Case Study | Education

Tring School – Assembly Hall Presentation System

The Challenge

Tring School is an 11 – 18 mixed comprehensive located in Tring, Hertfordshire of approximately 1520 pupils on roll, including a Sixth Form of around 320 students. As a Google Reference school, Tring routinely holds events for many other schools and businesses in the educational sector to find out more about the offering from Google and how they utilise technology in the classroom.

Hosting high-profile visitors from as far as Iceland and China, Tring were looking to upgrade their AV in the main school assembly hall, with the goal of moving away from their current, outdated projector setup which lead to poor visibility and audio experience for those sitting at the back, and instead upgrading to a high-end Video Wall presentation system. Other challenges includes flexibility and ease of use with integration and operation.

IT Manager at Tring, got in touch with AVM to take lead on delivering a digital solution for the project.

The AVM Solution

System Overview

Firstly, a key requirement for the system was the ability to connect multiple inputs, acknowledging the potentially unlimited number of devices a guest speaker may bring along to aid their presentations. As well as the flexibility of enabling end users to connect their own devices, Tring also needed the stability to accommodate fixed devices on behalf of the school for their own personal usage, such as a digital signage player, dedicated PC and wireless presenting technology.

To achieve this functionality, AVM built a Kramer VSM Video Switcher into the rack. Powering the video wall, the VSM provides high-fidelity scaling, seamless switching and a suite of display layouts (Fullscreen, PIP, Dual and Quad) – this enables the user to showcase content from multiple devices simultaneously. For instance, a speaker may be running through a presentation, displaying content from their mobile phone wirelessly, in concert with the talk itself being broadcast via a camera feed using the PIP (picture-in-picture) view.

For the integrated, always-available devices, AVM suggested incorporating the school’s existing SedaoLive digital signage player – this can be used to play rolling content emphasising the school’s ethos during open day events, or serve as a backdrop for presentations.

The next source built into the system was a dedicated Windows PC located in the Comms Room, enabling staff to run PowerPoint presentations, or for the Media faculty to showcase student films on the Video Wall.

A transmitter HDMI/VGA Wall Plate was fitted in close proximity to the Video Wall itself for a quick and easy, ‘plug and play’ method of linking a laptop up to the screens.

As well as employing traditional methods of connectivity, AVM opted to include VIA GO – a powerful yet intuitive wireless presenting system, that saves teachers and guest speakers time by eliminating the need for cables and extended setup times. All a member of staff has to do is download the free-to-use app on either their laptop or mobile Android/iOS device, run the software and enter the code shown on-screen – content will then be viewable; ready to present to the entire Assembly Hall.

Functionality of VIA GO includes screen mirroring, allowing precise, real-time command of the presentation, so a speaker can choose exactly what they want to display and how; multimedia transmission – the selection of local video and image files for direct playback; and participant control – up to 16 users can connect at the same time, and the option to display two screens concurrently.

For a complex system with a multitude of components, each relying on each other to function, it was important to install a master controller to serve as the brains of the whole system. To make this a reality, AVM chose to utilise the power of the NX-1200 platform that would handle complex logic, and integrate this alongside a tablet control app that would serve to empower Tring users.

Audio Overview

For the audio component, due to the large size of the hall, AVM recommended 3 power amplifiers for maximum audio solution coverage – comprising of two front of house speakers and eight delays, strategically positioned throughout the room, ensuring the whole audience experiences the greatest clarity in sound.

In addition, AVM incorporated a Digital Zone Processor to offer superior system sonic performance and flexibility; fine-tuned by our acoustic engineers, a custom configuration balances volume levels across all inputs, ensuring consistent audio levels while switching between devices.

Professional wireless Audio-Technica microphones were supplied, chosen for their interference-free operation. The lapel variant is perfect for primary speakers, providing a crisp, full-sounding voice with suppression of background noise, while the handheld mic is especially useful for situations in which secondary participants require audio pickup, such as Q&A sessions, providing ultimate sound quality and dependability.

For the purpose of accessibility, and to accommodate the varying needs of visitors, AVM also fitted an infrared radiator above the Video Wall – this transmits audio from the amplifier to a wireless pendent, that can be worn by hard of hearing pupils by connecting them to through DAI (Direct Audio input).


Video Wall

For the Video Wall requirement, AVM utilised ultra-narrow bezel displays, specifically designed for video wall use. Enabling vivid high-quality digital content to be displayed at up to 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution. The ultra-slim bezel enables seamless multi-monitor installations for an uninterrupted visual experience.

After a site survey in which engineers took measurements of the existing wall, we determined the optimum number of screens taking into account viewing distance and aesthetics – this would be a 16-screen video wall.

For the installation, our engineers constructed a framework to accommodate the existing trunking, which ran through the centre of the proposed location. This ensured the video wall would have a flush finish. Each screen was mounted with strict precision using pop-out brackets, micro adjustments were made for pinpoint alignment for maximum elegance.


Tablet Control

A crucial consideration when designing a complex system of this nature was ease of use. Control needed to be as intuitive as possible so that all staff at Tring School, regardless of technical proficiency, could easily get to grips and interact, present and showcase without any training necessary.

To accomplish this, AVM application’s engineers designed a tablet control system for the Asus ZenPad, comprising a custom app with a user interface, emphasising simplicity for the benefit of presenters, while on the back-end containing a complex command structure that passes the instructions (what the user wants to do) to the master controller over the network.

Features include: powering the Video Wall ON/OFF, assigning of audio/video sources to the Video Wall and Hall sound system, layout selection, and audio sources to the hall’s sound system, volume level and microphone gain adjustment.


We got in touch with them, the IT manager to get his feedback:

What did Tring want to achieve when working with AVM on this project?

Our initial requirement was to replace our big projector in our main hall. And from having various projectors in the main hall for a while, we know that bulbs go and they are not that bright, so we wanted something brighter, sharper with better longevity, which is why we went down the video wall route.

Did you find the installation to be carried out satisfactory?

Yes, very good. We created a timelapse video while the installation was happening so it was a good feature to show to all the staff and students while it was happening, and we were very happy with the installation.

What sort of events has the system helped brought to life?

Very varied. Tonight is a book festival event where we have a guest speaker talking about their book, Russell Kane. But then we also use it for school concerts, music concerts, day-to-day assemblies and other events.

Have the staff found the system easy to use​?

For the most part, yes. We still assist with specialist events using the video wall because so many people do different sort of events here, so we can’t train every member of staff to use the system.

Would you recommend AVM to other schools?

Yes, I would.