University of Plymouth - Summer Lecture Theatre Upgrades


Epson Projectors 

Iiyama Displays

Extron Control

Chief Screen Trolleys

Audac Speakers

The University of Plymouth required an extensive refresh of seventeen lecture theatres across nine buildings as part of a University-wide Summer AV upgrade. Whilst each of the lecture theatres had their own slight nuances depending on the shape and size of the space, the Devonport LT was completed first to act as a flagship template. Once the client was happy with the design and operation of the space, work on the 16 other lecture theatres begun.

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High-Quality Projection

All the lecture theatres featured high quality front projection, comprising of a range of Epson projectors from 7,000 to 10,000 lumens. Having implemented Epson projectors on previous projects, the client’s preference was to continue using Epson, due to the reliability of the products. For maximum visibility and accessibility for all those in attendance, some of the spaces required 65” Iiyama repeater screens.

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Confidence monitors were also included in all the lecture theatres, with the size and placement dependant on the size of the space. In the Devonport and LT1 spaces, two 43” Philips displays were supplied on Chief screen trolleys near the lectern, whereas smaller lecture theatres utilised an iiyama display at the back of the theatre. To enable hybrid teaching using lecture capture and streaming, Marshall Mini Broadcast Cameras were selected, with a pair of T-Bone microphones above the seating area for audience audio capture.

Extron occupancy sensors were integrated into all the spaces, featuring smart adaptive software which automatically and continuously monitors the environment, to conserve energy when the space is not in use. 

A range of Martin Audio Program speakers were implemented across the lecture theatres in addition to AUDAC Cali660 Ceiling speakers for high quality audio distribution. Larger and more specialist spaces, such as the Roland Levinksky LT1 and LT2 instead utilised Martin Audio ceiling speakers and Subwoofers to provide further depth to the sound.

The ability to transmit video and audio or just audio into the AV system from separate projection room booths located at the back of the spaces was a requirement for all the large lecture theatres. In addition, the spaces required the ability to output audio and video to anyone who wanted to record the video and audio from the AV system from special AV input plated situated at the back of the Auditorium. This was overcome by installing a DMP128 CVAT which not only had x12 inputs to accommodate the vast number of audio inputs from Microphones etc, but it also had the added benefit of having Internal echo cancelling for each of the 12x inputs to eliminate echo induced by the AV system during Teams/Zoom calls. It also has an onboard Dante Card to facilitate the use of the Sennheiser Radio Mics for Handheld and Lapel devices used in the space. To facilitate the video, Extron Receivers and Extron DTP T EU 4K 231 single gang input plate transmitters mounted into the dado were used.

Due to the size of the spaces and the amount of AV equipment being installed, Extron IN1808 IPCP SA switchers were the ideal solution, providing not only eight HDMI inputs, but also a built-in Control Processor to aid with controlling the extensive AV equipment in the system. The switcher also features two DTP Inputs to allow for flexibility of more remote input devices, for example the Extron DTP devices coming in from the booth at back of the Lecture Theatre.

Due to the stock / component crisis, there were several complications along the way, meaning that the GVAV team had to work closely with the University to communicate changes and find alternatives, or return at a later date to retrofit the equipment in situ. In addition, the larger lecture theatres required complicated cabling routes, providing unique challenges for the team, however this was alleviated by using designated specialised access equipment, which also helped to speed up the installation process.

Despite the challenges, the project was completed successfully on a tight deadline by working closely with the client, in order to handover in time for the students return in September.