CenturyLink is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States, with extensive operations in 37 states.
When the old A/V systems at the company’s Monroe, Louisiana, headquarters weren’t performing up to expectations, CenturyLink called Singularity Technologies of Johnstown, Colorado, for a field evaluation, which led them to Attero Tech.
“We didn’t work on the original install in Monroe but we have a longstanding relationship with CenturyLink,” explains Singularity Technologies president Matt Zavakos. “CenturyLink asked us to devise a solution for five ten-person conference rooms in the Technology Center of Excellence at their headquarters, and to extend that solution to create a standard for all of their conferencing across the company.
“In the Monroe building, we didn’t have conduit space for all the individual wires required by the conferencing mics. We did, however, have room for a CAT5 cable, so Dante came to mind. That led us to Attero Tech Dante interfaces.”
CenturyLink’s system uses Lectrosonics DSP, so Zavakos called the manufacturer and asked who made a Dante interface that could accept a mute and unmute call from the DSP and then send the appropriate signal back to the mic to tell it to change the color of the status LED. Lectrosonics immediately recommended Attero Tech, whose interfaces work with a wide variety of DSPs.
“We needed to devise a standard so that every conference room is the same,” Zavakos recalls. “That way, troubleshooting would be easier. Once we locked onto the Attero Tech unD4I-L, it was a given that it was going to be the standard interface for CenturyLink whenever we put in a new system. Multiple conference rooms all over the country are now hooked up like this.”
The conference mics for CenturyLink’s systems require three wires, plus the logic for the talk button and status LED.
The original impetus for using Dante and the Attero Tech unD4I-L was to reduce the wiring requirements to one CAT5 cable, “but Dante and the Attero Tech unD4I-L turned out to be a big time saver too,” Zavakos asserts. “We don’t have to pull multiple mic cables over to the equipment rack; we just pull one network cable. CenturyLink has now adopted the Dante signal path, and they are good with it being on their network. That also made a big difference: Their networks are incredibly complex, so being able to integrate into that is a plus.”
For the new, standardized CenturyLink systems, the wiring is relatively straightforward. The conference mic wires run to the Attero Tech unD4I-L, then into CenturyLink’s network, then to the network environment. “From there, all the A/V gear attaches to the same switch so we can talk to the unD4I-L and pull the Dante signals into the DSP,” confirms Zavakos.
In addition to the technical advantages, Singularity decided on Attero Tech because, Zavakos emphasizes, “We choose vendors based on long-term relationships. We don’t sell whatever’s out there right now to save a few bucks; we go with people who offer devices that we trust, the quality is there, and the support and relationship are excellent. Attero Tech fits that bill. For CenturyLink alone, we’ve installed 20 or 30 unD4I-Ls, and we recently put Attero Tech interfaces in two rooms in Hong Kong. We have a great relationship, and that, along with the quality and design of the products, ensures that we’ll keep using Attero Tech for CenturyLink and a variety of other clients.”