California Polytechnic University, Pomona sits on 1,438 rolling acres on the edge of Los Angeles, one of seven polytechnic universities in America and the second largest campus in the California State University system. Cal Poly is known for its learning-by-doing philosophy, so when it began a campus-wide conversion of classrooms into Learning Centered Technology Initiative - LCTI - rooms, the school did its own installation and chose Extron Electronics products to facilitate the process.
The MLC 226 IP is more user-friendly, easily configured, and adds functional capability to the devices in the system.
Jovito Barrantes, Cal Poly System Specialist
The Power Podium and Extron MLC 226 IP
The heart of the LCTI classroom is the Power Podium, housing a PC, DVD/VCR combo player, document camera, and flat screen monitor. It also includes an Extron Cable Cubby® 200 and MLC 226 IP MediaLink Controller. The MLC 226 IP provides control of Extron and third-party AV equipment from a standardized interface, making the system easier to operate for the instructors.
The Cable Cubby 200 atop the Power Podium provides inconspicuous access to AC power and cables for VGA, network, and audio. Instructors plug laptops into the Cable Cubby and press the “Laptop” button on the MLC 226 IP front panel to display visuals through the classroom’s projector. The front panel also features buttons for the PC, DVD/VCR, document camera, AV mute, projector, volume control, and display.
Configurable Control System
The configurable MLC 226 IP allows staff to customize the system using Global Configurator software without the need for programming. Global Configurator allows end users to configure a wide range of Ethernet-enabled products via a user-friendly configuration tool.
Cal Poly System Specialist Jovito Barrantes led the installation team, and when comparing programmable control systems to the configurable MLC 226 IP, he enthused, “The MLC 226 IP is more user-friendly, easily configured, and adds functional capability to the devices in the system. You can assign functions to buttons, and program inputs and outputs to match the way you want to operate the system.”
Campus-Wide Scheduling and Monitoring
GlobalViewer Enterprise is a server-based application for campus-wide scheduling and monitoring capability with time-stamped AV system data collection for reporting. GVE has allowed Cal Poly system personnel to configure global schedules, easily add new devices to the network, set up schedules to automatically turn off displays throughout the campus or in individual buildings or rooms at specified times, create and collect reports covering network connections, device usage, and AV equipment inventory, among many other tasks. In addition, the iGVE app allows access to GVE via iPhone and iPod Touch.
Cal Poly chose Extron’s MPA 152 Mini Power Amplifiers to run each room’s high-performance speaker system. The MPA 152 is a highly efficient amplifier using exclusive Extron Class D amplifier technology so it runs cool, without fans or vents, ensuring quiet, reliable operation and allowing the unit to be placed close to other equipment without the danger of overheating.
An Ongoing Process and Partnership
Barrantes is pleased with the cooperation he received from Extron. “Extron engineers spent time with me configuring the MLC 226 IP, and helped me learn Global Configurator and how to have a fully functional GVE. I also took advanced training at the Extron Institute.”
Cal Poly began converting its classrooms to full connectivity in 2005 and the massive undertaking continues successfully, partnered with Extron’s MediaLink technology, GlobalViewer Enterprise and Global Configurator software, power amplifiers, and cable management systems.
Power Podium with Extron Cable Cubby 200, MLC 226 IP MediaLink Controller and MLS 102 VGA MediaLink Switcher