Special Control Ops
Government agencies have no time to waste and need to be able to command and control complex systems at a touch of button. At the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Atlanta offices, the control system needed to bring together all the agency’s audio, video, and UC systems to enable seamless trainings and meetings. T. Magee Inc. and ICE selected RTI as the intelligent nucleus for the elite agency’s training and meeting rooms.
1 x VXP-82 All-in-One Control Processor and AV Presentation Switcher
2 x XP-3 Control Processor
3 x KA8 8-Inch Touchpanel
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“This is Special Agent Hammer from Homeland Security. I need an RTI processor … .”
Getting a phone call directly from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is nothing short of surprising. For custom integrator Todd Magee of T. Magee Inc., the call went from surprise to a very interesting opportunity.
At ICE’s Atlanta office, the meeting spaces — a large training room and two conference rooms — needed a control system update. The rooms were equipped with an old combination of control and video systems that were capable of only distributing and controlling component video signals. They no longer integrated with the modern digital sources and devices in the rooms. Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer was tasked with finding a solution that could support the rooms’ upgraded displays and audio, video, and UC sources, one that would allow users to easily control the room’s various AV systems with one-button commands, such as distributing their laptop feed to the screens and connecting to the videoconferencing system.
Special Agent Hammer put his background in computer information systems to work and did his own research to find the best system to not only handle the latest sources but provide a streamlined workflow that would allow all users to walk into the room and begin a meeting at a touch of a button. His search led him to RTI, the newly announced VXP-82 AV presentation switcher with built-in control processor, and of course to Todd Magee.
The VXP-82 had not yet been released to the market, so Special Agent Hammer and the Atlanta ICE facility was to represent its very first deployment. But the all-in-one presentation system combining an 8x2 multi-format video switcher with an RTI control processor for conference rooms, meeting spaces, classrooms, and lecture halls was exactly what the facility needed. The VXP-82 handles video signals from up to eight sources and enables presentations on two monitors or in two rooms simultaneously, which was ideal for the agency’s room requirements. During the installation, Todd Magee leveraged the RTI Integration Designer® programming software and the VXP-82’s single chassis design to significantly reduce onsite configuration and minimize setup time.
“At the time of the training room installation, the VXP-82 had not been released for sale,” said Magee. “I worked with my RTI sales manager to get a copy of the beta version of Integration Designer programming software to ensure that they would have all the macros the organization needed programmed into the system. The goal was to recreate what the old system was doing, only better, and of course to incorporate the new sources and monitors.”
For the large training and conference room, the sources included a Polycom videoconferencing system, Blu-ray player, and a cable TV channel, which needed to be fed to a 75-inch Samsung LED display and 86-inch Dell presentation monitor. For the smaller two conference rooms, sources included a BSS BLU-103 conferencing processor and a Blu-ray player. In addition, users in any of the rooms needed the ability to connect and display their laptops on the screens with ease.
With the new presentation system, meeting presenters simply plug in a laptop or other source, which can then launch preset adjustments to the room’s lighting, HVAC, external audio amplification, videoconferencing, and more. The simple interface makes it intuitive for users to route sources and outputs without relying on the IT department. From an RTI KA8 touchpanel installed at the room’s podium, users can quickly select the macro they need to adapt the room to their needs. For ICE’s facility, users can choose the programmed macros they need, including Presentation, which immediately distributes the laptop signal to the room’s screens; Watch TV; Watch Blu-ray; Security Feed; and Room Off.
Once the room was set, the agency turned its focus to the other two conference rooms. For those rooms, Magee installed an RTI XP-3 control processor to command the BSS BLU-103 conferencing processor, Blu-ray player, and a 4x4 AV Pro Edge HDMI matrix as well as distribute those signals to the 75-inch display. Ideal for ICE’s two smaller meeting rooms, the XP-3 can provide the user with real-time feedback about any of the devices integrated within the room. Like the training room, users simply tap the command they need from the KA8 touchpanel installed in the room.
With RTI as the future-ready nucleus of the facility’s training and meeting rooms, staff can easily and quickly get down to business, while the system works behind the scenes to support training presentations and critical meetings while enabling simple, intuitive, and completely customized control for users. The agency also has the freedom to add different equipment and more macros, ensuring expansion and adaptability that keeps pace with new and evolving demands.
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