Breakthrough combined Bosch & Electro‑Voice AV system installed at University at Buffalo

March 21, 2010

When Electro-Voice became part of the Bosch Security Systems family, the potential for one-stop, turnkey solutions combining EV pro audio equipment with Bosch life safety, mass notification and security systems set the AV industry chattering about the possibilities.

JCS & Associates, LLC (Buffalo, NY) recently completed an installation that practically demonstrates this potential at the University at Buffalo’s Wende Hall, new home to the school’s instructional nursing program. Requiring more space, the program has relocated to the Hall’s four lower floors, including the basement level Assessment Lab, comprising 10 small rooms (around 8’ x 10’) that resemble doctor’s examination rooms, and the Fundamentals Lab, two larger rooms resembling hospital examination rooms in which trainees perform hands-on work with mannequins using standard equipment – oxygen, IVs, etc.

“This kind of single source solution is perfect for the healthcare field”

Electro-Voice EVID loudspeakers are installed into each of these rooms, working in tandem with Bosch AutoDome digital cameras and Divar XF digital recording systems (with DVD writing & audio recording functionality), all controlled and networked together by EV’s state-of-the-art NetMax/IRIS-Net platform and powered by Bosch PWS series amplifiers. Brian Perkins of JCS & Associates designed and specified the Bosch/EV system, and described the installation:

“The remodel necessary to adjust the space to the specific needs of the nursing program was the perfect time to integrate updated AV equipment, to both assist with training and monitor training rooms. The various-sized spaces are used for lectures, medical nursing practices, assessment labs and anesthesiology labs; pretty much every element of a nurse’s training is conducted in this building, and all 12 of the rooms now feature Bosch and EV technology to address the varied requirements of each space.”

“The approach to the system design was based on the building’s structure,” Perkins continues. “The Assessment Lab is located in the basement level where concrete ceilings prohibit the use of recessed ceiling speakers, so we installed a single surface-mounted EVID 4.2T in each of the 10 rooms there, running on a 70 V circuit. We were able to use recessed EVID C4.2 in each of the two rooms in the Fundamentals Lab on the fourth floor, due to the drop-tile ceilings. The EVID range has a solution for every environment and always delivers consistently excellent audio quality.” Each room is also equipped with an EV RE90 boundary microphone for audio recording and intercom purposes.

In addition to the audio equipment, each of these rooms features two Bosch AutoDome cameras – one for monitoring, one for recording. Bosch PWS wall controls control the cameras in each room. Rather than being wall-mounted, each unit is housed in a control box fabricated to be moved across the desk, more easily accommodating left or right-handed people. The system is set up to record video continuously. The systems in each part of the facility – the two labs and the corridor/office areas – are networked (via NetMax N8000 digital matrices) back to one of three central control rooms where the racked receivers, recorders and amplifiers live. The input to output Bosch/EV spec is completed with three 18” EV PolarChoice microphones mounted into the counters at each control station.

One particular piece of technology in place at Wende Hall that sets EV and Bosch apart as a provider of networked AV solutions is NetMax – the industry’s most powerful and flexible processor. Perkins explains: “We needed DSP to provide both excellent audio quality and flexible matrix capability so, for example, we could create our talk-back loops between two rooms with digital recorders. We needed a user-friendly way to give the operator the means to select which room they’re talking to, which room they’re listening to and at the same time maintain a solid recording path from all the rooms to the recording system. NetMax has always been our weapon of choice when it comes to audio processing and switching.”

“We typically work with a school’s IT group to specify technology for a project like this, and it can be a challenge to match equipment to the routine day-to-day needs of the end-user,” Perkins explains. “Equipment is often specified from a perspective that is as hypothetical as it is hands-on – often a designer isn’t fully aware of what his system needs to do until he’s training-in the department. With NetMax, you have the flexibility to adjust the system to the specific requirements of the customers in real time, after the hardware has been installed. There’s no panic that an inadequate processor was specified and paid for. We knew going in to this project that we had a huge amount of options as far as audio routing and software control was concerned. NetMax has the processing power to both adapt in the field and expand a system as needed. Any network-related oversights can quickly be addressed. If a customer says ‘We didn’t mention this before but is there any way we can do this?’ and our answer with NetMax is ‘Sure!’”

“The feedback we’ve received from the customer has been uniformly positive,” Perkins adds. “The racked equipment, along with the EVIDs and AutoDome cameras, has a clean, streamlined look that impresses as much as its functionality – a real departure from the outmoded controllers and VCRs in place prior to the new system. We did two training sessions, the second being a refresher course. One of the professors made a comment that summed-up the entire project, telling us she was already more comfortable with the new equipment than with the old equipment she’d been working on for multiple years. That one comment told us we did a good job – because we made it easier for them to do a good job.”

“This installation has caused us to rethink our strategies for audio processing and audio/video capture in the classroom,” adds John Pfeffer, Service Area Leader-Instructional Technology Support Services for the University at Buffalo. “Kevin McWhite at JCS did a great job in partnering with us on this and really coming to the table with a great solution. The instructors in the department are thrilled with how easy it all is to use – it really is a turnkey system. NetMax-based systems like this have a lot of potential for other applications in the academic environment.”

“This kind of single source solution is perfect for the healthcare field,” Perkins agrees. “This system is so flexible, so easy – everything works seamlessly together. We’re pleased to be among the first to integrate a combination Bosch/EV system that shows where partnering with the Bosch Communications family of brands can go – the possibilities are endless, and we’re already specifying more similar systems.”

Equipment List:

10x Electro-Voice EVID 4.2t

2x Electro-Voice EVID C4.2

12x Electro-Voice RE90-BW

3x Electro-Voice NetMax N8000

5x Electro-Voice AO-1

3x Electro-Voice MI-1

3x Electro-Voice PWS-4

3x Electro-Voice PWS-6

3x Electro-Voice PWS-C

3x Bosch DIVAR XF 16CH with DVD

24x Bosch AutoDome Easy II

3x Bosch KBD

3x Bosch 19” LCD Panels

2x Bosch Power Supplies 24 V

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