The Red House Project is an initiative at Reno High School in Nevada that prepares students for future work with computers, software development, Internet content, CAD, and other computer-based college majors and career paths.
It is one of the Washoe County School District’s “Signature Academies,” each of which focuses on a specific in-depth curriculum. Reno students who opt for “Track 1” courses receive training in graphic design, animation, video production, and digital game development using a state-of-the-art computer lab featuring the latest software, 7.1 surround sound technology, and high-definition video projection and capture.
Reno-based Innovative Communication Systems (ICS) designed and installed the room’s A/V system with a Symetrix SymNet Solus 16 audio processor to provide affordable signal routing and processing.
As far as the students are concerned, the system begins with banks of fully-loaded Apple Mac Pro computers. In order to effectively wrestle all of their video outputs together with input jacks of every flavor, ICS owner Jeff Bowers and his staff installed an FSR DV-MFSW-94 presentation matrix switcher, which accepts them all and scales every signal to HDMI.
From there, signal travels to a pair of school-furnished high-definition video projectors, one for a 16-foot screen on each side of the room. In addition, the room features a massive 25-foot green screen that will allow creative students to perform all manner of video trickery. A blue screen is slated for future installation.
On the audio end of things, output from the computers first hits an Extron SSP 7.1, which effectively pre-processes for 7.1 surround sound. Its output, together with two AudioTechnica wireless microphones, a microphone jack, and stereo output from the FSR switcher, feeds a Symetrix SymNet Solus 16.
The SymNet Solus 16 features sixteen mic- or line-level inputs, powerful open-architecture signal processing, eight outputs, and myriad control options. The unit handles all of the system’s customized audio routing, as well as input leveling, loudspeaker management, and volume control.
Self-powered QSC K10 loudspeakers handle all seven full-range channels. A Crestron AV2/PRO2 paired with a nine-inch touchscreen provides intuitive, customized user control of both the audio and video signals.
Because audio signal also needed to run to an Atlas amplifier for distribution in adjoining rooms, Bowers had to implement one small work-around.
“Instead of using the eighth output for the subwoofer, we used it for the distributed system,” he said. “For the self-powered QSC KW181 subwoofer, we sent signal directly from the Extron unit. It’s one of those situations where you do a cost/benefit analysis. Is it better to buy a larger processor at greater expense or to go for the work-around at less expense? In this case the answer was clear because the subwoofer didn’t need any processing.”
He continued, “The capabilities of the SymNet Solus are fantastic, and the everyone at the company loves its price point. Symetrix’ open-architecture programming is intuitive and comprehensive. We can do all those weird little things that seem to always come up. In addition, we’ve been installing Symetrix processors for a long time, and they’re always dependable.”