James Cook University, Australia

The Opportunity

Established in 1970, James Cook University (JCU) has campuses in Cairns, Townsville, Singapore and Brisbane, as well as research and learning sites in Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton and Thursday Island. JCU recently completed its new $30 million facility, the JCU Ideas Lab, creating a place for researchers, entrepreneurs and students to share ideas and innovate together. The facility houses an atrium, meeting rooms, electronics labs, workshops and teaching spaces to create, prototype, test, develop and scale innovative technologies, products and business concepts, including a Narrow-Band Internet of Things laboratory (NB-IoT). To ensure a seamless and collaborative creative environment, JCU required a state-of-the-art networked AV and control system.

The Solution

JCU hired Videopro to outfit the Ideas Lab with a complete HARMAN Professional Solutions networked AV system consisting of JBL Professional loudspeakers and AMX control systems.

In the meeting rooms, Videopro installed AMX Acendo Vibe conferencing soundbars, which feature JBL speakers and microphones for clear audio communication. AMX Metreau Ethernet keypads provide seamless control in each of the JCU Ideas Lab’s meeting rooms, ideation spaces, labs and classroom student collaboration pods. Videopro also outfitted the University with AMX Modero G5 tabletop touch panels to provide an intuitive user interface for more complex meeting rooms, labs and the atrium videowall and audio system.

Minimising the challenges of locating bulky AV equipment in the architecturally designed teaching spaces whilst providing excellent serviceability for the JCU AV team, two AMX Enova DGX Digital Media Switchers located in the second-floor communications room manage all video to and from AMX 4K DXLink transmitters and receivers located at sources and displays throughout the facility. AMX 4K DXLink wallplate transmitters provide connectivity for guest devices, while AMX Netlinx NX Series integrated controllers are the backbone of the solution, integrating the building’s advanced AV technologies into a single system.

To ensure exceptional sound quality across the entire facility, the team outfitted the JCU Ideas Lab with a mix of JBL speakers including Control 60 Series pendant loudspeakers powered by JBL Commercial Series amplifiers, as well as Control 2P compact powered models.

The Impact

“The client visualised an interactive learning space where students, lecturers and industry experts could come together,” said Scott Maunsell and Ben Thompson, Videopro. “The design called for a centralised AV distribution and control system, which was most appropriate due to the many smaller spaces in the facility. To bring the client’s vision to life, we selected HARMAN AV equipment. JCU are a long-term AMX partner, so AMX solutions were the natural fit for the complex video and control requirements. JBL pendant speakers worked ideally for the open ceiling architecture, making HARMAN our first choice for the JCU Ideas Lab.”

“During my time at JCU, I have been involved with 20 new building projects,” said Gary Gulliford, Manager, Videoconferencing and Audiovisual Services, James Cook University. “The JCU Ideas Lab was one of the most rewarding projects so far. Everyone was fantastic to deal with—particularly our project manager Rachel Argent, Scott Maunsell and Ben Thompson from Videopro. The last six months of the building construction were done under lockdown and everybody involved did a phenomenal job while adhering to the strict social distancing rules. The AMX and JBL solutions are right at home in a building of this quality.”