James Cook University Connects Using HARMAN Professional Solutions

To create an innovative space for industry experts to effectively interact and communicate with students, Videopro collaborated with HARMAN Professional Solutions to outfit James Cook University’s new JCU Ideas Lab with a cutting-edge networked AV solution.

Established in 1970, James Cook University (JCU) has campuses in Cairns, Townsville, Singapore, and Brisbane, as well as research and learning sites in Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, and Thursday Island. JCU recently completed its new $30 million facility, the JCU Ideas Lab, creating a place for researchers, entrepreneurs and students to share ideas and innovate together. The facility houses an atrium, meeting rooms, electronics labs, workshops and teaching spaces to create, prototype, test, develop and scale innovative technologies, products, and business concepts, including a Narrow-band Internet of Things laboratory (NB-IoT). To ensure a seamless and collaborative creative environment, JCU hired Videopro to outfit the Ideas Lab with a complete HARMAN Professional Solutions networked AV system consisting of JBL loudspeakers and AMX control systems.

“The client visualised an interactive learning space where students, lecturers and industry experts could come together,” said Scott Maunsell and Ben Thompson, Videopro. “The design called for a centralised AV distribution and control system, which was most appropriate due to the many smaller spaces in the facility. To bring the client’s vision to life, we selected HARMAN AV equipment. JCU are a long-term AMX partner so AMX solutions were the natural fit for the complex video and control requirements. JBL pendant speakers worked ideally for the open ceiling architecture making HARMAN our first choice for the JCU Ideas Lab.”

In the meeting rooms, Videopro installed AMX Acendo Vibe conferencing soundbars, which feature JBL loudspeakers and microphones for clear audio communication. AMX Metreau Ethernet keypads provide seamless control in each of the JCU Ideas Lab’s meeting rooms, ideation spaces, labs and classroom student collaboration pods. Videopro also outfitted the University with AMX Modero G5 tabletop touch panels to provide an intuitive user interface for more complex meeting rooms, labs and the atrium videowall and audio system.

Minimising the challenges of locating bulky AV equipment in the architecturally designed teaching spaces whilst providing excellent servicability for the JCU AV team, two AMX Enova DGX Digital Media Switchers located in the second-floor comms room manage all video to and from AMX 4K DXLink transmitters and receivers located at sources and displays throughout the facility.  AMX 4K DXLink wallplate transmitters provide connectivity for guest devices whilst AMX Netlinx NX Series integrated controllers are the backbone of the solution, integrating the building’s advanced AV technologies into a single system. To ensure exceptional sound quality across the entire facility, the team outfitted the JCU Ideas Lab with a mix of JBL speakers including Control 60 Series pendants powered by JBL Commercial Series amplifiers and C2PS powered models.

“During my time at JCU, I have been involved with twenty new building projects,” said Gary Gulliford, Manger, Videoconferencing and Audiovisual Services at James Cook University. “The JCU Ideas Lab was one of the most rewarding projects so far. Everyone was fantastic to deal with—particularly our project manager Rachel Argent, Scott Maunsell and Ben Thompson from Videopro. The last six months of the building construction were done under lockdown and everybody involved did a phenomenal job while adhering to the strict social distancing rules. The AMX and JBL solutions are right at home in a building of this quality.”

 “JCU needed a state-of-the-art networked AV solution that would enable students and staff to showcase their research activities, display presentations, make video calls, and host industry events all in the same room,” said Amar Subash, VP & GM,  HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. “We would like to thank our partner Videopro for bringing this innovative vision to life, and for creating an immersive space for quality education and research, even in the face of the pandemic.”