Victor Harbor council chambers’ old analogue conferencing system was reaching the end of its useful life and needed replacing as a matter of urgency. What’s more the demands on it were increasing, thanks to vibrant democratic participation.
“We have a very active community with a high level of involvement in the council meetings,” explains City of Victor Harbor’s ICT Manager, Daniel Brinkworth. “We would regularly have 20 or 30 members of the public attending. So improving our facilities was, in part, meeting demand.”
A call was put through to Sonic Technology, which has an enviable reputation in the Adelaide region as a unified communications specialist.
With Managing Director Darren Williams leading the charge, Sonic Technology designed a new digital conferencing system, based on a Televic Confidea G3 wireless product range.
“It was a tricky proposition because the equipment room was on a different floor to the chambers with a 150m round trip through some hard-to-access conduit,” recalls Sonic Technology’s Darren Williams.
“This steered us in the direction of an audio-over-IP wireless conferencing system. That way we could use the office’s existing IP network.
“With that criteria, the conferencing options were scarce, but the more I looked into Televic’s wireless Confidea system, the more confident I was that it was ideal. It has plenty of runs on the board, especially overseas, and it’s remarkably well priced.”
Darren and his team designed a system based on the Televic product and an existing QSC 110 Core, which could handle all the DSP and control aspects.
The new system better caters to the audio needs of a council meeting. With the Televic system at the front end, high quality audio is fed to the in-house hearing loop (Victor Harbor has an older demographic and the loop is especially important); the gallery can now easily hear proceedings through the QSC in-ceiling speakers; the audio is recorded (to be later posted online); and a highly intelligible audio signal is provided to the streaming platform (there are around 100 viewers on the live stream to each Council meeting).
Audio from an ambient room microphone runs back into the DSP via an AES67 Attero Tech card. All the video is switched on an Atlona Omnistream AV-over-IP system. In all it’s a multistream solution that integrates nicely with the council’s VC platform of choice, Skype for Business. The IP camera also means council meeting can be streamed to the web for rate payers to see democracy in action.
Televic’s wireless capabilities were important. “We can now more easily reset the room. It’s given us considerably more flexibility,” notes Daniel Brinkworth.
The system was installed by ELB. And according to Darren Williams the Televic conferencing system hasn’t missed a beat since sparking it up.
“IT people don’t understand AV,” observes Darren Williams. “It’s a whole new world. Meanwhile, we’ve partnered with an IT company and we’ve invested in that partnership, understanding how IT pertains to the AV space.
“The Victor Harbor council’s whole system is on the client’s network — we didn’t create a parallel AV network it sits on the client’s existing corporate network with full remote support.
“This is the brave new world that the manufacturers boast can be done. What they don’t tell you is it takes a lot of homework — it’s not plug ’n’ play! But it’s time you need to invest and it’s well worth the investment.”