City of Richfield
New City Council Chambers for the City of Richfield
The City of Richfield is an inner-ring suburb of just south of Minneapolis with a population of about 35,000. In the spring of 2011, the city opened a new city hall that houses all the city departments under one roof. The new building was needed because the old city hall was outdated and deteriorating. Barry Fritz, director of Public Safety, said, "The pipes and infrastructure were fall apart in the old building. When it was built, the most a person would have to plug in was a desk lamp. The old city hall couldn't support our new technological needs."
There is no better example of the new technological needs than the audio and video systems for the City Council chamber. The technology requirements included making sure that the systems installed would be ready for high-definition (HD) video. The systems would allow the Council meetings to be easily streamed to the internet and broadcasted by the local public access channel. Tim Flesner of Touchpoint Logic in Chanhassen, MN was hired to design the AV systems for the Council chamber and, after the RFP bidding process, Alpha Video & Audio in Edina, MN was hired to install and integrate the systems.
City Council Chamber Technology
The first technology a visitor notices when entering the Council Chambers are two impressive 70" Sharp CL-70LE732U monitors with 1080p resolution. These monitors are used to display documents, drawings and content pulled from the internet. To show videos, a Christie Digital LW650 3-LCD WXGA projector is ceiling mounted. It projects onto an electric retractable screen installed behind the Council dais. Also ceiling mounted is one powerful Danley SH-95 speakers whose 95°x55° coverage provides audio to the entire visitor's seating area.
Additional technology in the City Council chambers is located in the Council dais, the staff table and the presentation lectern. Of these three, the most important area is the Council dais and the City of Richfield made sure to provide the latest equipment for the Mayor and four Council members. Each of the five positions at the dais includes a 22" LG monitor and an Audio-Technica microphone with touch-sensitive switch. Each Council member has the ability to monitor presentations from their laptops by plugging into an Extron computer-video interface. Audio is re-enforced by an Innovox SL-1.1R loudspeaker located at each position on the dais so presenters can be clearly heard.
The four positions at the staff table share two monitors, two microphones and two Extron interfaces.
The presentation lectern contains one monitor, one microphone, one interface, one DVD players and one document camera. The document camera is a Wolfvision EYE-12 high-resolution camera with a long-throw lens and is mounted on the ceiling to clear space at the lectern.
The final AV components for the City Council chambers are the video cameras. Since the broadcasts by the local public access station remains in standard definition, the city saved taxpayers money by installed the five Sony standard-definition BRC-300 cameras that were carried over from the old chambers.
Crestron Control System
A control system is essential to the effective performance of the numerous AV systems in a modern Council chamber. Alpha Video integrated and programmed a Crestron control system for the City of Richfield Council Chamber. The Crestron system is accessed from a 15" TPMC-V15 touchscreen located at the staff table and a 5.7" TPS-6 touchscreen panel at the lectern. Using the Crestron system, a person can control all the functions of the AV systems in the Chamber along with the lighting and shades. AV functions include powering on and off the monitors and projector, raising and lower the screen, switching input sources, audio system volume control and control of the DVD player.
Video Production Control Room
At the City of Richfield, the control room is located in a separate room across the hall from the Council Chamber. At the heart of the video production system is the Broadcast Pix Slate 1000G. The user-friendly interface and the workflow capabilities of the Slate 1000G make video production easy and efficient. The system supports both SD and HD video so that the city is ready to move to HD video when that time comes. A Sharp 42" 1080p monitor is used as the multi-view screen for the Broadcast Pix system.
"We are extremely pleased with our installation at the city of Richfield," said Jake Remus, Alpha Video's Project manager. "The city designed an impressive and very functional space for Council meetings. The AV systems we installed allow the City Council to more easily interact with the public at the meetings and to communicate more effectively with the city's residence through cable TV and the internet."