Building the perfect seminar room: behind the scenes with INI’s IT team

27 February 2024

Those who keep an eye on our social media channels will have seen the exciting news of our new and renovated Seminar Room 1. From 11 December 2023 to 5 January 2024, the room underwent an improvement transformation by proAV Limited in collaboration with the IT Services team. The collaborative work was set to replace the outdated facilities and to bring the Institute to the cutting-edge of audio-visual technology aimed at improving the experience of visitors during our wide range of events and activities.

Stage #1 of refurbishment

A short video of the IT team packing down the seminar room

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We asked Adam Merton (IT Manager) to share his experiences of the highs, lows, and outcomes involved in bringing the 30-year-old seminar space into the 21st century.

Q. Tell us a bit about the renovation process – how much did it cost? Did it take long to plan?

Adam: The newly revitalised INI Seminar Room 1 stands as a testament to a project conceived with ambition and delivered with resilience. This ambitious undertaking, spanning twelve months of meticulous planning and a total investment of £120,000, aimed to transform the heart of academic discourse at INI into a cutting-edge learning hub. While unforeseen challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and disrupted supply lines threatened to derail our progress, we navigated these hurdles with proAV’s invaluable partnership, ultimately achieving a result that surpasses our initial vision. They actively sought alternative solutions, maintained open communication throughout the process, and ensured minimal disruption to the project timeline.

We continued our interview with Jacob Wilson (IT/AV Technician), sharing some of the key features and improvements that will be noticeable to our visitors.

Q. What are some key features from this improvement that will be noticeable to visitors?

Jacob: One key aspect is the relay monitor, which will allow our speakers to have a preview of their slides, a countdown timer, or any information requested to be shown. Another visual improvement is the digital touch panels allowing all speakers, organisers and visitors to interactively control the room with our new lectern-recessed touch panel and wall-mounted scheduler.

Adam: One of the key players in this transformation was the cutting-edge Sony SRG-A12 Presenter Tracking PTZ Camera. This intelligent marvel isn’t your average classroom webcam. It seamlessly follows the speaker’s movements, ensuring everyone in the room, whether physically present or joining virtually, has a clear view of the action. No more awkward static shots or missed gestures!

Jacob: The professional audio system includes brand new full-range line-array speakers to enhance and project sound to the seminar rooms. Combined with our laser projector, it is powerful enough to host video screenings, with a cinematic atmosphere.

Lastly, we spoke with Febin Johny (IT/AV Technician) who shared his thoughts on the project and its most prominent features.

Q. What other advanced features have been made to this renovation?

Febin: One of the standout features is the upgraded method of connecting laptops to the projector. Previously, users experienced delays and issues with sharing content via Zoom. Now, with the implementation of a wired HDMI connection, we’ve eliminated any delays, ensuring seamless presentations with high-quality visuals. The addition of Barco ClickShare has significantly improved the ease of sharing content during presentations. This technology allows presenters to wirelessly share their screens with just a click, enhancing efficiency and reducing setup time.

The introduction of a new Christie projector and Yamaha speakers has significantly enhanced the visibility and clarity of presentations, ensuring that all attendees can follow along easily. Additionally, the use of Blackmagic Design’s ATEM Mini Extreme for production purposes has streamlined the process of editing and layering content, making presentations more visually appealing and professional.

Q. Any final thoughts?

Jacob: Thanks to our enhanced live streaming and video production capabilities, featuring state-of-the-art AV equipment, we now capture audience and speaker audio flawlessly, alongside stunning visuals, ensuring quality additions to add to our video archives, and YouTube channel.

Adam: So, next time you find yourself in the newly revitalized Seminar Room 1, take a moment to appreciate the journey it took to get here. Remember the cutting-edge technology, the seamless collaboration, and the unwavering commitment to creating a space that truly fosters learning and interaction, where ideas can flourish and collaborations can take root. This is more than just a renovation; it’s a promise to the future of research, and one that INI proudly delivers.

Gallery and promotional video below!

Welcome to Seminar Room 1

Promotional video of the seminar room

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