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We’ve been moved into our Madison Operations for about four months now and our CTO, Christopher Melendy, finally reached his breaking point with our kludgy conference room and huddle room collaboration systems. Yesterday he upgraded both rooms for superior operability and to showcase a couple of new pieces of TechLogix technology—surprisingly the cost was pretty impressive too.
The Conference Room
Our conference room is much like every other basic corporate conference room: a conference room table, a projector, a screen, a whiteboard, etc. Originally, we had a 25ft. PerfectPath HD-1000 HDMI cable running from the ceiling-mounted projector to the conference room table where each user could connect. It was a pretty basic system:
- Step 1: Turn on the projector (assuming you could find the remote control)
- Step 2: Plug the HDMI cable into your laptop or tablet
- Step 3: Present your content
- Step 4: Unplug the HDMI cable and hand it to the next presenter, and so on…
I wouldn’t call Christopher a purist, but he doesn’t consider hunting for a projector remote control and passing around a cable an “ideal” integration.
Here I should pause and add a note…we are an Apple house. We all have MacBooks and iPads as standard issue. We are also socially awkward and frankly unflattering people, and therefore really don’t get that many guests. Whether you consider it a blessing or a curse, it does mean Christopher is mainly concerned with employee-based collaboration.
All that said, he decided to integrate one of our TL-INCT-01 in-line controllers and an Apple TV, as well as reserve the original PerfectPath HDMI cable on the off chance we ever get a guest with a PC. Here’s how he did it:
This setup easily achieved our ultimate goals of:
- Eliminating daily use of the projector remote control
- Providing wireless content sharing between our laptops and tablets
- Providing web-based media streaming (we’re kind of sports junkies, especially during the Olympics and baseball season)
Further, the system is easy enough for anyone—including our CEO—to use on a daily basis:
- Step 1: Select AirPlay “Conference Room” on our laptops or tablets
The nice thing is that as soon as the Apple TV powers on, the TL-INCT-01 automatically senses the connection and turns on the projector via RS232. Plus, we now have wireless connectivity for multiple users, and the TL-CPT-HD01 provides a hard-wired connection point for guests without Apple products. And the cost wasn’t too bad either…
The Huddle Room
Our huddle room presented a slightly different use pattern, and we will get to that in a minute. But first, I should define what a huddle room is for those of you new to corporate lingo: a huddle room is a smaller space designed for ad-hoc meetings and presentations. They’re great for a couple of people collaborating, a quick side meeting, or audio or video remote conferencing. In our case, we set up the room as follows:
- Wall-mounted 55” display
- Table for 1 - 2 users
- Dry-erase white board
Much of the same principles in our conference room apply to our huddle room, but the typical use pattern and the constraints are slightly different:
- We remote video conference on a daily basis and require a very fast connection between the display and laptop/tablet (wireless connections do have latency)
- We have a flush wall-mounted display and desire to maintain a clean aesthetic (i.e., no devices mounted to the wall behind or around the display)
- It’s a smaller space, so clutter on the table is a very bad thing…ideally we need to hide devices as much as possible
Considering all of this, Christopher opted for a hardwired 3x1 auto-switching system with dedicated connection points.
Now I’m sure you are saying, “why a 3x1 system when you only have one or two users at a time?” The answer is simple: we also wanted an Apple TV for wireless connectivity and streaming in the huddle room.
Christopher is a huge sailing fan—we don’t get it, but he is—and during the Olympics he likes to watch the races. The rest of the company, however, prefers more traditional events—rugby, gymnastics, volleyball, shooting, equestrian, that ribbon dancing thing…really, anything but sailing. Christopher can stream in the huddle room while we stream in the conference room; hence, the Apple TV was a must.
Being the amicable CTO that he is, Christopher humored us and integrated the following system:
This setup was ideal in that:
- We no longer need a remote control for the display – the TL-SM3X1-HD automatically sends power on and off commands through the HDMI cable via CEC
- We have wireless streaming and presentation capabilities through the Apple TV
- We have hard wired presentation capabilities through the TL-SMG-HD table inserts
- We can video conference through our tablets and laptops and connect to the display when needed
- All the devices are remotely located under table
The TL-SM3X1-HD is even smart enough to sense when the Apple TV is powered on, switch to that input, and power on the display. And the only thing cluttering our huddle room table is an Apple TV remote and IP phone.
Now our typical use pattern is either:
- Step 1: Select AirPlay “Huddle Room” on our laptop or tablet
- Step 1: Plug our laptop or tablet into the TL-SMG-HD table insert
- Step 2: Push the on/off button on the TL-SMG-HD table insert
- Step 3: Push the share me button on the TL-SMG-HD table insert
That’s it. And like with our conference room, the cost was pretty reasonable:
At this point I should mention a couple notes and disclaimers about our installations:
- In full transparency, we manufacture the TechLogix products and are obviously biased toward using our own products. And yes, this white paper is self-serving (and I hope also informational). Feel free to call or email us if you need more information.
- Christopher Melendy, our CTO, is an audio-visual professional with extensive installation and consulting experience. If you’re not a professional and/or uncomfortable with integrating technology, it’s always a good idea to consult with a local integrator—we’d be more than happy to make some recommendations.
- The prices shown above are what we paid for the equipment and/or the TechLogix hardware retail prices. We likely source differently then you, though we did buy some gear from unnamed big-box retailers. Also, please note that the gear sourced by us will not necessarily be the gear supplied by a local integrator…and there is a big difference between professionally sourced gear and cheap stuff you find online.
- Other than the TechLogix products as noted above, the listed brands did not endorse us. These devices are honestly in our system.
- Audio-visual systems also have other contributing factors that are not mentioned in this paper—AC power, network and internet connectivity, etc. Again, if you are not comfortable with these, please contact a professional.
- Please don’t drink and DIY (do it yourself). You could bust some stuff (including yourself).
The following includes some images and a breakdown of the TechLogix products used in each room.
Feel free to call or email us if you need more information. Thanks and good luck!
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