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Featured Article Freedom To Fly


  • pg 1
									Vol. 52 No. 8                                                  August 21, 2006




                                       FREEDOM TO FLY
                                       AIRLINES EXPANDS
                                       CORPORATE HQ AV.
                                                                                         The lobby of the Southwest
                                                                                         The lobby of the Southwest
                                                                                               Airlines headquarters.
                                                                                               Airlines headquarters.

                                         When Southwest Airlines (SWA)           engaged The Whitlock Group to de-
BY SHONAN NORONHA                     first took flight, only one in four        sign and build the AV/IT systems.
                                      Americans had experienced air travel.      Whitlock’s Dale Fulenchek was design
Southwest Airlines expands            As the carrier celebrates its 35th year,   engineer.
                                      Southwest is widely credited with de-
corporate headquarters AV             mocratizing air travel by offering both    Corporate AV Expansion
                                      affordable fares and a high level of          New AV capabilities at SWA include
capabilities.                         customer service.                          a multipurpose 120-seat room named
                                         Effective communications and train-     Freedom Hall, equipped with Christie
                                      ing have played a key role in the con-     Digital projectors and Clarity Visual
                                      tinued success of the company. So,         flat-panel displays. Television produc-
                                      when the airline recently expanded its     tion tools include a 16'x11' motorized
                                      headquarters in Dallas TX, it made a       green screen and Macromedia
                                      significant commitment to advanced         DevNet Professional for Studio MX.
                                      AV communications technology. Be-             The Executive Boardroom was fully
                                      cause sound is a critical factor, given    renovated and features a 50-inch Sony
                                      its airport location, the company          plasma display, Christie Digital projec-
                                      brought in Pelton Marsh Kinsella to        tor, Peavey Nion digital sound pro-
                                      make recommendations about acous-          cessing and a ClearOne audio con-
                                      tics and sound reinforcement, and          ferencing system.

Shonan Noronha, EdD, an independent writer, producer and training consultant, is the author of three books and nu-
merous articles about television, AV, multimedia and music.

18   Sound & Communications                                                            www.soundandcommunications.com
  Presentation upgrades also were
made in seven training rooms. En-
hancements included Peavey Nion
DSPs, QSC amps and Tannoy ceiling
speakers in each room.
  The cafeteria and special events area
overlooking the Dallas Love Field run-
way was revamped and expanded. Re-
named The Landing, it is equipped
with two Christie Digital projectors,
110 JBL ceiling speakers, Tannoy
subwoofers, Shure wireless micro-
phones and an upgraded AMX control

Freedom and Flexibility
  The new Freedom Hall is used for
a variety of meetings, such as media
briefings, advertising campaign pre-
views and evaluations, corporate
board meetings and presentations,
executive training, as well as special     The portable lectern features a portable rack and portable touchpanel. The room
events. “Basically, we wanted the new      features tiered seating for 120, with 60 push-to-talk mics.
systems to provide for current appli-
cations, as well as to make the tech-      Greater Flexibility                        inch Bobcat displays are positioned at
nology readily available for additional      The Whitlock Group designed the          the rear of the room facing the last
uses,” reported David Avedikian, tech-     AV system in this area to provide          rows. “This way, everyone in the room
nical project manager for SWA’s Dal-       greater flexibility and significant new    can easily view the content displayed
las campus.                                capabilities. They selected Christie       on the screens.”
  “If our CEO had to do a press con-       Digital DS+60 single-chip DLP video          Flexibility and ease-of-use also were
ference or web streaming meeting in        projectors that deliver SXGA+              built into the presenter’s lectern. “The
the past, he would have to take sev-       (1400x1050) native resolution and a        lectern is ADA compliant,” noted Tay-
eral hours out of his busy day to get      bright 6000 lumen image. “The              lor. “It houses a rack on wheels that
prepared and drive to an outside me-       Christie projectors are situated on        can slide out and be used on the side
dia broadcast facility,” he added. “To-    Draper Revelation mounts that use a        by those who are wheelchair-bound.”
day, we can handle these meetings on       moving mirror to project the images
campus, and that’s more efficient.”        onto the Stewart screens,” said Craig      Audio Peaks
  A recent interview with CEO Gary         Taylor, the account executive at             One of the big challenges in the
Kelly brought in the MSNBC news            Whitlock who had oversight responsi-       Freedom Hall was locating space and
truck and crew, putting the Freedom        bility for the project. “This way, the     installing 40 Tannoy speakers and
Hall through its paces. “We were able      projectors do not move at all and can      other ceiling-mounted equipment.
to utilize the feature-set we had built    be hidden completely when not in use.”     Josh Wells, Whitlock’s project man-
into this room,” noted Avedikian with        Taylor reported that, because the        ager, reported that “previously, the
a sense of pride in his voice. Prior to    room is very wide but not deep, the        space was used as a warehouse and
building Freedom Hall, when a news         visual display employs three Stewart       the ceiling was already crammed with
truck rolled up, the crew would have       Filmscreen front projection units at       duct-work, conduit, lighting mounts
to snake a cable from outside the build-   the front of the room. The center          and the like. We had to find space to
ing down through hallways into SWA’s       screen is motorized and can be re-         locate the projector lifts and mount
Executive Boardroom. “Now we hold          tracted when not in use.                   the Draper Revelations. We also
such media interviews in the Freedom         In addition, two Clarity Visual 46-      added a lot of speakers to an already
Hall because a news truck can plug         inch Baycat LCD flat panel displays        crowded space.”
directly into a panel on the side of the   are mounted on the front wall, on ei-        Audio engineering, installation and
building. We have the infrastructure       ther side of the three front projection    programming in the Freedom Hall
going from the side of the building into   screens. A Clarity Visual 40-inch Bob-     was complex due to the sophistication
the Freedom Hall. The cameras plug         cat is set up as a “confidence” moni-      and sheer number of systems that had
into the room and [the signal] is auto-    tor for the presenter, on the front row    to be integrated. Applications in this
matically routed to the truck.”            of seating facing the lectern. Three 40-   room range from press briefings to

                                                                                                            August 2006    19
senior management training, making the technology               2   Grass Valley CameraMan CPT-
requirements extensive and varied. The hall’s                       3012-A3DS 3 CCD general pan/tilt
complement of audio gear includes 60 Clockaudio                     camera systems
microphones (one for every two seats), Countryman               1 Grass Valley CameraMan
                                                                    PVTVShotDirector joystick camera
gooseneck microphones, Listen Technologies as-                      controller
sisted listening systems, Renkus-Heinz program                  1 SVS Mini 4-3 2x2 motorized
speakers, Clear-Com intercom audio conferencing                     drop-down camera ceiling
systems, a Peavey audio digital signal processor and                mount/lift
QSC amplifiers,                                                 1 Viewcast Niagara PowerStream
                                                                    5225RW dual-channel Intel Xeno
  Configuring 60 push-to-talk microphones to work                   rackmount streaming system w/
with Peavey software, Halo lighting and the Crestron                digital AV inputs for high band
logic was no simple task. Whitlock’s Matt Horn-                     width streaming media applications
buckle, who worked on the programming, explained                Program Audio
that the Crestron system was designed with the in-              4 MediaMatrix/Peavey N3 Nion DSPs
                                                                4 MediaMatrix/Peavey NIO-8ML
tent that, any time a mic button is pushed for more                 input card
than two seconds, the Peavey MediaMatrix Nion is                4 MediaMatrix/Peavey NIO-8O
instructed to turn the mic on and sends voltage to                  output cards
the mic from the Crestron to turn on the light. “This           1 QSC CX302 2-channel audio amp
lets the user know his mic is live,” Hornbuckle said.           1 QSC CX502 2-channel audio amp
                                                                3 Renkus-Heinz TRX61 150x60° horn-loaded 2-way passive full
“This logical function was tricky at first because ex-              range speaker systems
tensive programming had to be done in both Peavey               2 Renkus-Heinz PNX112-SUB self-powered subwoofers
and Crestron in order for it to work correctly. This            2 Tannoy I6MP monitor powered speakers
logic is also capable of turning the room cameras to            1 TASCAM CD-A700 CD/cassette combo balanced outputs
the location of the mic being used.”                            Speech Reinforcement
                                                                2 beyerdynamic wireless lavalier transmitter/receiver/mics
                                                                2 beyerdynamic wireless handheld transmitter/receivers
                                                                1 ClearOne TH2 telephone interface
Equipment                                                       1 ClearOne XAPNet interface
                                                                2 Clockaudio C 007E ambient sensing mics
                                                                60 Clockaudio C301E Halo portable mics w/desk stands
 Presenter Lectern                                              1 HP J4813A#ABA 2524 Procurve network switch
 2 Countryman M4HP5VS18EB ISOMAX 4 black mics                   6 MediaMatrix/Peavey MM4 Out input cards
 1 Extron RGB 109xi computer interface                          18 MediaMatrix/Peavey MM AEC 4 echo cancellation cards
 1 Extron MPX 423 A matrix presentation switcher                6 MediaMatrix/Peavey CAB 4n CobraNet audio bridges
 1 Sony SLV-D560P DVD/VHS combo                                 3 MediaMatrix/Peavey CAB 16o CobraNet outputs
 1 WolfVision VZ8Lite document camera                           5 QSC CX108V 8-channel 70V audio amps
 Video                                                          40 Tannoy CMS60 ICT-30 ceiling-mounted speakers
 1 Chief PDS-2270 dual swing-out mounts for Bobcat              40 Tannoy TTB 60 tile bridges
 3 Chief PCM-2270 ceiling mounts for Bobcat                     2 Whirlwind PressMite press breakout boxes
 3 Christie Digital DS+60 DLP projectors w/2.5-4:1,             Control
     4.0-7.0:1 zoom lenses                                      1 Crestron TPS-6000 touchpanel for operator position
 3 Clarity Visual Systems Bobcat 40" LCD monitor,               1 Crestron PRO2 control system
     for presenter confidence, overflow                         1 Crestron DTT-18 Dual Touch Annotation Control touchpanel for
 2 Clarity Visual Systems Baycat 46" LCD monitor,                   lectern position
     for overflow SRO repeater monitor                          1 Crestron UPX-2 Universal Presentation Processor, displays 3
 3 Draper Revelation ceiling mounts, model A w/plenum               scalable windows
     box, low voltage control                                   1 Crestron STX-1700CXPW 6" wireless touchpanel w/wall mount
 1 Extron 24x12 S-video/stereo audio matrix switcher            1 Crestron QM-RMC Ethernet to RS-232 interface
     MAV Plus 2412 SVA                                          1 Macromedia DevNet Professional for Studio MX
 1 Extron 24x12 RGBHV/stereo audio matrix switcher              1 Vaddio StreamVIEW MPEG4 A/V network server
     CrossPoint 450 Plus 2412 HVA                               1 Vaddio WallVIEW 50i PTZ Hideaway wall camera w/motorized in-wall
 3 Extron digital video scalers DVS204                              camera lift system
 3 Extron VSC 700 scan converters                               Misc.
 10 Extron RGB 109xi computer interfaces                        1 Clear-Com MS-232 Master 2-channel intercom
 1 Stewart Filmscreen 60030 16x9 aspect ratio, 65"x116"         1 Clear-Com GM-9 gooseneck mic
     motorized front-projection screen                          3 Juice Goose JG8.0L power light rackmounts
 2 Stewart Filmscreen 60028 16x9 aspect ratio, 65"x116" wall-   6 Kramer 401D video/S-video decoders
     mounted front-projection screens                           1 Listen Technologies LS-03-072 assisted listening system
 1 Stewart Filmscreen 60031 112x162 motorized bluescreen        1 Marshall V-R44P quad 4" LCD display, rackmount
 3 Viewsonic VP201b 20" LCD monitors                            3 Middle Atlantic WRK-44-32LRD 44RU rack w/accessories
 Videoconferencing/Videostreaming                               1 Pioneer PRV-LX1/Dual dual DVD recorder/player
 1 Accordent ACSS 0920 Capture Station software                 1 PolyVision RoomWizard DTPRW01 meeting room monitor/software
 1 Grass Valley CameraMan CPC-3012-A3DS 3 CCD Presenter         1 Sony SLV-D560P DVD/VHS combo
     autoTRACK camera system                                    List is edited from information supplied by The Whitlock Group.

22   Sound & Communications                                                                           www.soundandcommunications.com
                                                                                              Video For All
 Pelton Marsh Kinsella, LLC                                                                      The Freedom Hall required three
    Headquartered in Dallas, Pelton Marsh Kinsella, LLC (PMK), offers consulting and de-      cameras for adequate coverage. Two
 sign services in acoustics, audiovisual, CATV, broadcast telecommunication and security      are hidden in the millwork facing the
 systems. Acoustical consulting services cover all aspects of environmental, industrial and   audience and one faces the presenter,
 architectural acoustics, from design through construction administration and testing.        in the wall at the back of the room.
    PMK solves noise and vibration problems related to mechanical systems, develops ar-       Taylor explained that Southwest’s de-
 chitectural solutions for sound isolation of adjacent spaces and provides design, model-     sign criteria called for the ability to
 ing and testing of the room acoustics in auditoriums.                                        use the system with or without an
    “We have no financial connection with the products we specify; therefore, we are able     operator. “Grass Valley CameraMan’s
 to provide totally objective design and construction administration services,” said David    pan-tilt-zoom cameras have excellent
 Marsh, president.
                                                                                              auto tracking capability. They work on
    PMK has branch offices in Las Vegas, Miami Beach and Dubai (United Arab Emirates).
                                                                                              a combination of radio and infrared
 For more information, go to www.pmkconsultants.com.
                                                                                              frequencies, and can be controlled
                                                                                              through either a joystick controller or
                                                                                              the Crestron system.”
                                                                                                 For streaming media output and stor-
                                                                                              age, Whitlock chose a ViewCast
                                                                                              Niagara encoder, with an Accordent
                                                                                              Capture Station to record and synchro-
                                                                                              nize audio, video and data. The room
                                                                                              also was equipped with a Pioneer LX1
                                                                                              dual DVD deck to record and make
                                                                                              DVD copies of any presentation. This
                                                                                              flexible setup allows anything that hap-
                                                                                              pens in the room to be recorded for ar-
                                                                                              chival purposes, for on-demand use or
                                                                                              for real-time distribution.
                                                                                                 Behind the scenes, Extron S-video,
                                                                                              RGBHV and stereo audio switchers,
                                                                                              digital video scalers, scan converters
                                                                                              and computer interfaces were installed
                                                                                              to assure high-quality, reliable video
                                                                                              signal processing and distribution.

                                                                                              Easy Navigation
                                                                                                 Ease of use for those who are AV-
                                                                                              challenged was a significant design
                                                                                              criterion throughout the expanded fa-
                                                                                              cilities. Whitlock programmed the
                                                                                              Crestron system in the Freedom Hall
                                                                                              so it could be operated easily from
                                                                                              three different locations, to control all
                                                                                              the media components in the room.
                                                                                                 A small wireless STX-17OOC panel
                                                                                              at the front of the room lets a pre-
                                                                                              senter easily control the DVD, VCR,
                                                                                              document camera, laptop hookup and
                                                                                              cable TV from the lectern. “We also
                                                                                              provided controls to adjust send/re-
                                                                                              ceive levels on program, lectern mic,
                                                                                              wireless mic and audio conference,”
                                                                                              said Hornbuckle.
                                                                                                 A Crestron UPX-2 controller located
                                                                                              on the lectern offers powerful signal
                                                                                              processing and embedded PC applica-
               Circle 111 on Reader Response Card                                             tions, as well as the capability to anno-

24   Sound & Communications                                                                         www.soundandcommunications.com
                                                                                                   This room is used for
                                                                                                   video production. The
                                                                                                   bluescreen, which
                                                                                                   allows for the addition
                                                                                                   of different
                                                                                                   backgrounds in post
                                                                                                   production, is lowered,
                                                                                                   ready for use. The
                                                                                                   control system
                                                                                                   operates motorized
                                                                                                   drapes and partitions.

tate over any of the sources selected.    meetings, the Executive Boardroom         gram speakers throughout the room.”
  The Crestron TPS-6000 located in the    now has a different function. Today,      He explained that, “Balancing incom-
control room was programmed to give       it is used primarily for internal meet-   ing and outgoing volume with echo
the technician control of every device,   ings held by the company’s executive      canceling, while maintaining clarity,
and route any source to any display.      leaders. According to Southwest’s         proved to be very difficult. Whitlock
                                          Avedikian, the Executive Boardroom        and the systems’ manufacturers
Just a Touch Away                         was totally reconstructed and outfitted   worked closely together on this issue,
   A “Help” button was programmed on      with a custom-built oval conference       and were able to achieve the required
every touchpanel page. When pressed,      room table that can seat 38 people.       level of performance.”
it sends a signal to the technical per-   The redesigned 60'x30' Boardroom
son “on call,” who can then take con-     includes a Christie Digital projector     Training Rooms
trol of the room systems from any         with a 65"x116" Stewart projection          Audiovisual capabilities were up-
internet-connected computer. The re-      screen, a 50-inch Sony plasma display,    graded in each of the seven Training
mote technician also can examine the      plus versatile audio and signal input     Rooms, which can be used separately
inside of the room through a Vaddio       functionalities.                          or combined in various configurations.
hideaway camera and streamserver.            Whitlock’s Taylor recalled that, at    New gear included a Christie Digital
   Custom pages on the TPS-6000 al-       the very outset, Southwest president      projector, 10 Tannoy ceiling speakers,
low the routing of CobraNet audio         Colleen Barrett said that she wanted      a Peavey MediaMatrix Nion DSP sys-
feeds throughout the Southwest facil-     speech in this room to sound “as clear    tem, six QSC amps and AMX control
ity. The routing pages allow the opera-   as a doorbell.” With that mandate, and    systems in each room.
tor to select any audio, video or         given the large size of the room, a         Whitlock’s Wells observed that the
RGBHV source in the system and            Speech Lift system was installed so any   Training Rooms are not located adja-
send them to any or all of the displays   meeting participant could be heard        cent to each other. “The Training
or recording devices. “These sources      anywhere in the room. “We installed 24    Rooms are used for overflow seating
can also be sent to a broadcast feed      Countryman mics in the bullnose of the    from the Freedom Hall during large
located on the outside of the building,   table, eight Radian ceiling speakers      meetings, and the AV in the separate
as well as the video streaming device,”   and a ClearOne audio conferencing         Training Rooms has to be linked to
noted Hornbuckle.                         system,” said Taylor. “A Peavey           each other and to the Freedom Hall.
   Networked scheduling of the Free-      MediaMatrix Nion DSP unit was pro-        We achieve that through CobraNet
dom Hall is achieved using two            grammed to mix and amplify speech so      from the Peavey.”
PolyVision RoomWizards along with the     that, the further you get from an at-       The old Training Rooms lacked ap-
airline’s MS Outlook Enterprise calen-    tendee, the more of that person’s voice   propriate mic and speaker systems.
dar system. The RoomWizard displays       comes out of the speakers.”               Southwest’s Avedikian reported that,
are mounted outside the main entrances       According to Avedikian, “The only      “We took the opportunity to add some
and show the room’s schedule with         major challenge was the boardroom         much-needed control, audio and dis-
times, dates, topics and meeting host.    audio conference system. There are        play features. We wanted to go to a
                                          about 24 mics embedded in the con-        touchpanel system, remove the CRT
Executive Boardroom                       ference table, and an ambient ceiling-    monitors from each room, add speak-
  Once the focal point of high-profile    mounted mic in addition to the pro-       ers and re-wire the entire system. In

26   Sound & Communications                                                               www.soundandcommunications.com
doing so, we were able to eliminate an     went from pushbuttons to an up-          First-Class Job
entire rack full of equipment, giving us   graded AMX LCD touchpanel, which            Upon completion of system installa-
more space in the communication            gives us a lot more flexibility in our   tion and training, Southwest Airlines
closet. We were also able to add func-     switching options.” Almost doubling      contracted with The Whitlock Group
tionality previously unavailable from      the number of speakers, The Whitlock     to provide ongoing service and sup-
the pushbutton-style wall plates.”         Group installed 110 JBL ceiling units    port, including preventive mainte-
                                           and 10 Tannoy subwoofers. With the       nance, additional training and pro-
A Smooth Landing                           addition of a Peavey MediaMatrix         gramming updates. Southwest’s corpo-
  The Landing is a big, open space         Nion DSP unit, QSC amps and Shure        rate AV expansion embodied a com-
intended for use as a cafeteria, a party   wireless microphones, the room was       bination of high technology and cus-
area for flight attendant graduation       ready for prime time. “We also added     tomer-friendly, cost-effective system
ceremonies, wedding receptions and         two more projectors and made a spe-      design.
other large functions. Avedikian re-       cific zone for party-like situations,”      “As the low-fare leader in the US,
calls, “We rewired everything, and         said Avedikian.                          we at Southwest Airlines do every-
                                                                                    thing in our power to keep costs
                                                                                    down while maintaining a high-
                                                                                    quality, customer-friendly opera-
                                                                                    tion,” Avedikian said. “The Whitlock
                                                                                    Group was very conscious of our
                                                                                    goal to keep fares low and offered us
                                                                                    cost-saving options on every aspect
                                                                                    of the project.” A steady focus on
                                                                                    users’ needs and a desire to deploy
                                                                                    the most cost-effective and future-
                                                                                    proofed solutions enabled The
                                                                                    Whitlock Group and Southwest
                                                                                    Airlines to deploy a first-class
                                                                                    system on a business-class budget.■

                                                                                     The Whitlock Group
                                                                                        Founded in 1955, The Whitlock Group is a
                                                                                     full-service integration firm focused on the de-
                                                                                     sign, procurement, engineering, installation
                                                                                     and service of professional audiovisual,
                                                                                     videoconferencing, streaming, pro-video and
                                                                                     broadcast solutions. The company offers turn-
                                                                                     key solutions for corporations, military and
                                                                                     government agencies, educational facilities,
                                                                                     churches and healthcare organizations.
                                                                                        With more than 300 employees in 23 loca-
                                                                                     tions across the US, The Whitlock Group has
                                                                                     the expertise and experience to deliver com-
                                                                                     plete solutions that seamlessly integrate the
                                                                                     audio, video, display and system controls nec-
                                                                                     essary for the creation of unique and compel-
                                                                                     ling multimedia solutions.
                                                                                        In only six years, The Whitlock Group’s Dal-
                                                                                     las office has earned a position as the largest
                                                                                     audio/video systems integrator in North Texas,
                                                                                     based on annual revenues. “Our staff of 52 is
                                            Used with permission of                  comprised mostly of technical people, with 32
                                            Testa Communications from                engineers/technicians and 8 programmers,”
                                                                                     reported Craig Taylor, the account executive
                                            the August 2006 issue of                 responsible for the Southwest Airlines project.
                                            Sound & Communications                   The Dallas team delivered a first-class job and
                                            magazine. For more                       secured an ongoing service contract from
                                            information, please go to:               Southwest Airlines.
                                            www.soundandcommunications.com              For information, go to www.whitlock.com.

28   Sound & Communications 114 on Reader Response Card
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