An institute of higher education is an ideal place to showcase technological innovations for distributing information and enhancing the learning experience. The University of Aberdeen in Scotland is one of the oldest universities in Europe. When constructing a new library building, the University sought to create a visually engaging lobby that would provide students, staff and visitors to the Library with an immersive educational experience while also keeping them informed about university news. RGB Spectrum's switching and display processing products are an important part of this unique installation.
Streamtec, a leading provider of audio-visual solutions, designed the Sir Duncan Rice Library's display system, which consists of two video walls installed on the library's exhibition space. RGB Spectrum's Linx 1800 Matrix Switcher provides flexible routing of signals throughout the system, while its MediaWall 4500 Display Processor and QuadView HDx Multiviewer enable multi-windowing capabilities on the video walls.
Visitors entering the library are greeted by a huge 5x5 video wall of 46" monitors. Twelve digital signage players provide input signals that are routed through the Linx switcher to the MediaWall processor. These signals may be displayed in up to twelve windows of varying sizes and positions which are scaled across the 25-screen array of monitors. Library staff can select a different preset window layout to quickly change the appearance of the video wall.
Information displayed on this video wall includes university announcements, emergency alerts, information about library sponsors and quotations, as well as historic photographs, artifacts and rare manuscripts from the University's collection. In addition, video feeds of important University events, such as graduation ceremonies or speeches, can be streamed into the system for broadcast over the video wall. An interactive console located in front of the large video wall allows viewers to search for and display information about donors to the Library.
On the opposite side of the exhibition area facing the rear entrance of the library, is a smaller 3x3 video wall surrounded by a seating area for up to 50 people. This area is often used for lectures, seminars, and presentations during school visits. A lectern located beside the wall allows presenters to input sources from a desktop or laptop computer. The lectern directs these signals to the switcher, which routes them through the QuadView multiviewer and then to the wall for display.
The Quadview multiviewer configures up to four sources plus a background into a multi-window display which is scaled over the video wall by the monitors' internal scalers. Presenters can change the sources displayed by choosing a different preset layout. When the video wall is not being used for presentations, the digital signage players provide signals, such as images of paintings or artifacts from the university's impressive collection, for display on the video wall.
The switcher can also route signals to the exhibition area that is located between the two video walls. This room is typically used to display rotating collections of the University's art and artifacts. The room supports both projectors and monitors, and specific display devices are installed as required for particular exhibits. Cameras mounted within the exhibition space also provide images for display on the video walls outside.
Both Streamtec and University representatives have been pleased with the performance of the installation. The Linx switcher offers unprecedented flexibility, accommodates a range of inputs, and provides EDID and HDCP management. The MediaWall processor offers real-time performance, remarkable image clarity and color depth, and complete flexibility for window layout and positioning. The display system works seamlessly with the video walls' LCD monitors and has room to expand as the University's signal routing and display processing requirements increase.
"RGB Spectrum's products helped us create a multi-media solution for the University that is both impressive and effective" remarked Ian McMillan, the integrator of this project. "The Linx switcher, MediaWall processor, and QuadView multiviewer work together to deliver real-time processing and outstanding image quality for the video wall displays. The University has been pleased by the steady, reliable performance of RGB Spectrum's products and by the display flexibility enabled by this unique solution."