UniSQ Controls The Future With Q-SYS
Integrated control for multiple multi-functional spaces.
The mascot for the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) is a fitting one — a Bunya Pine, representing growth, strength, and journeys. In just over fifty years this ambitious university has similarly grown, elevating the education standard in regional locations within Australia, as well as worldwide. To maintain this flurry of successes the UniSQ team remains committed to ongoing upgrades, but this time focusing on establishing a cutting-edge control environment in its three campuses of Springfield, Toowoomba, and Ipswich.
A Clear-Cut Vision
Across all campuses the University of Southern Queensland control requirements were clear cut, and anything but basic. The team required a solution that was robust enough to handle extensive third-party monitoring yet intuitive enough to enable their in-house team to learn and support their own systems. “We wanted to move away from the status-quo, and into a software-based system,” explains Glen Gorton, Senior Technical Officer (AudioVisual) for UniSQ. “We were thorough, trying out Q-SYS along with a number of competitors in a test environment. In the end, we were won over by the accessibility of the Q-SYS Platform and available training program, as well as the monitoring and management capabilities of Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager.”
With the solution in place, the UniSQ team paired up with Technical Audio Group (TAG) to design their system. The flagship space for new control design was the F-Block Engineering Lab at UniSQ’s Springfield Campus, along with multiple classrooms in Toowoomba and Ipswich. The typical classroom consists of a single projector, four ceiling microphones, a Q-SYS I/O-8 Flex ingesting microphone audio, a PTZ tracking camera, and Android control panels. Nine classrooms in the Engineering Lab are controlled by a Q-SYS Core 510i processor, with another Q-SYS Core 510i processor acting in redundancy. The remaining rooms are controlled using Q-SYS Core 110f processors, a total of fifteen running an array of room types across the Toowoomba, Springfield, and Ipswich campuses.
Room organisation included an array of third-party manufacturers, all of which required control, monitoring and management via Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager. Fortunately, Q-SYS supports a robust array of third-party integrations through Q-SYS Partners, all of which are Q-SYS-endorsed. The inclusion of third-party peripherals was a simple, user-friendly process, with everything from displays and projectors, to cameras and vision switching. TAG even leveraged the power of Q-SYS Open, a collection of open standards and published developer tools to enable third-party development within Q-SYS.
With these tools, TAG has created its own plugin which enables the Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager to gather deeper usage statistics not included in the existing Zoom Room plugin. It includes features such as being able to add an IP address to the status screen for all user components, as well as extra Zoom API commands. Another addition is the assurance that Presentation Mode is active for local sharing, and being able to switch to Meeting Mode while continuing to share local content.
A Touch of Freedom
Another priority of the design was to maintain freedom from a particular manufacturer touch screen or iOS device. They focused the bulk of their efforts on Android touch screens, and developed an HTML based user control interface which runs on an Android tablet. TAG was also able to incorporate official UniSQ style guidelines into the user control interface using CSS. “With Q-SYS there’s always a way,” explains TAG’s Nathan Ashmore, Solutions Architect – Education. “It’s developer friendly, and between already existing resources and Q-SYS Open there’s an easy solution to virtually every situation. With Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager, we’re notified instantly if anything is amiss, no matter what campus the issue originates.”
The Future Is Under Control
The University of Southern Queensland’s in-house team is now up and running, and the Q-SYS promise has been fulfilled. Q-SYS has offered a solution that allows implementers to go as deep as the installation requires, while remaining accessible enough to encompass a wide variety of potential users. With its software-based approach now well underway, Q-SYS has no doubt that this university is primed to meet the future head on.
Q-SYS Equipment List
Core 510i – Q-SYS
PCs Used: 2
Description: AV and control processor, configurable onboard I/O via 8 open Q-SYS IO Cards slots
Networked Channel Capacity: 256 × 256
Core 110f – Q-SYS
PCs Used: 15
Description: AV and control processor
Networked I/O: 128 x 128
Local I/O: 24
I/O-8 Flex – Q-SYS Channel Expander
PCs Used: 10
Description: 8 software definable flex channels, mic/line input or line output configuration capable
Q-SYS Scripting Engine – Q-SYS Feature License
PCs Used: 1
Description: Third-party control plugins/scripts, full featured scripting component
UCI Deployment License – Q-Sys Software Feature License
PCs Used: 1
Description: Create and deploy custom UCI onto available control devices
Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager License – Q-Sys Monitoring License
PCs Used: 1
Description: Centralised management, integrate AV assets with IT systems