Village of Key Biscayne Council Chamber Case Study
Anyone who knows southern Florida is familiar with the scenic and upscale village of Key Biscayne. Nestled on an island in Miami-Dade County, south of Miami Beach and east of Miami, the cozy berg has a population of around 13, 000 and boasts world-class luxury residences and resorts.
In keeping with the feel of this high-end neighborhood, the village council recently commissioned an upgrade to its Council Chamber building, which had fallen behind the times in its use of AV technology for civic meetings, presentations, and other activities and events. The makeover was important to enhance the capabilities of those making presentations, as well as for those in attendance or viewing from home via live stream or public access TV.
The point person for this project was the Village of Key Biscayne’s IT Director Michael Fleming, who explains the village’s need and approach for the upgrade.
“The City Council is an important hub in our community, a place where residents can exchange ideas and make the decisions necessary to maintain and improve our way of life,” said Fleming. “This was a significant project with a good budget and the mandates to create the best possible environment for those meeting here in person, as well as to create a closer connection to those watching the proceedings from their homes or remote locations.”
Fleming worked with BIS Digital of Ft. Lauderdale, its integrator on the project, to bring the ambitious project to completion. BIS explained that this client insisted on integrating the best quality and most reliable electronic equipment available.
“We’ve always opted for those products which represent the best combination of quality and value,” said BIS. “We’ve had a history of success with Atlona and it made sense to integrate their products here.”
Creating a Council Chamber Befitting the Village of Key Biscayne
The Village of Key Biscayne City Council Chamber resides on the second floor over the village’s fire station. It is comprised of three spaces, the main chamber bookended by a control room and production studio on either side. No detail was overlooked in the quest to produce the highest quality video content at the facility, including the decision to paint the chamber a light baby blue to generate the sharpest, cleanest images possible on the chambers’ monitors and residents viewing screens.
In the chamber, the BIS team updated the Dais to accommodate nine to 12 counsel seats, five with AV connectivity via HDMI or VGA and audio inputs to enable the sharing of content from laptops, tablets or smartphones to the room’s two projectors, as well as to the online streams and public access broadcasts. To aid those presenting from the Dais, several LED confidence monitors were also built into the structure.
In the control room and production studio, the upgrade created a “mini C-SPAN” that enables gatherings held in the facility to be shared with remote audiences in a very sophisticated manner. The spaces feature top-of-the-line electronic equipment from manufacturers including a Biamp AVB digital audio processing and AVB sound systems, Sony Z700 HD SDI Cameras, HD 1080p TVs & NEC projectors, Datavideo Broadcaster & Character Generator and Audio Technica ES gooseneck microphones. All the electronic equipment is connected and driven via Atlona AV connectivity products and further controlled, as a smart room, with BIS Digital Enterprise Room Control solution.
“While the electronic equipment is very powerful and sophisticated, it was also important to make sure that the basic aspects of the system are able to be operated by people who are not necessarily AV experts or video producers,” said BIS. “These Atlona products offer smart features, such as auto-switching that automatically sends the content of connected devices to the audience’s screens. It lets presenters focus on their presentation, not whether their AV is working.”
Connecting and Switching a Premium AV Presentation System
At the hub of this premium AV presentation system are three Atlona AT-UHD-CLSO-824 4K/UHD 8×2 switchers, of which one was placed at the podium in the chamber, with the other two housed in the control room. These offer the council great production flexibility with dual, HDBaseT and mirrored HDMI outputs for high-resolution 4K/UHD @ 60Hz video signals, multi-format signal-handling and Ethernet-enabled 100-meter HDBaseT input/output extension that can reach all corners of the facility. The switchers’ built-in audio mix-matrixes enable the village’s video team to control and direct audio without the need for additional electronic equipment.
The BIS team also implemented six Atlona AT-HDVS-150-TX 3×1 switchers, one at the podium and five at the Dais, which enable presenters to connect and share content from their presentation devices with the live audience and those at home. This switcher accepts content from the latest electronic equipment and legacy devices via HDMI and VGA with audio inputs, and also offers HDBaseT Output over extended distances.
One Atlona AT-HDCAT-8 and two AT-HDCAT-4 distribution amplifiers also provided added component placement flexibility throughout the three-room facility. These models feature the convenience of auto-switching as source devices are connected, as well as the reliability of being redundant-power supply-ready via Atlona’s PoCc (Power over Category cable) technology for the systems’ Atlona AT-HDRX HDBaseT receivers. They also enable council members and meeting participants to share content simultaneously via multiple displays.
At this point, the Village of Biscayne Bay’s Council Chamber AV system has been in use for one year and, by all accounts, the technology renovation has been unanimously hailed as a success.
“Expectations for this project were high, and I must say that the results lived up to all of our hopes,” said Fleming. “Now instead of lagging behind the surrounding communities and making excuses, we have a state of the art facility to which others aspire.”