Fort Leavenworth, in Leavenworth, Kansas, is famous for its maximum security military prison, but it is also one of the most important military installations in the nation. When the base needed a state of the art AV system for its newly renovated Frontier Conference Center, it hired Conference Technologies, Inc. CTI chose Extron twisted pair switchers, extenders, and cabling. "I chose Extron because it was the right solution for the Government’s needs," says CTI Engineering and Sales Consultant Steve Martin.
Extron equipment gave us the ability to meet the client’s needs in a high value yet cost effective manner."
- Steve Martin
Engineering and Sales Consultant
The Frontier Conference Center is a 50,000 square foot building used for more than 600 military and civilian events each year. It boasts 11 meeting rooms spread over two floors, and a large divisible ballroom with a seating capacity of 398. A master control room houses several equipment racks.
There are flat panel displays in the lobby and outside the building, and a combination of LCD displays and projectors in the 11 meeting rooms. There are Panasonic projectors and Da-Lite screens for each of the three sections of the divisible ballroom, and a larger projection system for the combined ballroom.
The conference center needed a new, high-end AV system, including videoconferencing capability, to be competitive with other conference and convention facilities in the area. The system had to: be able to route AV signals to any of the building’s displays from any source, including cable television programming, HD video and PC signals, two Keywest MediaZone digital signage systems, and a Polycom HDX 8000 720p Video Conferencing System; to control the individual systems in each of the rooms; and to combine all the individual room systems into a buildingwide AV system for larger events. The center also wanted the cabling and switching equipment to be able to handle widescreen computer signals at 1280x800 resolutions and HD analog video at 720p. According to Martin, “The MTPX Plus 6464 was a perfect solution.”
MTPX Plus 6464
CTI chose the Extron MTPX Plus 6464 twisted pair matrix switcher for RGBHV, video, audio, and RS-232. This allowed CTI to build an extreme amount of flexibility and value into the system while providing significant savings on the installation, since twisted pair cabling is less expensive to purchase and install than traditional component and VGA cables. The MTPX 6464 also allowed the entire system to function smoothly and efficiently. “The MTPX Plus performed flawlessly,” Martin says.
MTP U T A D Twisted Pair Extenders
Because of the size of the conference center, maintaining signal strength was a challenge. CTI purchased and installed Extron MTP U T A D twisted pair transmitters for VGA, video, and audio. The MTP U T A D is a two-gang, Decora-style wallplate with dedicated VGA, HD component video, S-video, composite video, and audio inputs for sending a wide variety of video signals and summed mono audio signals over a single CAT 5-type cable. These transmitters were paired with Extron MTP U R RSA SEQ twisted pair receivers. These MTP twisted pair extenders can also carry RS-232 control signals on twisted pair cable. This saved even more money since it was not necessary to install a separate set of cables for the control system. “The Extron MTPX Plus 6464, in conjunction with the Extron MTP U T A D Universal MTP Twisted Pair Transmitters, met the Government’s requirements exactly.”
Service and Support
Martin emphasizes the value of the support he received from Extron. “Once the Government answered all the AV contractors’ questions, we basically had only one week to design a huge system in time to submit our proposal for the project. I leaned heavily on Extron, and worked closely with the Extron support team for design support. Their expertise ensured the system design would meet the demanding Government design goals in a cost effective way that helped CTI to become the contractor selected for the project.”
Savings, Self-Sufficiency, and Future Proofing
Extron twisted pair cabling and equipment allowed the center to save nearly 30 percent of the cost of the entire installation and to make their facility financially self-supporting. “Extron equipment gave us the ability to meet the client’s needs in a high-value yet cost effective manner,” Martin says.