When the St. Johns Public School District in Michigan wanted to add technology to its classrooms, administrators knew their priority was reliability. They enlisted the help of Moss Telecom’s Audio Video Integration Group of Grand Rapids, MI, to create a system. Moss designed two pilot classrooms around a network control system and used a Kramer Electronics VP−4X4k switcher as the heart of the system.
According to Doug Prins, audio/video sales engineer at Moss, the Kramer switcher provided all of the necessary inputs and switching capability, plus the reliability required by the school. “The Kramer switcher has been rock solid,” Prins said. “These schools need reliable units. We used a network connection as the foundation because we felt it was more consistent than RS−232. We selected the Kramer switcher because it has proven to be extremely dependable, with a success rate far greater than other manufacturers.”
In addition, Prins said the Kramer seven−year parts and labor warranty and the company’s strong technical support was a key factor in Moss’s recommendation. “The peace−of−mind of this type of warranty was an added incentive for the schools, and the technical support from Kramer is always outstanding,” Prins noted.
When the pilot rooms proved successful, Moss outfitted 220 classrooms in eight out of nine schools in the district with movable audio/video carts. They featured an intuitive touch panel control, which controls the Kramer VP−4X4k switcher. With four VGA inputs and an Ethernet connection, the switcher makes source connection and selection easy and convenient. The system includes a laptop computer, DVD player and a document camera, and instructors can switch seamlessly from one source to another. The switcher outputs to a router that sends the signals to the classroom’s projector. The system also features Kramer cabling.
The cart can be moved easily throughout the room, and the system has proven to be hands−on for both teachers and students. “The students also get a chance to use the technology,” Prins said.
Moss Telecom will be completing the ninth school in the district in the coming year, wrapping up a system that succeeded in both technology and reliability for the St. Johns Public School District.
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