Overview: In 2010 Digital Roads, Inc. won and completed this new project for the University of Colorado. The bid included eight classrooms with audiovisual equipment for basic presentation. The Center for Communities Building is a 178,000 square foot facility essentially to serve the Student Dining Services and Career Services departments. The project was done in conjunction with Saunders Construction, the general contractor for the project. The initial contract was not fully defined. Digital Roads contracted consulting services directly with the University in order to complete the technology package and define the remaining requirements. Once products were specified and scope of work was fully documented, the integration contract expanded to include the addition of a digital signage communications network.
The construction was well under way at the time of contract for the project. The scope of work expanded more than three fold and infrastructure requirements had to be updated to support the new additions. A true enterprise level digital signage system capable of supporting 19 separate (different content) food service displays and eight classrooms as well as a large format video wall. The video wall needed to be as thin as possible and easy to service given its elevated location. Audio needed to be controlled so as not to disrupt other areas of the building.
Close coordination was required with both the owner and the GC in order to economically incorporate the additions in the middle of the construction process. The video wall for the main lobby is a 2 x 8 configuration using Planar 47″ Matrix flat panel displays. This large LCD Matrix wall was installed in the main lobby just below the grand staircase. All electronics for the video wall are rack mounted in an adjacent closet which makes the displays very thin and cool to touch. This configuration also makes the displays easy to service and repair going forward. All mini-PC signage players are powered using C-Nario software (later purchased by YCD). This software allows an image to transition the entire display in a continuous motion from any direction. This configuration offers one large palette where content can be arranged without limitations.
The dining area received nineteen venue boards that are designed to set the look and feel (ambiance) to support the particular type of food being offered at a food station. Each venue station is supported by directional audio delivered via Panphonic ceiling tile speakers. Each venue station supports its own distinct audio to match the visual content; again, in line with the type of food being served. The audio was designed so as to be isolated into hot spots that students and visitors can walk in and out of as they approach the serving counter. This prevents interference with transactional conversations at the counter. These displays are all driven by mini form-factor computers running unsynchronized C-nario software. They are mounted to the back of each venue monitor and networked to the same C-nario head-end computer that drives the large lobby WOW Wall.
The seating area in the dining room received eight televisions that are capable of showing the Campus TV network as well as C-nario digital signage content. All digital displays are capable of sophisticated scheduling and monitor control. Remote monitor control is accomplished via C-nario and Crestron using XPanel control so control stations can be accessed from any networked PC.