Case Study: Ego Pharmaceuticals, Australia
JAK Audio Visual details how it worked closely with the IT department at Ego Pharmaceuticals
to design and deploy an AV system that will meet the client’s present and future needs.
Ego Pharmaceuticals is an
Australian multinational skin care
company with subsidiaries in
Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong
and the United Kingdom, as well
as staff in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Egypt
and Saudi Arabia. When looking to move to a
new ofﬁ ce location in Melbourne, integrator JAK
Audio Visual was hired to provide AV systems for
The IT department from Ego Pharmaceuticals
was involved with the project from the start.
Kyle Hoppitt from JAK Audio Visual says: “The
IT department did not know what it wanted in
terms of AV, but they had clear ideas about how
they wanted the systems to operate and work.”
JAK Audio Visual took on the task of
designing, integrating and delivering the AV
systems. Foremost among the requirements was
to have easy to use systems with a high degree
of automation. Hoppitt says: “We designed the
system for Ego Pharmaceuticals and drew up a
lot of schematics to show the concept for the
AV systems we wanted to deploy. Our approach,
which is also our design philosophy, was to have
automated rooms with the least possible amount
of user input.”
He continues: “All the rooms have occupancy
sensors which control the TVs and display
information about the room booking. As soon
as you plug a laptop or input source into the
cable boxes, it appears on the screen. All of this
happens without the user having to directly
interact with AV system.”
Having the IT department involved was a boon.
Not only did it allow for the requirements of the
project to be clearly communicated, it also made
the life of the integrator easier. Hoppitt details:
“We requested a VLAN for the AV systems and
that request was quickly processed. We had this
conversation early on and provided a spreadsheet
of all the devices that will be on the network so
the IT department could plan in advance. They
then provided a list of IP addresses and we used
those to set up the VLAN.”
Furthermore, the integrator was engaged early
in the project and Hoppitt details the beneﬁ ts of
this: “We worked closely with the builder and,
because of the timing of when we were brought
on to the project, we could specify all the Cat6
cabling requirements and the PoE locations we
would need. We handed this information to the
builder and they managed to provide everything
we needed via the electrician. We didn’t have to
get involved with the network infrastructure.”
There are also beneﬁ ts for the end-user when
professionals are engaged early. Hoppitt says:
“When it was time for us to come on site, all the
cabling was in place and we didn’t have to do
much in that respect. That’s good for the client
because you don’t end up paying two companies
to run cabling along the same cable run.”
A Crestron solution was on the cards and
the integrator and the IT department from Ego
Pharmaceuticals made a trip to Crestron’s Sydney
experience centre to gain further understanding
of the technology.
Interestingly, Crestron Fusion was chosen to
be a core component of the AV deployment.
Hoppitt narrates: “The Ego Pharmaceuticals
office has 21 rooms and out of those, eight are AV
enabled. These include four meeting rooms, two
videoconferencing rooms and two training rooms.
The remaining rooms may not have AV systems
but they do have room booking panels which can
be used with Google Calendar. Crestron Fusion
was a part of the project early on due to the
requirement for room booking and then reporting
on AV usage came in as a bonus to that.”
Ego Pharmaceuticals chose an on premise
option for Crestron Fusion. It provided a server
and the integrator, with assistance from Crestron,
installed the requisite Fusion software. While the
option to integrate Fusion with the BMS was
discussed, eventually it was decided to have the
two remain separated.
On the surface, the decision to employ
Fusion seems like overkill but Hoppitt explains:
“Ego Pharmaceuticals has two office sites with
another one on the way. The upside of Crestron
Fusion is that they will be able to connect the
sites with the Fusion servers. They can just scale
the facilities that they have. With the server that
they have at present, they have the capacity to
manage a couple of hundred rooms.”
For the videoconferencing rooms, the foremost consideration is detailed by Hoppitt: “The biggest requirement as put forth by the IT department for the videoconferencing rooms was simplicity. They wanted to know that the CEO, MD and sales personnel could walk into the videoconferencing rooms and use the system without calling IT.”
The Polycom Group 500 series with an Eagle Eye camera serves as the videoconferencing codec in these rooms. Polycom ceiling array microphones are used for audio input.
A Sony display is employed for visuals. JAK Audio Visual has provided a Crestron DM-DGE- 200-C graphics engine for every display and this provision is integral to the way the whole AV system works and meets the client’s requirements. Hoppitt says: “The Crestron graphics engine can be thought of as the brains of a Crestron touch panel. It sits on the network and you can access it remotely. If the Sony displays were touch enabled I would be able to interact with the displays with touch.”
He continues: “It is much more than a simple signage player. We wanted a dynamic and interactive interface which the graphics engine makes possible. When you connect with a laptop to this system, we are not switching inputs on the TV. The graphics engine is handling the video input and the output. It has control, LAN, serial input and IR so it becomes an all-in-one solution. The graphics engine gets the TV on the network and so much more.”
The interactivity enabled by the Crestron graphics engine, mentioned by Hoppitt, is evident at a simple glance. The Sony displays in the videoconferencing rooms reference Australian cities. So in the Melbourne room, four different pictures of Melbourne are displayed in a rotation on the Sony TVs. The touch panel displays also follow the theme.
Both videoconferencing rooms are also equipped with a Crestron DMPS3-300-C-AEC switcher which also provides processing power. Automation is provided with Crestron GLS-ODT- C-CN occupancy sensors which automatically turn on the TV displays and the AV systems when user presence is detected.
Hoppitt details: “The occupancy sensors don’t just work on passive infrared scanning, they also use ultrasonic bandwidth. This makes them more sensitive. There are times when infrared does not pick up small movements but ultrasonic does.” Crestron TST-902 + TST-902-DSW touch panels are provided should the end-user wish to interact with the AV systems directly. Audio is provided by four Crestron SAROS_ICE6T-W-T ceiling speakers.
Wireless connectivity is enabled by Crestron AirMedia AM-101 while wired connections are possible with Crestron table boxes which feature cable retractors.
A specific challenge in the videoconferencing rooms was handling HDCP content. Apple computers default to HDCP content but the Polycom system cannot accept HDCP content as it is a videoconferencing platform. This was a challenge for the integrator.
Hoppitt talks about how having a complete Crestron deployment helped solve the issue: “We don’t strip out HDCP. We just use the Crestron system to turn off HDCP, so we can spoof the Apple computers into believing it is sending a signal to a non-HDCP compliant device. In this way it sends out a standard signal. This would not be possible if we didn’t have control over the video signal all the way through the system.”
He continues: “The beauty of having a Crestron end-to-end video solution is that we have transparency with the video system. You know what input is coming to the boxes and how it is progressing through the video system chain. I can log-in to the Crestron system and see the video being transmitted, check whether it is HDCP content, what resolution it is being transmitted at and how it is going through the entire system.”
Another challenge cropped up with one of the videoconferencing rooms when the integrator came in to install microphones. Hoppitt narrates: “Both the videoconferencing rooms were designed to have Polycom ceiling array microphones. When we went to install them, we realised that one of the rooms had a feature roof, which meant there wasn’t enough space for the microphones. We switched to Revolabs wireless microphones for that space.”
Ego Pharmaceuticals has two training rooms which are separated by bi-fold doors. This means that the two spaces can be used in tandem, as one large area, or as two distinct rooms.
Like the videoconferencing rooms, the training rooms are equipped with Polycom Group 500 videoconferencing as well as Crestron DMPS3-300- C-AEC switchers. However, a Biamp Tesira Forte DSP has also been added to assist with audio processing and providing AEC features. Seeing that communication is an integral usage scenario for the training rooms, the space has been provided with a range of microphones for audio input.
Shure QLXD wireless handheld microphones are used for presenters. A Shure Shure CVG12RS B/C gooseneck microphone on a Lectrum Aero lectern can also be found.
Revolabs Executive Elite wireless boundary microphones are used for when audio pickup is required for seated individuals. Hoppitt says: “The Executive Elite is a great product and there isn’t really anything else on the market like it from Polycom. One boundary microphone between two speakers is all you need but it can be stretched a bit more for larger coverage.” The large number of microphones meant that an expansion unit for the Tesira was required. Audio output is managed by Crestron ceiling speakers paired with Crestron AMP-2210T ampliﬁers.
Visuals are provided by Epson G7500U projectors. Interestingly, the projectors are not linked to the occupancy sensors used to automate the rooms. This is to purposely avoid having the projectors power up every single time someone walks into the training rooms.
Crestron graphics engines are paired with the projectors to provide the same interactive display functionality found in the videoconferencing rooms.
Two Polycom Eagle Eye video cameras are used to capture proceedings. The two cameras –provide camera angles for covering the speaker and the participants. Crestron AirMedia delivers wireless connectivity.
The AV systems at Ego Pharmaceuticals have been operational and JAK Audio Visual continues to service and support the installation. The integrator is in contact with the IT department to customise and tailor the system to better suit its needs.
Regarding the close involvement of the IT department, Hoppitt says: “IT departments are not good with AV systems. So I believe that there will be a place for the AV integrator for a long time. But, we need to work closely with IT teams because AV is using its infrastructure more and more. This project shows how communication between AV and IT can result in an excellent AV deployment that meets all of the client’s needs.”