Peavey “Open the Room” solution

Section 1 – Overview

The ‘Open the Room’ initiative sets the requirements that all proceedings in a meeting room should incorporate audio and video recording.  The primary driver for Peavey’s involvement is to provide an audio centric, automated camera tracking solution to control a ‘typical’ pan tilt zoom camera.  The primary market targets existing community government meeting facilities which may or may not incorporate existing audio systems.

In rooms where there is no voice lift system existing, the solution is to use a beam forming mic array to point the camera at the talker.  The microphone must also pick up audio from talkers in the system and route them to the recorder.  This is known as the ‘Silver’ option.

In rooms where there is an existing PA system the silver solution will not work (for reasons we will not address here).  In these systems, an audio DSP may be utilized to detect the audio from each talker to identify which microphone is in use.  These ‘Gold’ options should include hardware, cabling and accessories as needed as well as a base program.

The hardware should be easy to insert between existing microphones and inputs of an existing PA system (of any kind) and act as a pass-through.  The active microphone information produced by the DSP will aim the camera at a programmable preset.  Different modes of operation may be possible (priority, filibuster, etc).  The camera tracking system should be intelligent enough to address cross-talk (multiple people speaking over each other) and command the camera to default to a wide shot until a clear source is identified.

By their very nature, organizations with more advanced integrated systems may want to call in their integrator to assist in the installation.  Those integrators should be able to modify the programming however they see fit beyond the basic, proven package.

Section 2 – Hardware Components

The initial hardware design is based on the utilization of existing hardware which is readily available for installation.  As new products emerge, we may update the offering to help drive prices down or offer enhanced feature sets.

NION NE

A floating point, programmable DSP system capable of detecting and processing audio signals and generating camera controls based on building blocks constructed in the nWare software environment.  May house 1 Digital Audio card and up to 4 Analog Audio cards.

nTouch 180HD / Kiosk 180 HD

Programmable touch panel controller capable of housing logic and control capabilities using the same blocks as the NION and also configured from the nWare software environment.  Provides a direct RS-232 connection to the CompassX camera as well as other connections.

 

The Kiosk 180 is the same form factor but only with the UI functionality (no control capabilities)

CompassX

High quality USB camera with full pan, tilt and zoom capabilities.  Controlled from the NION or nTouch 180HD via RS-232 connection.  Output from the camera should plug directly into recording unit.

Shure MXA910

Ceiling mounted beam forming microphone array.  Senses the person talking and adjusts the beams to accurately reproduce the talker, while feeding control information to the nTouch or NION to translate into camera control.

Section 3 – Software Components

nWare is the software used to program the NION series of products.  The power of nWare is derived from a core concept of implementing discreet functional blocks which can be assembled together to form more complex functions.

Block Descriptions

Several new blocks are under development to provide the Silver and Gold options described herein.  They may be used in combinations with other existing blocks as needed to realize the complete solution and adjusted by the integrator for additional custom integration efforts.  All blocks will run on NION units where all ‘Controller’ blocks (non-audio) will also run on nTouch 180HD units, effectively turning the nTouch 180HD into a User Interface and control system.

  • VISCA Camera Controller (new)

Provides the discreet commands and processes feedback to/from the camera.

  • Camera Preset Controller (new)

Accepts microphone activity indicators and processes these to determine camera actions.

  • Mic Array Controller (new)

Communicates with the beam forming microphone array and determines which talker location is active.  Passes information on to the Camera Preset Controller.

  • Gated Automatic Mixer

Composite audio algorithm which determines the gating state of each microphone based on user configurable criteria.

Section 4 – Silver Solutions

Silver Option A – Camera Control

Suitable for systems where only camera control is needed, this option could be operated manually or expanded for automatic uses by an integrator.  The wiring for this example is straight forward and would contain an nTouch 180HD controlling the Compass X camera via RS-232 as illustrated in Error! Reference source not found..

The user requires the ability to adjust the number of seats (presets) for the camera, save them and recall them during room setup or meetings.  For this, the software blocks depicted in Figure 2 will be supplied and run on the nTouch 180HD hardware.

Silver Option B – Beam Forming Microphone Array

In situations where camera control is required from both an occasional operator interface and automatically (based on who is talking), this option uses a beam forming microphone array and touch panel to control the camera.

The Microphone Array is made up of many small microphones which can sense the location of the talker.  The audio from the microphone array is passed to the recording/streaming device while simultaneously, the talker’s location information is sent to the nTouch 180.

The user may calibrate the camera, adjust settings, manually recall presets and monitor the status/location from the touch panel as needed.

The user interface requires the ability to adjust the number of seats (presets) for the camera, adjust the camera (PTZ) and save each preset during room setup.  During meetings, it may be necessary to manually adjust additional settings or control the camera explicitly.  For this, the software blocks depicted in Figure 2 will be supplied and run on the nTouch 180HD hardware.

When the user is not gesturing the touch screen, the system may be run automatically using information gathered from the Mic Array Controller block.

Section 5 – Gold Solutions

Gold Option A – Analog Mics

Used for systems where up to 16 analog microphones are operated without a control system.  Either mics do not have Push To Talk (PTT) capability, or the PTT is used only for muting each individual mic (locally at the mic).

To configure the system, wiring between the mics and audio system will be interrupted with the solution depicted here in Green.  Wiring is not able to be defined now as it is dependent on the microphone used as well as cabling standards, distances, etc.  It may be possible to include the cables between the 8o II cards and system Inputs but would be better left to an integrator.

Cables depicted in Green are included with the solution.

The user interface requires the ability to adjust the number of seats in use for the meeting, adjust the camera (PTZ) and save each preset during room setup.  During meetings, it may be necessary to manually adjust additional settings or control the camera explicitly.  For this, the software blocks depicted in Figure 2 will be supplied and run on the nTouch 180HD hardware.

When the user is not using the touch screen, the system may be run automatically using information gathered from the Gated Automatic Mixer block.

Gold Option B – Digital Mics (Dante)

With growing popularity of digital microphones, this option considers the microphones as network devices.  This option may be used in systems where up to 32 Dante microphones are operated without a control system.  Either mics do not have Push To Talk (PTT) capability, or the PTT is used only for muting each individual mic (locally at the mic).

DANTE enabled microphones can transmit to multiple sources.  As such, the DANTE microphones need to be reconfigured to also transmit audio to the NION for the camera tracking information.

The user interface requires the ability to adjust the number of seats in use for the meeting, adjust the camera (PTZ) and save each preset during room setup.  During meetings, it may be necessary to manually adjust additional settings or control the camera explicitly.  For this, the software blocks depicted in Figure 8 will be supplied and run on the nTouch 180HD hardware.

When the user is not using the touch screen, the system may be run automatically using information gathered from the Gated Automatic Mixer block.

Gold Option C (Custom) – Existing DSP/Control System

Additional wiring configurations may exist for system which contain existing DSP, Push-To-Talk microphones and/or External Control System.  Peavey Electronics may be contacted to assist in the development of these solutions.