"Brilliant—one cable makes it easy on us. It is really simple. Literally, plug in an HDMI cable in the back of the projector and plug [the other connector] into the Media Gateway, and you are ready to go. Simple installation, and very clean."
Educational facilities are faced with ever-changing technology which can make it difficult to accommodate the demand for the latest equipment. The shift from analog to digital devices also contributes to installation complexity as it becomes more important to provide solutions that encompass a variety of connectivity options to accommodate multiple inputs of various users. Chicago Office Technology Group (COTG), a technology and services company specializing in workflow solutions and office systems, encountered this exact challenge in an installation for Winnetka School District 36 in Winnetka, Illinois.
Winnetka School District was exploring solutions to easily connect A/V equipment to a display and present to a group. The school desired a solution with a high-powered projector and a large, twelve foot projection screen in its library to share information. The application was not only to be used for students to learn and study, but also as a space for regularly held school board meetings. For board meetings, individual members would bring in their own personal devices to present data and communicate to the audience. Therefore, the school required a convenient, easy way to connect multiple pieces of A/V equipment. COTG recommended a simple to use, clean-looking solution for collaboration and projection of presentations—the Media Gateway.
With the Media Gateway, users—including students, school employees, and board members—can easily connect portable electronics such as laptops, Apple® products, and other audio and video devices to the in-room projector. The connected device detection inside the Media Gateway enables auto-switching to the device in use—a true advantage according to COTG and Winnetka School District. Bernie Potkanowicz, an account manager for COTG, explained, "People don't want to mess around with toggle buttons or switching sources. It is much easier for people to come in, plug in and be able to go right away. So, that's really what caught our attention [about the Media Gateway]. Furthermore, the Media Gateway can upscale composite video and iPod®/iPhone®/iPad® video to 1080p—Another one of its big benefits—high-def through running HDMI," claimed Potkanowicz.
In addition to multiple inputs, auto-switching and upscaling, COTG valued another element— one HDMI cable can support all of the audio/video inputs, creating a simple installation. Rather than pulling a bundle of cables for the install, COTG merely ran the one HDMI cable across the ceiling and down through wire molding into a laminate computer station. The Media Gateway was mounted inside the computer station, and only the face plate was visible. The users could then plug in their device, and it would automatically switch to the correct source and display the media on the projection screen. Bernie Potkanowicz described the installation as "brilliant—one cable makes it easy on us. It is really simple. Literally, plug in an HDMI cable in the back of the projector and plug [the other connector] into the Media Gateway, and you are ready to go. Simple installation, and very clean."
As soon as the installation was complete, COTG and Winnetka School District could not wait to test out the iPad connection. The Media Gateway was appealing to the school not only because of its ability to accommodate multiple signal inputs, but also because of its Apple device port. This particular feature would increase the quality of board meetings first and foremost (but potentially student and teacher presentations as well), thus Winnetka School District was excited at the capability to project videos from the iPad while maintaining sound. Potkanowicz said, "We just plugged it in immediately. It worked great. The customer still loves it."
In the future, COTG plans to utilize the Media Gateway in other installations. Since it is simple to deploy, support, and use, Potkanowicz agrees that the Media Gateway is a flexible and cost effective fit "whether it is in a boardroom, large auditorium, library, and even down to a simple classroom."
C2G, a brand of Legrand, is a global leader in IT, A/V, datacom cabling and connectivity solutions since 1984. C2G delivers connectivity solutions renowned for superior quality, value and innovation and are backed by an uncompromising commitment to customer service. C2G is widely known as the cabling and connectivity supplier of choice for industry leading technology resellers and distributors across North America, EMEA and Asia. In 2014 C2G joined the Data Communications division of Legrand, North America, the world specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks, offering solutions for use in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. For more information, please visit C2G.
This white paper is for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. C2G makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information found in this document.