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Extron NAV Pro AV over IP is The Core of UNC’s Curtis Media Center

The University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media opened the Curtis Media Center to students in the summer of 2022. The 13,000-square-foot building features a high-tech broadcast studio and control room, a podcast studio, a makerspace, and two divisible classrooms equipped for HyFlex learning. Curtis Media Center will educate current and future generations of journalists and media practitioners in a multimedia-rich environment that supports innovation and collaboration. The audiovisual system supporting the media-focused activities in this building is the brainchild of Gary Kayye, Assistant Professor of advertising and public relations at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, in partnership with Gary Kirk, Broadcast & Emerging Media Engineer at the UNC Hussman school. Kontek Systems, Inc. performed the detailed design, installation, and commissioning of the AV system. An Extron NAV Pro AV over IP system serves as the building’s AV backbone.

“NAV Pro AV over IP and NAVigator are great because NAVigator is remotely accessible. I can configure all of the building’s AV end points from my desk. If there’s an AV issue in a classroom that’s in use, I can re-route AV assets from a vacant classroom, allowing teaching to continue while I fix the problem,” says Gary Kirk. “User feedback about the Curtis Media Center AV systems is very positive. Thanks to the ‘wizard’ style touchpanel interface, users are self-sufficient after a brief onboarding walkthrough. Support calls are minimal.”

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Every learning space in the Curtis Media Center can originate and display multimedia content. Any source can connect to any destination over a dedicated 1 Gbps AV over IP network via NAV Pro encoders and decoders. A NAVigator AV over IP System Manager configures and controls the NAV Pro endpoints and establishes the connections made through the LAN. Users request AV connections between sources and screens with a couple of taps on a TouchLink Pro touchpanel. SMP 352 streaming media processors live stream, broadcast, and record presentations from classrooms, a seminar space, and a broadcast studio. The SMP 352’s include Panopto® integration, allowing them to receive recording schedules from Panopto and stream live video to Panopto. Mobile AV credenzas in the classrooms contain ShareLink Pro presentation systems that allow people in the room to share AV content from wired or wireless BYOD sources.

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