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MediaCityUK: Electrosonic’s Versatile Audiovisual Technology at Salford University


International audio-visual company Electrosonic have installed a high-tech, flexible AV system in the University of Salford’s new digital learning, teaching and research space at MediaCityUK, located on Salford Quays.

Related: Electrosonic Profile / Electrosonic’s Interactive Hitler Letter Exhibit at Museum of Tolerance / Audiovisual technology: A short history of the videowall 

Electrosonics Versatile Audiovisual Technology at MediaCityUK Salford UniversityElectrosonic were contracted to engineer the customizable system, working directly for the university, and the technical design was carried out by The Centre for Virtual Environments.

The brand new, bang up-to-the-minute audio-visual system is intended to provide a learning space which will creatively educate students and visitors on existing and upcoming university projects.

MediaCityUK houses more than 1500 students and was designed to help students creativity and encourage them to collaborate, as well as use ingenuity and innovation when dealing with others, including academics and other professionals.

The building also has a new entrance which, due to its oval shape, is aptly called the Egg and is available to students and visitors as a “digital interactive showcase”, which further encourages the spirit of collaboration.

The public space has a presentation area, ten 40-inch interactive touch tables and a configurable Christie MicroTiles video wall composed of 120 digital screens. These are able to display 120 images or a single large image and have a fantastic 9600×3840 resolution.

The video wall can also be used interactively, with the help of Microsoft Kinect sensors integrated into the wall, which allow users to dictate both content and software with movement.

Electrosonics Versatile Audiovisual Technology touch screen at MediaCityUK Salford University“The Egg is in many ways a shop window for the entire building to show off student and academic work and research, ” said Professor Brian Longhurst, the University of Salford’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Media and Digital Futures.

“It also provides a space for outside organisations to gather and collaborate, and highlights the cutting edge technology we are working with in the building.”

The video wall is a flexible audio-visual technology which can be configured to suit each display project. The display and placing of the screens can be altered due to advanced technologies which allowed Electrotronics to ensure that the screens are flexible both physically and functionally with minimum effort.

The video wall was installed free-standing, rather than being physically fixed to the building, which meant that a suitable frame had to be designed. This was carried out by structural engineering firm Long & Co., who are based in Dartford, UK.

The video wall has an enclosed area situated behind it for presentations, meeting and research and the layout of the room can be altered to suit, with the exception of the large front projection screen which is served by a Christie DHD800 projector. The projector can be connected to any compatible source device from a presenter’s PC or through the control room.

Electrosonics Versatile Audiovisual Technology at MediaCityUK Salford UniversityMediaCityUK also allows students and visitors use of the ten 40-inch interactive touch tables, enabling them to immerse themselves in all aspects of university happenings through applications such as games and web pages.

The interactive tables required Electrosonic to supply systems with content already built-in and ready to go; the software for this was supplied by Manchester-based content provider Stardotstar. It is thought that future content for the tables will be produced ‘in-house’ by the University’s own researchers.

The Egg and the presentation space both have the flexibility of a configurable audio-visual system which can be allocated and altered for various projects. A further three HSS powered directional speakers have also been supplied for the area in front of the video wall.

“Equipped with the current AV technology provided by Electrosonic, the Egg has the ability to transform, grow and hatch into a number of flexible presentation layouts and uses, ” Electrosonic said in a statement.

Electrosonic will continue to work with the University of Salford to support all of their audio-visual needs and carry out preventative maintenance work.

Electrosonic were established in 1964 and have gone on to create bespoke audio-visual solutions for a range of markets worldwide. These include theme parks, museums, video conferencing and control room projects and the company has built its reputation for providing AV solutions for complex projects of any size.

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