audia® Digital Signal Platform, with built-in CobraNet® capabilities. Similar traditional audio installations normally require multiple as many as 20 shielded audio cables in each room, which converge in the head-end and connect to a large, space-consuming analog audio matrix.
Instead, Pro Media installed Audia units with CobraNet capability in each of the Institute's 19 rooms to facilitate room-to-room communication. Using Biamp Audia software, the team created a system that would enable communication between all the Audia modules within CobraNet's parameters, and maximize DSP resources.
Designed to deliver media (live or recorded video and audio) to any and all locations within the building, the media distribution head-end serves as the system's central point of distribution. The head-end also features a Hewlett Packard ProCurve 4000m Ethernet switch, a Siemens HD5 Cat5e, 48-port patch panel, and a VBrick Full-Duplex MPEG, four-station encoder.
To provide video interconnectivity, Pro Media installed an Extron 12800 Series 64x48 Crosspoint video matrix switcher, located in the head-end. The switcher takes up almost one half of a full-size rack with costly coaxial video cable running from room to room.
A pair of Sony EVI-D30 pan/tilt cameras at opposite corners of each exam room record examinations, which are later viewed and evaluated during research. Examiners wear an in-ear Shure P4TE1 wireless personal monitor system so technicians or doctors in the adjoining observation room can offer private prompts and instruction. Ceiling-mounted Crown PZM microphones are used for all other outgoing communication.
MPEG encoders and a Tandberg 2500 codec also deliver media to observers virtually anywhere in the world, via Internet streaming and/or videoconferencing.
The Audia-based networked media system greatly simplifies the wiring. Instead of multiple audio lines, one Cat5e twisted-pair cable connects each room back to the head-end. Estimated cost savings: approximately 15 percent versus conventional analog lines. Thanks to Audia's compact footprint, there's enough space for the system now and in the future. The M.I.N.D. Institute can easily stay on the cutting edge of AV systems as well as its own research.
"We used Biamp software to create a system that would enable communication between all the Audia modules. The flexible software let us lay out the system in advance to come up with an effective solution."- DEMETRIUS PALAVOS, DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING AND PRODUCTION, PRO MEDIA