You may have heard the expression, “the third time’s the charm”; Well, it totally applies to the Healthline project. When Greg Karp-Nuefeld contacted us in November 2018 to tell me they were relocating again, I was surprised, as they had outgrown a space in just 2 years since their previous move. Greg and I discussed lessons learned on the previous projects to build out the new space with 15 rooms of various sizes as Zoom Rooms.
All the rooms would have scheduling panels located outside the doors, and all the new rooms, the LCD screens and cameras will have 4K capability even if they were not using the higher resolution yet.
The story begins back in 2014 when we did our first project for Healthline (their 5th Avenue location) and it was the first time for us using Zoom. Healthline HQ is in San Francisco, one of earliest corporate users for zoom, when most corporations were using hardware codecs, Zoom was one of the first software codecs available. The web cams with USB were 320 x 240 resolution which we later upgraded to 600 x 800. We used combination mic / speaker pods manufactured by Phoenix Audio, you could daisy chain up to (12) Phoenix Spider Mics, and they could be used as the audio dialer for voice calls.
For the new location, we were given a budget to deliver the (15) rooms as a design build project where we would be re-purposing some of the equipment from 28th Street at their current location on 7th avenue and 25th street where they would occupy the entire 24th floor.
From lessons learned, we discussed that all the rooms should have an acoustical treatment, and the cost for treatments should come from another budget other then AV. We recommended New York Soundproofing whom we have worked with on several projects. Liron and his team are experts and their manufacturing facilities are in Brooklyn, have been a great local resource. We highly recommend their work to all our clients.
For the Large Conference Room (20-person room), Greg asked us to duplicate an engineered by Zoom Room whose plans can be downloaded from Zoom. We used (2) Shure MXA-910 beamform mics on the ceiling connected over Dante to a QSC 110F DSP processor to manage the rooms audio. (8) shallow can QSC speakers are installed in the ceiling for far end audio playback. An 82” Samsung 4K LCD screen is installed at ether end of the long narrow room. (2) 49” Samsung LCD’s are installed opposite the table’s long side as additional screens which usually display shared content.
Below the 82” screen on the east side of the room, installed at eye level is a Logitech Rally 4K PTZ Camera. The build quality, and optics are amazing for a camera in this price range, we can capture the entire table using a couple of preset lens positions. The Mac Mini, DSP Processor and Amp reside in a Salamander Design Credenza – the architect did his homework and provided the rack in the furniture budgets.The normal fiberglass ceiling tiles have been replaced with 4” thick acoustical panels running the length of the room which provide a noticeable difference then if they were not installed in the room.
Most people in the meeting share content wirelessly through zoom, for guests not on the Healthline network, there is a HDMI cable on the table for wired screen sharing. Also located on the table is the Zoom Room control panel, it is an iPad installed in a Heckler Design’s tabletop mount. The Hecker mounts are a very elegant, high quality industrial design that not only looks great, it provides POE power to the iPad so that the batteries inside the iPad des not overcharge and swell up.
The medium sized conference room (10 person) was built out using existing equipment relocated from 28th street. At the front of the room is an 82” wall mounted LCD on a Chief XS1U mount. We like the Fusion mounts as they have micro-adjustment for leveling, and with the ability to slide the LCD screen left or right, enable us to mount the equipment behind the screen.
The camera is a Logitech PTZ Pro (1080P) installed below the screen. A soundbar is also installed below the LCD Screen. Above the screen is another microphone manufactured by Phoenix; they were ne of the first to market with beamform technology and was available at the time. This was also a “zoom” specified room and it worked quite well. Located on the table is a wired HDMI connection and the Zoom Control panel.
The next (12) rooms are all identical 4 to 6-person Huddle Room spaces. These rooms are treated acoustically with a mixture of ceiling and wall hung panels. Al of the rooms have dual 55” or 65” mounted on Chief mounts. In a dual screen set-up, we can “part” the two screens in the middle o gain access to the equipment installed behind the screen, makes for a neat and clan installation.
Each room has a Logitech Meet-up with an extension mic connected to a Mac Mini. They are good quality, cost effective rooms that work very well due to the acoustical treatments.
Popular with corporations today everyone has an “All Hands Room” or “Town Hall” which is a reconfigurable multi-purpose used for presentations, birthday parties and holiday celebrations, or a place where the entire company can get onto a Zoom Call.
This space is set-up like a Zoom Room with dual 82” screen in the front of the room. There are two Logitech Rally cameras, one facing the presenter, and the other the audience. The presenter has an assistant that can control the cameras from the iPad control panel. Two wireless microphone systems and a “Throw Mic” are included. The presenter has her choice of a handheld mic, or a clip-on wearable mic. Both voice lift (amplification of voice in the same room) and transmit audio to the far end are managed by a Biamp Tesira VT4 DSP. For Q&A, either a handheld wireless mic can be passed around, or, the client provided a “Throw Mic” which we connected.
A Throw Mic is basically a square, fuzzy, pillow branded with the company’s logo branded on it. Inside the pillow is a shock mounted microphone. The idea is to “toss” the mic to the person who has a question. Bose DS16SE surface mount speakers are installed on the cable tray in the space.
Located outside all the rooms are Crestron Room Scheduling panels. Indicator light glows green if the room is available, and red if it is booked. Staff can book the room from the panel, or through outlook on their desktop or personal device.
In summary, VideoSonic was able to use our experience, resources, and skill to deliver 100% of this project on time and without exceeding the budgets. It is especially important to maintain repeat business clients, they are you best from of advertising as they are usually first to suggest that they could be a great reference for us. With over 4 decades in the industry, you learn to give a little love to get a little love, and we love or clients!