Technology Enhanced Presentation Room--how is it set up?


(Suzanne Ungson) #1

We’re a medium-sized church with aging buildings and technology! I’ve been tasked with reworking a specific meeting room and possibly others to offer plug & play presentation capability.

  1. How is/are your presentation room/s setup for presentation capability for multi-use (children’s church school, staff or volunteer or guest presenters)?

In place embedded workstation area containing projector, computer, plugin for BYOD, DVD/VHS combo, incorporated audio system (with a control panel?)–

OR

Mobile workstation cart containing projector, computer, plugin for BYOD, DVD/VHS combo, incorporated audio system, with power cable & network cable that plug into appropriate wall ports?

  1. How do you make either set up easy to use so an IT person doesn’t have to be present for issues?

Thanks for your advice!
Suzanne


(Mark Simmons) #2

There is a third option: wall mounted flat screen with a wireless access device driving it like an Apple TV. More and more people know how to wirelessly access devices using Bluetooth, WiFi or Air Play. We’ve done the other configurations, and still have them, but mostly for events that require full A/V. If you just want presentation capability w/o a tech needed this is a great way to go.


(Samuel Crisp) #3

Recently set this up for our conference room:

Dell Mini PC running:
-AirServer (provides AirPlay, Google ChromeCast, and MiraCast for Windows).
-the free DeepFreeze program whose name escapes me right now.

And

An HDMI auto-switched that I found for cheap on amazon.

And a Logitech wireless media keyboard with trackpad.

So for around $400 I got: a locked down Windows machine that can display anything, can browse the internet, or can auto-switch to someone’s laptop if they plug into the wall jack that’s plugged into the auto switcher.

The desktop of the windows machine is a picture file with instructions of how to connect with the various ways.


(Jason Powell) #4

AirServer sounds cool!


(K Papalia) #5

First you should understand our organization. I have about 10 departments. Each department was required to identify an a/v person who is attached to a group we joking refer to as the “A/V club.” These people are fully trained so they can help one another AND so I don’t have to be the A/V babe for the building. Additionally everything is fully documented in a booklet that is hyper-updated. I rarely have need to set up for an event. If there are problems that are bad enough that they have to call me, I rely on the instructions heavily.

Budget: No one wants to spend money on these rooms but they want to be able to move mountains while in them so I often have to find cheap ways to accomplish our goals UNTIL I can prove that we need something better.

Training: We have recorded all training sessions so I don’t have to remember how to use everything. We’ve recently added two new training videos. 1. How to properly wrap cables so they are treated with respect. 2. We recently had our sound company come in to teach the a/v club members how to set up the right mic for the right situation.

A/V club members are trained to use 3 existing rooms:

1. All of the A/V equipment in our auditorium: Rear projection screen with projector hooked to our soundsystem. Also available are a DVD, VCR, Opaque projector, and cable TV. This room does not have permanently installed computer equipment. Speakers either bring their own or a/v members reserve a laptop from our stable of mobile devices. Right now, devices are connected via HDMI via a ethernet-to-HDMI cable. Someday we might move to click/share device but we’re not there yet.

2. All of the equipment in our Cabinet room: 55" TV with laptop mounted in cabinet. We video conference a lot in this room. Also permanently available is a web cam and 3 desktop omni-directional mics daisy-changed together. Also available is a DVD player. The web cam is a consumer camcorder that won’t record anymore but it makes a fantastic webcam. The desktop mics are great. They were $100 a piece and you can daisy chain way more than the 3 we’re using. The laptop is installed in a cabinet but I’ve made a $49 wireless keyoboard/mouse combo available so meeting attendees can drive the laptop if need be. Right now we use Oovoo for video meetings but will move to Skype For Business soon.

3. The sound equipment in our cafeteria: This is nothing more than a wired podium/mic and a wireless handheld.

After fighting for some money for 3 years, I’ve finally gotten approval to remodel 2 additional rooms in an wing we call the “classroom wing.” This building was once a high school. Most of the school has been converted to offices. One wing was left as meeting spaces. The rooms have asbestos ceilings, only 2 outlets, zillions of windows and interior walls covered with chalkboards. Think about classrooms from the 50’s and that is the state of every conference room in this wing. Luckily I was given budget to install wireless in this wing 2 years ago so the whole thing is wireless.

The plan is to take the smallest classroom and turn it into a huddle room. When I say small, it’s really still pretty big. This huddle room with have a 12’ table and two 6’ tables that can be re-positioned for huddles. This room is getting room darkening drapes, drop ceilings, and padded chairs. The chalkboards are being resurfaced with dry-erase and small bulletin boards covered with self-healing material. (We’re trying to get as much soft stuff in the room to get rid of the echo.) We are installing a 65" TV with wireless keyboard/mouse combo. Users will bring their own laptops. Detailed instructions for connecting devices to the TV will be made available. We plan to add wired Ethernet for IP phone and IP conference phone use. We will use this room for video conference meetings. We purchased a Logitech cc3000e.

A full-sized conference room will be outfitted with a projector and screen. The same window treatments, dry-erase options and bulletin boards will make it into this room. The installer will provide an HDMI port for laptop connection and initially I will have a wireless keyboard/mouse available. If this room gets heavy use we will add a wireless click/share device.

Lastly, I’m going to cobble together a boardroom style option for the remaining classroom. No remodeling dollars have been set aside for this room. I’m going to buy an 8-port VGA splitter and utilize the leftover 17" displays I’ve amassed. There will be one 17" display for every two people. This room has four 6’ tables which are put together to form one large 12’ x 8’ table. I plan to hide all the cabling in the ditch between the tables. The only problem with this plan is dismantling everything when the room needs to be used in a classroom setting – as often happens with this room. I’m doing this more for myself – cuz I think it’ll be cool and it would be a great option for those times groups need to watch a webinar.


(Suzanne Ungson) #6

Thank you all SO MUCH. It may take us a little while to refurbish the meeting space but now I have a better idea of some options.


(Samuel Crisp) #7

If anyone is interested, here is our conference room setup in pictures.

Most of the electronics are hidden here behind the main screen. We have the Dell Mini computer, outputs to the HDMI auto switcher, outputs to an HDMI splitter which feeds all three TV screens.


(Derek Van Winkle) #8

That AirServer thing does sound pretty cool. Have you had any issues with it so far?


(Samuel Crisp) #9

On this version, I’ve not had any issues with video. Protected video and audio do not translate well (because of HDCP rules and such). So showing Netflix and even some YouTube videos doesn’t work. But we use this for presentations not video streaming. Although we have streamed video to the system for special events.

What really helps is a nightly reboot of the computer. Resetting it every night keeps the services alive and working well.

Previously it was difficult to get a long airplay connection (more than 30 minutes) but honestly I suspect that had to do with our old wifi platform at the time.

Also the cool thing with AirServer you can actually display two iPhones or an iPad and a Chromebook, etc together on the same screen. Our screens are too small for that to make sense but it’s available.


(Eric Eskam) #10

Thanks for sharing the pictures - they are perfect!

Is that keyboard mounted on the wall, or in later pictures it looks like it’s a wireless just on a small shelf near the TV?

I really like the idea of bolting the keyboard in a holder to the wall just because I’ve experienced enough stuff walking off over the years but a wireless keyboard on a small shelf is probably a friendlier way to go.

Thanks again!


(Samuel Crisp) #11

The keyboard is wireless. I just have it sitting on that wallmount shelf. The conference room shown here is locked down pretty well, as well as security monitored via cameras. A wired keyboard may do the same purpose, given a long-enough cord.


(Justin Lane) #12

Hey Samuel,
How is this solution for you? We’re looking at wireless solutions right now so I gave this a try using my iPhone 6S Plus and my Surface Book on my home network and playing a video had a lot of stuttering in it. Did you find there were things you needed to change in your network config or environment to get this to work well?
Thx,
Justin


(Justin Lane) #13

Does anyone have experience with the Kramer VIA Go as a wireless solution for meeting and classrooms? We’ve been trying one out for the last couple of weeks but haven’t been able to get it to work well on our network. It’s a significant lag when you change the screen on a laptop and video/audio playback just stutters constantly. We’re trying adhoc mode next but our IT guys are not having much luck getting it working. On paper it looks like a perfect solution where we need to connect Windows, Android and iOS devices.

Thanks!
Justin


(Samuel Crisp) #14

You know, come to think of it back when we were first testing, I ran into an issue with AirServer on my Surface Pro 2 at the time. If you could, try installing it on something that has another type of interface card for wifi. It also may just be the video source;
I know there is usually a half-second to second delay (generally more delayed than an Apple TV would be). But for our purposes I am ok with that. But no, we have a Meraki wifi system and both the Dell mini computer and my iphone 6 and now 7 mirror fine and I do play online videos to it without a noticeable loss in quality.


(Andy Baker) #15

+1 for AirServer. We have been using it for about 4 or 5 months in our conference rooms and I haven’t received any support calls for using it!
As Sam mentioned, frequent reboots does help and our pastors use it for presentations, viewing web pages, and some streaming.
Our TV’s are large enough to have multiple devices connected at once and it’s worked well connecting an iPad, my Android phone, and an Windows 10 laptop all at once.


(Richard Bergstedt) #16

We have multiple video carts that are used in conjunction with a presenters PC. Wifi connections are used if necessary file downloads etc. Hardwired connections are limited in our conference rooms.