The AI Now Institute at New York University is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to understanding the social implications of artificial intelligence. They often hold meetings and symposiums and needed a flexible space to host 30 to 40 people locally and at the same time the ability to stream or video conference to a remote audience. VideoSonic designed and built a Town Hall multipurpose meeting space that would provide the ability host these events. It was completed in May of 2019.
The room is 25’ wide x 40’ long, with 14’ ceilings. The room is divided from the rest of the space by a 6’ tall bookcase running almost the entire length, one of the perimeter walls is plaster covered with a felt wall covering, the floor is polished concrete, and the narrow end has windows. The only acoustical treatments in the space are suspended wood fiber acoustic panels that reduce the reflection off the hard ceiling.
Folding tables can be removed from the space entirely or arranged in the space as a 20+ -person conference table, horseshow shaped, on in rows like a classroom. A lectern can be set-up at the front of the space, and HDMI jack is provided for wired screen sharing.
Crestron Control is provided using a DM150 for video switching for local presentations. A Shure QLX-D wireless microphone system consists of (4) receivers, (2) handheld mics, (2) lav mics, (1) wireless gooseneck, and (4) tabletop boundary mics providing the ability to support a variety of room configurations. DSP and AEC are managed using a Crestron DSP processor. Two Logitech Rally cameras handle the video calls and streaming, one facing the presenter, and the other facing the audience, all camera switching is done using Zoom control panel.
A total of (8) Bose DS40 pendant Speakers are located on 8’ centers running parallel with the room. This quantity of speakers allows even coverage throughout the space, the far end audio does not have to be cranked up to hear it, you get a nice even sound distribution in the room for both seated and standing audiences.
A Draper Targa 104” wide by 65” tall projection screen was furnished with extra drop allowing the screen to roll down to eye level. We typically order the quiet motor option, it’s worth the extra cost
The Sony 6000 Lumen laser projector is hardly noticeable in the space, it is installed above the lighting fixtures where is blends in and is hardly noticeable, its invisible in the sight lines. A short throw lens enabled us to put the projector closer to the screen adding to this “stealth” installation.
At VideoSonic we have always been big fans of Sony Projectors, the latest 3 LCD laser projectors represents the ability to do high quality, no compromise projection and are the best in class in the market. One of VideoSonic’s trademark is “Perfection in Projection Since 1981” – and Sony has proven time and again to be a leader in this technology.
In addition to the Town Hall space, we also fitted out two conference rooms for zoom using Sony 75” Pro Bravia 4K LCD screens, in one room we have a Panopto Camera and the other a Logitech Meet-up.
Notice in the room with the slatted ceiling, there are no visible microphones or speakers in the room. We call this a “clutterless” conference room, there are no cables, the norm is to wireless screen share. An HDMI jack on the wall below the screen is connected via a USB Capture device provides “wired” screen sharing for visitors not on the client’s network. The mics and speakers are located above the ceiling out of sight.
Now in its 2nd year of operation, VideoSonic, as part of our system warranty, will schedule a site visit to do Routine Maintenance assuring that the system is functioning the same as it was signed off. At this time any firmware updates are done, and the system are tested and demonstrated to the client.
About a week after we signed-off as 100% complete on this project, I received a call from Casey Gollan who is the facilities person at AI Now. He called specifically to tell me about their first event in the space the evening before and the system had performed flawlessly exceeding his expectations. The event went off without a glitch, and he received compliments on the system the entire evening.