Case Study: Education – In a Class of its Own
The classroom of the future may not be as far off as you think. Today's collaborative technologies are driving the education market into new digital frontiers. In this case study, Crestron's Technical Director, Bignesh Dayal, takes us on a tour of what Crestron will be showcasing to drive the learning environments of tomorrow.
Bignesh ‘Vicky’ Dayal is Technical Director at Crestron ANZ, and says with its broad range of products Crestron can deliver “a classroom in a box.”
“Our highest selling product in the education market is a digital media presentation system, the 3 Series DMPS product line,” he says. “It has the processor, controller, audio DSP, video switcher and HDMI extender all in one.”
The 3 Series range of products also has a built-in AirMedia gateway to enable wireless presentation from computers and mobile devices.
The buzz in AV today is ‘AV over IP’. AV now sits directly on a facility network where it can be accessed on demand. For example, Crestron’s NVX system can transport 4K60 HDR video over a 1 Gigabit ethernet with no latency. Crucial to this is the collaboration between IT and AV teams to transport the video and audio signals to the end user.
Crestron: the building integration specialists
Dayal points out that it’s not just AV that Crestron’s controllers command.
“All the technology in the room can be controlled through the one interface: audio, video, lighting, blinds, air-conditioning,” he says.
“So if there’s no one using the room, the air-conditioning and lights can be switched off. We can tie into the building’s calendar, so if I know there’s a class at a certain time, I can take it off the booking system and turn on the lights and air-conditioning before it starts.”
Space being one of the most important resources in a teaching facility, Crestron’s room booking software keeps track of its availability.
“I see us as the building integration specialists,” Dayal says. “We talk to all the elements in the building, harness the data and make intuitive decisions based on it.”
Keeping an eye on the classroom’s interconnected hardware products – screens, amps, computers – is Crestron’s Fusion software, which sits on the network and proactively monitors. The various products report their state to the Crestron processor in the room, which is the link to the network management tool.
If a projector stops working, a solution can be found before the room’s user discovers the problem for themselves.
A+ Education Partner Program
Crestron’s A+ Education Partner Program is about establishing closer ties with educational institutions, Dayal says.
“The benefits to the institutions are preferred pricing, direct support 24/7, a five-year warranty on products and advanced replacement on any hardware that fails. There is also a loyalty program which can be utilised for additional hardware.
“We also provide system programming training, system design training and training in the use of our hardware – and it’s free. Either staff come to our Chatswood centre, or sometimes we go out to the universities if there is a large enough requirement.”
Beyond the classroom: remote conferences
A teaching institution isn’t all about the classroom. Sometimes it’s important for teachers to communicate with other institutions, or liaise with stakeholders interstate or colleagues overseas.
Crestron Mercury is a tabletop device that handles conference calls, wired and wireless presentations, and web conferencing. It features HDMI, USB, and ethernet connectivity, built-in Bluetooth connectivity and a Crestron AirMedia wireless presentation gateway. It supports any collaboration application running on a connected laptop and feeds it to the room screen.
Mercury natively supports Zoom, the fastest growing software codec on the market for conference calling. If someone is late for the conference, you can call them using Mercury’s full open SIP phone. It also has its own room booking display so you can see if the room is available or book a time in advance.
“Something I say in our training is that you go from a Hyundai to a Toyota and you don’t need a driving lesson,” Dayal says. “That’s what our Crestron systems do. They let you use all those different elements of a room with ease.”
Crestron at Integrate Expo 2017
A Crestron exhibit will be featured at Integrate Expo to demonstrate products and the possibilities of AV technology in education and other industries. The stand will display Crestron’s the 3 Series DMPS product line.