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A Very Unique School Embraces A/V Technology

A new high school is infused with state-of-the-art equipment from Extron

From its stately brick and stonework architecture which reminds one more of a university than a public high school to its successful fusion of technology and teaching, Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in Whitman, Mass., stands out as a truly unique school.

Whitman-Hanson also is a shining example of how design consultants, architects, A/V integrators, and end-users can work together from the inception of a project to achieve great results. After a feasibility study determined that renovating the existing, sixty-plus year-old school buildings would be cost-prohibitive, it was decided to start from scratch on a new, energy-efficient, 250,000 square foot building on the same property.

"The reason the A/V systems were
so well received was that the Extron
MediaLink systems were consistently
easy to learn and to use."

Whitman-Hanson project leaders chose CC Technology Designs of Waltham, MA, as the Technology Consulting firm, and HB Communications, also of Waltham, as the Integrator. Craig Finley, a principal at CC Technology Designs, commented on why his firm chose equipment from Extron. “Extron provided the best solution that we could find. The price point was right, and the systems we chose allow an instructional staff member or an administrator to come into an area that has a large amount of technological equipment without needing a technician present every time they use the equipment.”

Easy to Use, Consistent Control

Craig chose to equip each of the 67 new classrooms with an Extron MLC 226 IP MediaLink? controller and an MLS 506 MA Six Input MLS - MediaLink Switcher with Mono Audio Amplifi er. The MLS 506MA MediaLink Switcher is used in conjunction with the MLC 226 IP controller to power the projector on and off, and to switch between various classroom A/V sources. The MLS 506MA was chosen for a couple different reasons. This MediaLink switcher offers 6 universal inputs that can handle any signal format from composite video up to RGBHV computer video. This greatly enhances the classroom A/V signal switching capability beyond what is available by using the projector alone. It also provides a mono power amplifier to drive the four ceiling speakers.

The MLC 226 IP controller features Extron’s exclusive IP Link? technology, a high performance, intelligent network integration solution which enables centralized monitoring and control of A/V systems over the school’s existing IP network. In each classroom, the MLC 226 IP provides source selection, volume control, and projector power control.

Network-Enabled Asset Management

Extron’s IP Link technology works in conjunction with their free GlobalViewer asset management software, making it possible for one help desk technician to monitor, troubleshoot, and control systems throughout the campus. Soon, Whitman-Hanson will initiate their help desk technical support using GlobalViewer. If a teacher is experiencing technical problems, a help desk technician can use GlobalViewer to toggle connected devices on and off, switch sources, even adjust the volume ? all without leaving his desk. GlobalViewer can also monitor lamp hours, and even generate multiple email alerts if the MLC-226 IP senses a connected device has been unplugged. The GlobalViewer web application can be accessed on any networked computer, and even on a PDA running Microsoft? Windows Mobile?-based Pocket PC.

Making the Grade

School began in the new building in September of 2005. Craig and his team felt confident that the A/V equipment they chose would prove successful for the school staff and administration. Upon visiting the school and speaking with staff and administrators their confidence was affirmed. Craig explains, “We found that the reason the A/V systems were so well received was that the Extron MediaLink systems were consistently easy to learn and to use.”

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