Category Control Room Design

Minneapolis Improves Emergency Operations with Video Conferencing, Monitoring and More

Located just outside Minneapolis, Minn., the Emergency Operations Training Facility (EOTF) helps meet the training and response needs of the Minneapolis Fire Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the City’s Emergency Management Division, along with other regional partners.

“The initiative for an advanced EOC really started to grow in urgency after September 11th tragedies, and quickly gained momentum with the local bridge collapse in 2008,” says Dave Roth, the city’s BIS public safety applications support manager. “In addition, the logistics of planning and coordinating for the Republication National Convention underscored the needs for state-of-the art emergency preparedness.”

Primary Challenge, Advanced Solutions

“The primary challenge was an interesting one: How do you create something that’s state-of-the-art, that does everything you need it to do, and that you know how to operate that only gets activated once every decade?” notes Gerry Pehl, AVI-SPL design engineer. “The EOC required systems in which every component is capable of robust, reliable, operation 24 hours per day, 7 days per week,” Pehl adds. “Even the slightest compromised performance in any of the center’s systems can quickly result in tragic consequences.”

Installed technology includes:

  • Crestron DigitalMedia, TPS touch panel and e-control XPanel
  • DNP video wall technology (160″ x 120″ screens) for monitoring
  • Cisco video conferencing codecs
  • Polycom SoundStructure  for all audio signal processing, acoustic echo-cancellation, and teleconference dialing
  • Tannoy ceiling speakers
  • SMART Sympodium for facility-wide annotation capabilities

Take a Tour of the Facility

“With the use of this new monitoring system, our personnel can look at a picture and understand it almost instantly,” says Deputy Chief John Allen, a veteran of the Minneapolis police department. “Through video, we can get information to people a lot faster – especially when time is critical.”

Learn what city officials had to say about the facilities’ latest innovations, and how productivity and response time have improved emergency operations for Minneapolis.

Experience Unified Communications in Any Environment with AVI-SPL at InfoComm

AVI-SPL is headed to the industry’s biggest show of the year – InfoComm 2011 in Orlando, Fla., June 15-17, 2011. Exhibiting within the HD Conferencing Pavilion at booth #1679, AVI-SPL will demonstrate the advantages of unified communications in any environment, including corporate, education and healthcare.

In 2010, AVI-SPL completed more than 3,500 integration projects across the country and the world for a diverse set of clients, environments and communication needs. The following projects were recently completed and illustrate the experience of unified communications.

AVI-SPL’s Ft. Lauderdale office worked with Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton to install the latest communications technology into the school’s new College of Engineering & Computer Science facility. The 97,000-square-foot structure opened in 2010 and infuses the university’s “green” principles, leading the way as the first academic building in the State of Florida designed and built to LEED Platinum standards. AVI-SPL worked with the college to implement energy-conscious technology into the facility such as 75″ HD, 3D-ready Mitsubishi LaserVues, which consume less energy and emit less heat than traditional displays. Learn more about FAU’s energy-efficient design and view photos of the project.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s (LACoFD) Emergency Management Center is one of the largest in the country, with close to 4,000 dedicated personnel responsible for fire suppression, emergency medical services, lifeguard operations and airlift rescues among additional operations. Dispatchers previously relied on the use of two 36-inch CRT TVs on carts to relay critical information throughout the Fire Command and Control Facility (FCCF) Dispatch Center. In this arrangement, sharing reports from neighboring rooms required personnel to constantly rush between stations, costing valuable time and energy during crises like wildfires or earthquakes. AVI-SPL implemented a video wall so the entire Dispatch floor would be able to quickly gain an overall perspective on any crisis, allowing decisions to be made more effectively. Take a more in-depth look at the LACoFD technology upgrade and view a photo gallery.

Located in Tampa, Fla., Moffitt Cancer Center is one of the largest cancer research hospitals in the U.S.  Its global affiliate network requires the sharing of time-sensitive knowledge and research with constituents on a daily basis. Given the center’s significant investment in video teleconferencing infrastructure, Moffitt was looking to expand its use of the Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS) to support knowledge transfer. Moffitt came to AVI-SPL, which has partnered with them for years on audio and video integration projects. Based on Moffitt’s current video conferencing investments and ambitious goals of driving video to desktops both internally and externally, AVI-SPL recommended the Cisco DMS/ MXE platform. AVI-SPL integrated a dual DMS/ MXE 3500 environment and tied in feeds from their Tandberg and Polycom capture points. Educational seminars are being distributed live through Cisco’s Show and Share Live Events module, allowing members of local and affiliate communities to participate without the hassles and cost of travel. All content that is streamed during these sessions is captured and transcoded through the MXE 3500 to proper format and bit rate for access through the Show and Share application, where users can interact with and collaborate around content in a social media fashion. Moffitt intends to expand its network to include digital signage for all affiliate members as well. It also plans to continue to use video to broaden and expand its reach, providing immense and immediate value to investments that affiliate members are making in Moffitt’s cutting-edge research toward treating cancer.

The El Paso Corporation is one of the largest independent natural gas producers in North America. As part of the renovation of its 32-story headquarters in downtown Houston, the company needed robust, versatile communications and control systems that would facilitate collaboration, presentation and data sharing. AVI-SPL installed projectors, projection screens and flat panels in multiple conference and training rooms. Crestron RoomView facilitates room scheduling, as well as equipment control and monitoring for the IT staff. Crestron equipment also provides centralized control of the high-definition flat panels in the common areas, while still giving employees the freedom to change channels and hook up laptops for impromptu meetings. Read more about the El Paso Corporation project in IT/AV Report’s recent issue.

To read more about these and additional integration projects, please visit our Project Portfolio. Also visit AVI-SPL’s booth #1679 at InfoComm to learn more about the power of unified communications environments.

AVI-SPL Featured in IT/AV Report

The spring 2011 issue of IT/AV Report – published by Sound & Communications magazine — features AVI-SPL’s extensive technology restack for the El Paso Corporation. As part of  a complete renovation of the company’s headquarters in Houston, Texas, the AVI-SPL team implemented the latest pro AV and control systems in its conference rooms, employee lounges and training areas.

Read Jeff Ward’s article detailing this ambitious integration of IT control, room scheduling and video display. You can also look at a brief overview of the El Paso project on our website.

Put our Team to Work for You

Companies like El Paso Corporation trust their pro AV projects to AVI-SPL because of our successful track record and depth of expertise. Fill out our brief needs analysis form or give us a call at 1-800-282-6733, and one of our representatives will be in touch to discuss how AVI-SPL can make your vision a reality.

How CRG Puts Together a Winning Security System

When AVI SPL’s Control Room Group (CRG) designed and upgraded the surveillance system at an assisted living facility, it conducted a comprehensive survey and interview process to find areas for improvement. With the critical information in hand, CRG used its know-how and Mitsubishi technology to improve the safety and streamline business processes for The Rosewood House II in Dunedin, Fla.

You can read the complete Security Products profile of this project, which gives detailed information on the equipment used in the install and includes insights from key CRG team members. Most imporantly, it shows how the equipment has made it easier for Rosewood administrators to monitor guests and employees, and improve its resource allocation.

Let Our Experts Design Your Control Room

CRG takes a detailed approach to designing control rooms. We take into account traffic flow, security requirements and a host of other factors integral to call centers, transportation systems, emergency operation centers and other environments. Fill out our brief analysis request form and one of our representatives will call you back.  You can reach CRG at 888-619-9093 or send us an email at

Why AVI-SPL Should be Your AV System Integrator

As the nation’s premier AV system design and integration company, AVI-SPL has the experience and resources to design, install and support any audiovisual project.  Our team of experts boast numerous technical certifications and have a proven track record of success across every industry you can think of. From the U.S. House of Representatives  to high profile clients like Microsoft  to corporate offices and K-12 schools and universities, AVI-SPL has designed and  built audiovisual environments for all forms of presentation, communication and collaboration. Our passion for what we do and dedication to the highest standards are why AVI-SPL once again ranked number one in the Systems Contractor News Top 50 Systems Integrator List.

 Services and Support Overview

›› AV system design/build integration and installation

›› IP integration for infrastructure cabling of voice, data, video and communication systems

›› Managed conferencing services for on-site and off-site support

Trust Your AV Project to the Experts

Effective, cost-saving communication is essential for your company. Let AVI-SPL show you how we can streamline your operations while providing ROI. Fill out our brief needs analysis form, and one of our representatives will be in touch. You can also contact us at (866) 559-8197 or