Pates Grammar School

Pates Grammar School


Combining existing AV systems with device-laden modern students can present interesting challenges, as Pates Grammar School in Cheltenham found out.

In the school’s refectory, where students gather for breaks and meals, any time the mobile data network was activated on a device, it would cause interference to the room’s projector and display monitors system to a point that the screen content was unable to be viewed. With the vast the number of devices that modern students carry, this had a serious affect on the system.

Following successful previous installations, the school enlisted AV solutions provider Hadleigh Technical Support (HTS) to create a system that eliminated the interference issue, working within the schools existing AV/IT capabilities, in the short timeline of just one day.

HTS guided the school to upgrade their system with Vision Matrix switches at its centre (Vision TC2-MATRIXTX and TC2-MATRIXRX). This eliminated interference from mobile phone frequencies on the school’s existing system, which included a projector in the refectory, and six other screens throughout the campus. It also used a Vision Media player, which allowed input and content sharing across any individual or number of screens across the school network. Finally, HTS used Vision cable converters for the Cat5e cables to match the school’s existing outputs, allowing this system to easily fit into the network for a hassle-free installation.

Matthew Hooper, operations director at HTS, commented: “For schools, a dynamic AV system is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it’s a must-have to create a vibrant learning community. The screens in Pates Grammar School help to communicate important messages for students, teachers and visitors alike, making them an invaluable resource in showcasing the school’s values.

“However, students now are more connected than ever before and have multiple devices at all times. So the effects these devices have on current systems is something we predict will be an increasing issue for schools and AV integrators,” he observed.

To ensure the equipment would meet the school’s performance needs, HTS completed a test run on the equipment before installation. All Vision products were acquired through HTS’s distributor TD Maverick.

The selection of the equipment in particular was important to meet the schools needs. HTS knew the Vision suite would deliver high performance without being affected by external factors such as mobile and Wi-Fi frequency interference and had great flexibility and ease of use for the school environment.

Additionally, these products were a strong fit as they could fit into the schools current capabilities and not cause a disruption for students and teachers during installation and beyond.

While it can be difficult to retrofit an old system, the installation took HTS a day to complete, with lessons in session. Working closely with school planners HTS made no disruption to the school’s daily running, or to students.

The installation immediately eliminated the interference that plagued the school for so long, and the new media player system allowed the school to take greater control of the screen content, as relevant messages can now be changed and adapted to specific locations; the refectory projector shows school information and activities, for example, while the side screens can show other school information.

Graham Woodsford, IT manager at Pates Grammar School, concluded: "I’m happy to say that the refectory AV distribution solution has worked seamlessly since HTS installed it. In fact, it's so reliably consistent that most people don't realise that it is there, a far cry from the days where any phone signal could disrupt it.

“We haven't needed to change the configuration since it was installed, but the admin console is straightforward and intuitive to use so I’m confident that it will be an easy to manage system,” said Woodford.
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