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HISD Board Room Case Study

The problem

Houston Independent School District, or HISD, serves approximately 215,000 students and their families, as well as 29,000 employees. Its primary facility, the Hattie Mae Building, oversees the district’s operations, but the building itself needed some audio-visual upgrades. 

Specifically, HISD wanted an improved AV experience in the Hattie Mae boardroom. The goal was to enhance presentations, meetings and discussions by leveraging Data Projections’ expertise and access to modern AV technology. 

The solution 

Data Projections provided a comprehensive solution to HISD’s concerns, starting with total replacement of all existing AV cabling. The dais, cabinets and public podium were all fitted with a new long neck mic, and the room was provided with four Shure omnidirectional lavalier microphones and 20 DPA table-mount microphones. A four-channel transmitter/amplifier and an Active Listening system was also included on the audio side, primarily designed for the gallery seating. 

Data Projections also made significant visual additions, the most prominent being the three Samsung video walls. Two are installed on the sides of the room, each consisting of four 55-inch displays in a 2x2 pattern. The main video wall, a 3x3 set of 55-inch displays, is installed behind the main dais. The video wall is controlled with Crestron 4K DigitalMedia 8G+ switchers. A Polycom Group 700 Series was also provided, designed to facilitate video conferencing and collaboration. Skype for Business was the software of choice for video conferencing. Three Vaddio RoboSHOT 30 PTZ cameras were also installed in the boardroom and capture feeds of the podium, the gallery and the board members. The PTZ camera feeds are routed to the control room for further distribution, and this is made easier with a DM switcher that was also installed. 

The control system used was the Crestron PRO3 and a pair of Crestron Digital Graphics Engine 200s. The control system is managed using one of several 10-inch monitors. One is installed at the President seat, one at the secretary seat and one the podium. A 21-inch monitor was installed in the control room for advanced system management. Camera control is handled from the control room as well, using a dedicated station. Data Projections arranged and installed the AV racks placed in the control room and tested each piece of equipment. 

To ensure efficient operation of the new system, Data Projections provided one-on-one training to relevant personnel and was on hand during the board’s first meeting to ensure proper system functioning. 

The result 

HISD’s new boardroom AV system allows for faster and more concise communication. With the audio and visual additions, presentations are easier to organize, faster to deliver and delivered with greater clarity. The use of control monitors also keeps the board’s agenda moving and on time. In short, Data Projections’ solution has brought modern communications to the Hattie Mae boardroom.