Cardiff University - Engineering: Case study

A new modern collaborative learning facility in Cardiff University’s Queen’s Buildings, ENGIN C/2.04 and C/2.07 have undergone a complete regeneration including scalable AVoIP systems and more than 20 displays.


Visionary encoders & decoders

Panasonic displays

Clevertouch displays

Crestron control

JBL speakers

Audio-Technica mics

Biamp DSP

QSC amplifiers

Kramer Via Go

Shure mics

Audio visual case study

Cardiff University Engineering suite​​​​​​​

Alongside the Schools of Computer Science and Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University’s School of Engineering is housed inside the Grade II listed Queen’s Buildings, a Gothic Revival University building on Newport Road that was intended as, but never completed as, a quadrangle.

This century-old structure has been modified and extended since its completion yet retains much of its original interior aesthetic throughout its four linked wings. However many spaces are now being upgraded with the latest audio visual technology to provide more class-leading learning spaces for students.

Across two rooms in the West Wing of the building, the University identified a requirement to create a new facility for its School of Engineering, bringing students together in a shared collaborative space that could also be used as a traditional teaching area. Continuing a prosperous long and supportive relationship with the University spanning many years, GVAV were selected as the successful integrator after tendering for this project working under main contractor John Weaver.

To do

A collaborative project

This new, modern facility needed to incorporate flexible and scalable connectivity options, allowing staff and students to share content to different displays within the new spaces. The original plans for both rooms were conceptualised by the University and AV consultant Drama By Design with usability, collaboration and continuity in mind throughout the suite.

Changes brought about in the construction phase and logistical challenges meant that all parties had to work together to adapt the plans to ensure that a system was delivered that still met and exceeded the client’s expectations.

More than ever, effective communication was a vitally important facet of this project as the rooms were completely stripped out and refitted to create the new spaces, requiring meticulous planning and cooperation between a multitude of experienced contractors. Working around each other required a great amount of planning through regular meetings, as decades of multi-industry expertise were tapped into to pull this ambitious summer installation together.


18 Panasonic TH-65EQ2 4K displays were installed throughout the facility, with 11 of these in the larger room, C/2.04. This 65” model was chosen for its connectivity, functionality, high-quality visuals and brightness, which was a particularly imperative feature for combatting the nature of the bright spaces with large windows looking out across the courtyard.

TOP-TEC Jupiter Shuttle mounts were chosen to fix the displays to the wall, and further TOP-TEC standing mounts were employed as a solution to a logistical challenge mounting the Panasonic displays in areas there were glass panels or impractically small wall space to install them.

panasonic display

Alongside the peripheral Panasonic displays, the main teaching display in both rooms is the Clevertouch 4K 86” IMPACT Plus touchscreen. This model has become a popular choice for the University due to its high-precision touch technology, connectivity options and usability.

Mounted on electronically height-adjustable Clevertouch column display mounts, the IMPACT Plus displays allow University staff to teach in a more interactive way, facilitating the ability to highlight, annotate and illustrate with a stylus or finger-touch.

clevertouch display

Enhancing connectivity

The room’s displays are just one of the many components of this new state-of-the-art facility.

As with the majority of new audio visual installations in education, another important client requirement was for the space to be accessible for remote learning. For clear video capture benefitting those joining sessions externally, a Panasonic AW-HE40SW PTZ camera with 30x optical zoom is installed alongside Clockaudio and Audio-Technica ceiling microphones for optimal sound capture.

For those in the room, JBL ceiling loudspeakers are driven by Crown power amplifiers, producing loud and clear audio with the option of inputs from an integrated Audio-Technica boundary mic or Sennheiser Speechline handheld and clip-on lavalier microphones ensuring the presenter is heard effectively.

A Sennheiser MobileConnect unit brings an inclusive and innovative dimension to the learning spaces, serving as a hearing assistance system, catering to the diverse auditory needs of students. MobileConnect allows users to access enhanced audio content directly through their smartphones or tablets, eliminating the need for additional hardware, ensuring that everyone, including those with hearing impairments or language preferences, can fully engage with lectures and presentations.

Axis cameras are also integrated into the AV system for security and monitoring purposes.

To do

A Visionary AVoIP solution

To bring each component part of the integration together, AVoIP (Audio Visual over Internet Protocol) systems were implemented in both of the new spaces, representing a scalable, flexible and forward-thinking solution to multi-media integration. This advanced system harnesses the power of IP technology to seamlessly distribute audio and video signals throughout each space.

In practical terms, the AVoIP systems enrich the students’ learning environment and empowers teaching staff by providing a dynamic, high-quality platform for sharing content.

At the heart of this AVoIP system are Visionary encoders and decoders – crucial components working in harmony to facilitate the distribution of audio and video content.

Visionary E4100 and E4200 encoders are responsible for capturing audio and video signals from the facility’s input sources. As every display needed to be able to receive two local inputs and one wireless source,  each were equipped with the E4200 model which accommodates 2 x HDMI and USB-C input sources.

Once these signals are captured, the encoders employ advanced techniques to package them into IP packets. On the receiving end, Visionary D4100 decoders undertake the reverse process, decoding the IP packets back into their original audio and video formats. Once decoded, these signals are then seamlessly routed to the respective displays and audio systems for presentation.

The Visionary devices excel in delivering high-quality AVoIP solutions, making them the perfect choice for this installation. The client requirement to be able to seamlessly transmit content to multiple displays, alongside the need to flexibly integrate with various AV components, made Visionary a natural fit in the system.

The backbone of the AVoIP system is the network infrastructure, which comprises of high-performance network switches from the Netgear M4250 Series. By managing the routing of the IP packets, the switches ensure minimal latency and preserve the integrity of the AV signals.

The system handles audio signals with the help of the Biamp Tesira’s advanced Audio DSPs (Digital Signal Processors). These processors receive audio from the input sources, optimising audio quality and fine-tuning sound before routing it to the speakers. The Tesira's modular design and scalability future-proof the system, adapting to evolving needs over time.

“The introduction of new technologies including Crestron VC4, Visionary AVoIP and Sennheiser Mobile Connect have all added to help produce two high-end and bespoke learning environments. The careful selection of new and developing technologies helps us to continue to provide bespoke, definite solutions for Cardiff University.”

Pete Dunsire | Senior Project Manager AV/IT – Cardiff University

Seamless, familiar simplicity

The AVoIP system facilitates dynamic content sharing across the room’s devices, all controlled from the lecturer’s teaching station. Integrated with a mic, WolfVision visualiser, HDMI, USB-C and USB-A inputs, and a client-supplied PC, custom branded TOP-TEC Rubi lecterns sit at the front of each of the new rooms.

audio visual lectern with crestron control

Built into each lectern is also a Crestron control panel with a familiar custom-designed GUI for continuity and ease of use alongside the University’s other teaching facilities. This user interface was workshopped, programmed and tested in-branch to the client’s specifications, meaning it was ready to be implemented on site. 

Following a style the client was already familiar with meant that further staff training required would be minimal in order to use the system intuitively.

Audio visual user guideOn handover, the client was supplied with a comprehensive User Guide for the space, which includes full operating instructions and troubleshooting guidance.

To do

The Crestron control panel allows the end user to easily select different input sources for the main Clevertouch display from either an external wired connection, the integrated visualiser, or the room’s PC. What’s more, this signal, or other inputs, can be displayed on each of the room’s Panasonic screens using this panel.

Each Panasonic display is fitted with a custom box with its own control panel facilitating even display options, allowing breakout groups to work independently and show their content locally. A Kramer VIA GO² integrated with each display facilitates instant and reliable wireless connectivity up to 4K. Shared content can also be relayed to the room’s other displays via the teaching control panel, making this a truly versatile solution.

"Considering all aspects of the project – from construction to technical, this was an exciting and well executed fast-track refurbishment programme. The creation of these two new innovative spaces, including the fantastic audio-visual solutions will most definitely enhance both the teaching and student experience."

Anthony James | Space Manager – Cardiff University

A transformed space

Much more than just an AV refresh, the new facility within Cardiff University’s School of Engineering stands as a testament to the University's dedication to providing a world-class educational environment that inspires students. This ambitious integration encompasses not only a full spectrum of audio, visual and control systems, but also cutting-edge scalable AVoIP technology built for the future.

Cardiff University Queens Buildings Engineering​​​​​​​

This ambitious integration encompasses not only a full spectrum of audio, visual and control systems, but also cutting-edge scalable AVoIP technology built for the future.

Building on a long-established and successful relationship with the client as well as working collaboratively with the main contractor, the consultants and a host of other third parties, GVAV delivered a state-of-the-art facility that will undoubtedly help further position the University as a pioneer of modern learning spaces.

"From concept to detailed design, meticulous planning, and the attention to project particulars has led the way in helping develop these two unique spaces. Delivered on time within budget and to a high standard, ENGIN 2.04 and 2.07 are helping build the universities portfolio of technically advanced and state-of-the-art learning spaces."

Pete Dunsire | Senior Project Manager AV/IT

Cardiff University

To do

To do

To do