The Largest Forum installation in the UK Lincoln County Council, UK
In the largest installation to date of the RCF Forum 9000 system in the UK, specialists in local authority contracting, Sound Advice have completely renovated the media and communications systems of Lincolnshire County Council at their offices in Lincoln. Because of the County Councils location (Some councillors have to travel up three hours to attend meetings) they have turned to web streaming technologies. It is now possible for people to observe goings on in the Chamber over the internet. The solution was provided by Sound Advice under the leadership of Jon Hunnisett and in partnership with web casting specialists Public-i and RCF UK, who provided the conferencing equipment and software support. "Our initial one-line brief from the client was that the system had to do everything invisibly," explained Jon Hunnisett.
Lincolnshire had actually been a candidate for an AV systems upgrade for some time. According to IT manager and project co-ordinator Dave Walker of HBS, the Council's facilities management company, the previous system used in the Council Chamber was an analogue system installed in the 1980's. Demonstrations of various possibilities were carried out, and installation commenced in the spring of a completely new congress, sound reinforcement, presentation and camera system. The heart of the Council Chamber is now RCF's new Forum 9000 digital conference system. Jon Hunnisett explained what he sees as the main strengths of the system: "Firstly, it has excellent sound quality, which was very important to the client." That's something that the Councillors themselves have already commented on as being a real plus, according to Dave Walker. The second bonus is one of flexibility. Hunnisett again: "The system has so much functionality that can simply be unlocked with further software purchases. This means that the customer doesn't need to worry too much about what feature they should buy, and whether they can afford them at once. They can get on, buy the hardware and upgrade their solution later on without having to rebuild the system." RCF ultimately supplied a total of 117 delegate units for the Council Chamber, along with the FMU 9100 central control unit, one of its VM 9844 audio / video matrix switchers and three FDC9900 dome cameras. The three cameras are located discretely in the roof of the Council Chamber, and positioned to cover the whole room. The camera feeds are switched by the RCF FVM matrix unit and then pass into a Kramer matrix switcher, which delivers to the streaming hardware. Audio inputs are treated likewise.
Since the installation, the Council has asked for an alteration to the Forum software to better suit its needs. They want to be able to alter the 'waiting to speak' queue, and also would like a second screen for the chairman showing just a schematic overview of the Council chamber that would allow them to invite delegates to speak automatically. Jon Hunnisett: "RCF have been absolutely wonderful about this. They have done a software modification, which is now fully currently up and running in the installation. It's really intuitive, something that isn't always true of conference software." Dave Walker from HBS is very pleased with the installation, he concluded "The engineers from Sound Advice are amongst the most professional I've worked with, they did an excellent job."