Simplifying the Video Conference Experience for Gateway Innovation Hub
Part of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce New York (SACCNY), Gateway is an innovation hub for companies looking to extend their success in the US. It includes state-ofthe-art AV facilities that create an immersive user-focused experience, making AV as easy-touse and flexible as possible while at the same time ensuring high quality. Supporting all the AV technologies from QCS, Barco, and Sennheiser, Gateway uses a backbone of NETGEARmanufactured network switches, providing robust performance throughout the location.
Over 100 years ago, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, New York (SACCNY) was founded to promote and strengthen trade and commerce between Sweden and the United States. Today, SACCNY continues to thrive, with Anna Throne-Holst, appointed SACCNY’s president in 2017, at the helm. “In my public life, much of my work was supporting small business,” she said,” So, when I was offered the opportunity with SACCNY, I jumped on it, with the goal of creating a model chamber, offering both services and support to the innovation and start-up sectors, while facilitating important synergies with the long time, large corporate members.”
This led to Gateway, which provides members with everything they need to help accelerate their success, including business matching, partnerships, administrative setup, desk and event space. The opening of Gateway also coincided with a move to SACCNY’s current 20,000 square feet home on the 29th floor of 900 Third Avenue in New York City, with spectacular city views and capacity to grow. “The move meant we could create a myriad of working and event-based areas for these entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Throne-Holst, “I wanted to create a state-ofthe-art meeting space.”
To move the project forward, Throne-Holst engaged Greg Harper, president of Harpervision Associates, VP of infrastructure for Shorelight Education, and technology advisor to various other organizations. Harper pitched the idea to Sennheiser, Barco, and QSC, resulting in a collaboration between all parties, using some of the latest innovations from these technology leaders.
Most importantly, the vision was for an environment that was flexible, seamless, easy to use, and as invisible as possible. Said Greg Harper, “Executives don’t want to have to think about the technology — they want a videoconferencing experience to be as authentic as possible.
The subsequent and impressive design of Gateway includes a showcase space referred to as ‘A Room with a View,’ which provides seating and videoconferencing for up to 12 people. The Q-SYS OS, the software-based foundation for Q-SYS, drives and manages the room’s Q-SYS Core 110f processor and its connected peripherals. Up to 256 network audio channels and multiple VoIP instances are supported.
Three Q-SYS PTZ-IP Conference cameras allow multiple vantages and an immersive remote experience. Plus, QSC Partner Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling 2 (TCC2) microphone has been easily integrated into the Q-SYS system design, and its beamforming ‘follows the speaker.’
“The TCC2 triggers the camera position presets based on the speaker’s location. So we are getting the data from the Sennheiser TCC2 microphone and using that data to switch the cameras based on who is speaking,” said Greg Harper. In addition, one of the highlights of this particular space is a high-impact 14 foot LED video wall.
BRING YOUR OWN MEETING
In alignment with the SACCNY’s vision of a seamless user experience, agnostic ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’ enables users to access conference-mode switching via a Q-SYS Touch Screen Controller easily. So, users can instantly shift the setup to Teams, Zoom, or whatever AV meeting service of choice. Furthermore, users can connect and present wirelessly anywhere within Gateway, through a Barco ClickShare Conference integrated with Q-SYS.
Beyond the Room with a View, there is also an 18 seat Board Room and a storage room converted into the Media Lab and the Event Room, with a capacity for 60 people (or 100 standing). In common with the ‘Room with a View,’ all these spaces feature technologies from QSC, Barco, a nd Sennheiser, providing similar combinations of flexibility and simplicity and a rich AV experience.
Critical to the successful deployment of the Gateway’s sophisticated AV environment is having a network switch backbone that ensures all audio and video are delivered robustly and with consistently excellent quality from the system’s core components to all endpoints. For this task, Q-SYS recommended its NV Series Gen 2, a range of enterprise-grade NETGEAR-manufactured network switches. These are pre-configured specifically to meet the performance requirements for Q-SYS, AES67, and Dante.
Said Cory Schaeffer, Director, Alliances & Ecosystem, QSC, “These switches are already configured for Q-SYS, meaning that they are both straightforward to install in advanced AV applications. Once in place, we know we can rely on these switches to perform well. We have been partners of NETGEAR for many years, and as well as products, we share a solid relationship.”
One of the most significant plus points of this series of switches is NETGEAR IGMP Plus™, a feature developed by NETGEAR to provide improved and automatic multicast data management. This means system architectures are greatly simplified using familiar IGMP techniques across the entire AV over IP network, minimizing configuration complexity and the risk of manual error. These switches also feature Power over Ethernet (PoE), reducing the need to install additional electrical power cables.
The installation was completed in 2021 and today provides the SACCNY community with a highly immersive user experience. Said Greg Harper, “Our setup is truly BYOD - this is extremely powerful, and you don’t get that in many places. You get the whole package: high-quality audio, stunning visual communication, lots of control, remote capabilities: what else could you want?”
Concluded Cory Schaeffer at QSC: “This project has been a great example of how we can work together with customers and our partners — such as Barco, Sennheiser, and NETGEAR - to deliver AV experiences that are not just high-quality, but are seamless and effortless for the user.”
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