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AVNetwork Staff

Check Out How a Colorado School Got—and Stays—Connected

A Visionary solution to get a school district connected.

Founded in 1957, Academy School District 20 is the largest school district in the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado. With over 50 traditional schools across 130 square miles, the district serves over 26,000 students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. To simplify the user experience and enhance connectivity for remote participants, the district turned to the Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series.

To support continued growth and maintain the high levels of educational, Academy School District 20 embarked on an extensive technology redesign to serve the growing community. Academy School District 20 selected Lambda Audio Visual, a Colorado-based audio and video solutions provider, to engineer and integrate the audiovisual technology at the Academy District 20’s Education and Administration Center. 

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“We’ve been working with Academy School District 20 for a few years now,” said Ryan Durbin, owner of Lambda Audio Visual. “For this particular project, Academy School District 20 required a future-proof solution to streamline connectivity in a multipurpose room at the Education and Administration Center. It’s one of the most trafficked rooms in the district, and, over the last year, they’ve introduced new features, such as live streaming, for the district meetings. The district’s infrastructure is built on Microsoft Teams and they’re integrating Teams Live Event to broadcast district meetings through a public link. Their existing control system was aging, and, as a result, it did not work well with Microsoft Teams. It required a technician or a skilled professional to start every meeting."

Lamba Audio Visual selected Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series for a simplified user experience and to manage distribution to multiple different sources, including a projector, two televisions, and three cameras. The projector is located at the front of the room to provide visualization for the entire room and the televisions are closer to the back of the room for individuals sitting farther back and overflow accommodations. The front-facing camera covers the presenters and two additional cameras capture speakers in the audience, which allows remote participants to visualize everything that’s happening in the multipurpose room. 

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“The previous system included a laptop and a videobar, which rotated based on the speaker or presenter and questions from the audience," Durbin said. "It prohibited the district from sharing presentations for remote participants, too. With their challenges in mind, our goal was to simplify the user experience and enhance connectivity for remote participants. We set out to create a multipurpose solution with full Microsoft Teams integration.”

(Image credit: Visionary)

“The PacketAV Matrix Series simplifies the video distribution throughout the room, between the projector, televisions, and cameras,” explained Durbin. “It allows the user to grab content from the presentations and Microsoft Teams and unify everything on the network to distribute as needed. The PacketAV Matrix Series eliminates the traditional requirements for formatting and scaling different types of video sources because everything lives on the network.”

Lambda Audio Visual uses the PacketAV Decoder to capture the content on Microsoft Teams via USB-C, and two PacketAV Encoders connected to a wireless dongle and a wired HDMI source. “It allows the user to switch back and forth based on the specific needs and requirements of the meeting," Durbin explained. "The sources are distributed to the televisions and Microsoft Teams. Most importantly, we have a button labeled as ‘Q&A’ that changes the source on the PacketAV Decoder to the two cameras, which automatically cuts back-and-forth to the video content based on which microphones are active.

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"The system creates a simplified user experience while providing an equal experience for remote participants. Users can easily switch between sources without having to change anything in Microsoft Teams and remote participants can easily visualize presentations, speakers, and other happenings in district meetings. As a result, the feedback from Academy School District 20 has been overwhelming. They’re asking us to implement the solution into additional rooms because of the successful experience they’ve encountered in the multipurpose room.”

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