Fairview Health Services, Heritage Boardroom
The following excert is taken from the cover story of the September issue of Sound & Video Contractor magazine. The entire article can be found at http://www.svconline.com/corporateav/features/above_the_fray/
One of the most confidential forms of communication is that between doctor and patient. In addition to secure, that communication must also be clear. As the wireless spectrum grows more crowded, noisy, and potentially insecure, Fairview Health Services in downtown Minneapolis found a unique wireless conferencing solution that also suited their third major concern: preserving the integrity of their historical building.
Fairview Health Services is a network of hospitals and clinics through Minnesota. The company’s headquarters is in an early 20th-century building in downtown Minneapolis, and features an elegant boardroom with a carved stone fireplace and full-length windows. The Heritage Room boardroom needed a new conferencing system; Alpha Video, a systems integrator based in Edina, Minn., set out to bring the boardroom up to 21st-century teleconferencing standards.
“They wanted a very flexible space, where they could move the tables around as needed and yet retain the ability to do teleconferencing with a minimum of setup,” says Brian Mathison, Alpha Video’s integration specialist. “They also wanted the space to be easily upgradable to videoconferencing in the future, which is why we installed a large video matrix switch.
Because Fairview Health Services wanted to keep its boardroom layout flexible, a wired microphone system was impractical. “The room has many hard surfaces, so installing a hanging ceiling microphone system was out of the question because of the way it would sound,” Mathison says. “I don’t think they wanted it either because of the way it would look.”
Going wireless comes with its own perils. First, growing congestion in the RF spectrum is making it increasingly difficult to provide wireless users with continuous, reliable service that resists interference from outside transmitters. Second, anytime someone transmits over radio waves, they risk unauthorized eavesdropping by outside listeners. Since top Fairview doctors and administrators use the boardroom, maintaining signal security is an absolute must.
It is for these reasons that Alpha Video decided to install Audio-Technica’s SpectraPulse UWB Wireless Microphone System in the boardroom. SpectraPulse gets around the issues of RF congestion by transmitting in the 6-10GHz band. “The transmission signals are precisely timed,” Mathison says. “Because the receiver is synced to the transmitter, it knows the exact transmission structure and timing. This ensures that the audio comes through in a continuous, uninterrupted feed.”