MediaMatrix at Frankfurt University
Consultants Detlef Hartmann and Stephan Mathias (of the Hartmann & Mathias Partnership) were given the challenging brief of designing and implementing a high quality AV solution that would allow both faculty and students access to a full range of media, including recording, at the University's Reidberg and Westend campuses.
Both campuses were equipped with a 10 Gig fibre-optic network backbone, and up to 96 audio channels would be required for a single location on campus - that number would increase to several hundred for the campus as a whole. On top of this, the audio had to be matrixed with video distribution hardware, therefore a flexible solution that could deal with a mix of analogue and digital I/O was required.
For the Riedberg Campus, which covers physics, chemistry, and biochemistry, Hartmann and Mathias deployed a sizeable Peavey MediaMatrix system, for its Dante compatibility, ease-of-use, and ability to accommodate large channel counts.
Three distinct NION (Peavey's MediaMatrix DSP processor) projects were deployed over the two buildings: the ISZ, which contains all the large lecture theatres as well as a number of classrooms; and the Biologicum, a separate building which accommodates a variety of laboratories, classrooms and lecture rooms.
Each building is a separate network. For the main ISZ project, three NION n6s and one NION n3 (all four nodes in a Peavey XDAB cluster) were deployed along with 13 CAB4ns (CAB is Peavey's Dante breakout box, which is in place to taxi audio on and off the Dante Network providing analogue connectivity).
For the Biologicum project, one NION n6 and three NION n3s (all 4 nodes in a Peavey XDAB cluster) were installed, along with 17 CAB4ns. An additional NION n3 and two CAB4ns were installed for a smaller project within the Biologicum to cater for some additional meeting rooms.
All of the NIONs and CABs are Dante-enabled and fitted with analogue input and output cards.
"We are able to do Layer 3 routing easily and efficiently, which we couldn't do with other network technologies," says Mathias. "Dante's compatibility with AVB standards also promises a secure investment for the University's future, which is one of the main reasons we went with this solution."