Extron Pro Series Control Systems and Software Streamline Instruction at Mt. San Antonio College

Extron GC Pro, GUI Designer, and Toolbelt software made customization of the different instructional spaces a very streamlined process. Also, iGVE lets the Mt. SAC team easily monitor, manage, and provide assistance on the BCT AV systems from anywhere on campus.

Jason Bayorgeon,
Project Engineer
Centerpoint Communications

Challenges

Mt. San Antonio College – Mt. SAC in Walnut, California, recently opened their new Business and Computer Technology Complex – BCT. The complex consists of three, multi-story buildings that include interactive classrooms, laboratories, commercial-grade teaching kitchens, and a lecture theater, along with conference, meeting, and huddle rooms. Designing state-of-the-art AV systems for each room was a priority. Administrators wanted intuitive touch interfaces that could provide a consistent user experience from room to room. Also, technical services staff members needed the ability to monitor and manage the BCT's AV systems from any location on campus.

Based on prior experience, the college's technical services team was concerned about the difficulty of coordinating IT configuration of diverse networked devices. Integration firm, Centerpoint Communications confirmed that Extron solutions can be deployed quickly and help streamline the entire process. Use of Extron control systems throughout the new facility accomplished all of the college's design goals.

Easy to Use AV Control

Extron TouchLink® Pro touchpanels in tabletop and wall-mount form factors provide in-room system control from the ADA-compliant teaching station and near the main display. The instructor can use an Extron touchpanel, such as the TLP Pro 1520TG and TLP Pro 1220MG with their capacitive, 15" and 12" edge-to-edge glass touchscreens to preview high-resolution video from HDMI sources, as well as control the AV system.

Centerpoint used Extron Global Configurator Professional, GUI Designer, and Toolbelt software to configure and customize the control interface for different instructional spaces. The control system is configured with easy navigation in mind. Depending on the control demands of each application, an Extron IPCP Pro 350 or IPL Pro S3 IP Link® Control Processor acts as the brains of the system, processing commands and routing communications quickly and efficiently. To minimize clutter and keep the technology out of sight, the control processor is hidden within the teaching station.

The color of each touchpanel is dictated by the environment. Spaces with dark tables and counters include sleek black TouchLink Pro touchpanels, and those with a mix of furniture styles and colors such as the interactive classrooms have white touchpanels.

The college’s technical services team uses the Extron iGVE app downloaded to their Apple® iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch for system support. The mobile app works in conjunction with GlobalViewer Enterprise®, a server-based application for campus-wide scheduling and monitoring with time-stamped AV system data collection. The software is used for activities such as monitoring projector lamp life and setting up schedules that automatically turn off displays throughout the complex or in individual buildings or rooms at specified times. They also use it to gather crucial system data for reports. Reports cover network connections and information that includes equipment usage, life, and inventory. Instead of a centralized, physical helpdesk, iGVE enables multiple team members to monitor and access the BCT's various AV systems at the same time from any location on campus.

Unparalleled, Time-saving Results

Some administrators had reservations about deploying touchscreen controllers, fearing that the faculty would be overwhelmed. The opposite proved true. Since moving to the Pro Series control system, the instructors appreciate the benefits of having a familiar interface that includes real system feedback such as device connection status. The technical services team and the administration are equally happy with the dexterity and reduced response times made possible with the iGVE app. According to Chris Rodriguez, Manager of Technical Services Engineering at Mt. SAC, GVE is an unparalleled, time-saving system management platform.

Mt. SAC’s new Business and Computer Technology complex includes interactive classrooms, labs with demonstration workstations, a lecture hall, a commercial-grade teaching kitchen and bakery, and a fashion design facility, as well as conference, meeting, and huddle spaces for students and faculty.

Mt. SAC’s new Business and Computer Technology complex includes interactive classrooms, labs with demonstration workstations, a lecture hall, a commercial-grade teaching kitchen and bakery, and a fashion design facility, as well as conference, meeting, and huddle spaces for students and faculty.

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