Net-AV Spreads Its Wings to Help Deliver Emergency Ops Hub

Published: July 16, 2015

The state of Maryland needed a full technology refresh to its main Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Last updated in 2007, the MEMA EOC had included five projection systems on 100-inch screens, with quad splitters, as well as all copper cabling and a large matrix switcher.

Enter Net-AV, thanks to a previous working relationship with their marketing director.

“We don’t typically do bid work, but we realized this project had a cool factor and a lot of value to the end users,” says Net-AV president Ron Baylin, who added the fact the project centered on installing network-based video and a control system made it a good fit. “On top of that, it’s right in our backyard — only a few miles away.”

The EOC is the central hub for realtime monitoring and decision-making for the state’s various agencies as well as being the command center for emergency situations. Traffic cameras, weather stations and radar feeds, standard broadcast news and local channels, internal computer feeds and dedicated government channels all feed into the system and are accessible for display on all or part of the main video wall.

Integrator Takeaways:
1. Expand your horizons, but be careful when you do so.
2. You never know when you’ll find a new opportunity—or a series of them.
3.  Listen closely to your employees. They may hear about opportunities you wouldn’t typically consider.

End User Takeaways:
1. Your perfect partner may be an integrator with no major experience in the market.
2. Know when it’s time to upgrade your technology and plan ahead so you can do it regularly.
3. Spread the word when your integrator does a good job. Other clients can benefit from their good work too.

Equipment Highlights:
Video: Sharp, Jupiter, FSR, Premier Mounts, Extron, JVC, BlackMagic Design
Audio: Biamp, Tannoy, LabGruppen
Control: Crestron
Racks: Middle Atlantic

The EOC has several satellite rooms off of the main EOC amphitheater, where officials and teams needed to access and share information with the amphitheater in realtime, with the same need for reliability and ease of use as the main amphitheater.

The new system had to be active by June in time for hurricane season and it was utilized regularly during the Baltimore riots in the spring. Net-AV provided extended support coverage and was able to quickly reboot a control panel when it fell offline during the riots.

The system installed at MEMA took full advantage of the new technologies available. The main EOC amphitheater’s five projectors were replaced with a GPO-US video wall that provides brighter, clearer images — good for regular use, as well as providing a dynamic background for press conferences and live news coverage from the EOC.

The Cat-6 distributed AV and networked switching using the scalable Jupiter PixelNet system provides MEMA with the ability to route signals from anywhere, to anywhere, and to easily add new inputs or outputs as needed without fear of maxing out a traditional switcher’s I/Os. The fully integrated Crestron control system and custom-designed GUI make routing these signals throughout the EOC (amphitheater and satellite rooms) as simple as touching the screen.

Net-AV recently submitted proposals to do a similar job for a local police force and gang monitoring strike force.

“We’ve always had longterm relationships with our customers, so we’re still looking at larger projects that fit our business model well,” says Baylin, noting Net-AV does the bulk of its work in the corporate and government markets. “We’re not just looking for work for the sake of work. This job was well worth the time and investment. It’s been a good project all-around for us.”

Posted in: Projects

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