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Geology, biology, chemistry and math students at the University of New Mexico are working in classrooms and computer labs that bring lessons to life in high definition video. Thanks to a new 62,000-square-foot Science and Math Learning Center equipped with Kramer Electronics products, students and faculty can view various HD video sources, annotate over them and share work from their personal computers.

The Kramer VP-728 switcher/scaler is the heart of the video system in 14 new classrooms in the Learning Center. It switches images from the document camera, instructor PC, laptop, and HDMI input, scales them to the appropriate resolution and provides video to the projector and interactive annotation device. Some of the classrooms also include a DVD player. The model was recommended by Bridgers & Paxton Consulting Engineers, an Albuquerque-based technology, mechanical, electrical and plumbing consulting firm that specified the system in conjunction with the University’s technical team and Van H. Gilbert Architect. The audio/video integrator was Albuquerque-based Advanced Presentation Systems.

“We recommended Kramer products for this job for several reasons,” said Mark Odneal, Senior Technology Consultant at B&P. “Not only were the switcher/scalers HDCP compliant, they offered a number of different output resolutions, they scaled to both an HDMI and VGA output, included audio-embedding onto HDMI and de-embedding from the HDMI input to the local stereo analog output.” According to Odneal, the scaler/switcher’s dual video outputs also provided the capability to annotate over any source. In addition, the rack-friendly Kramer product fit within the teacher podium or cabinet in each classroom.

The room systems are operated through user-friendly interfaces. Advanced Presentation Systems trained the faculty and staff on the front-end A/V system, made intuitive and seamless by the Kramer switcher/scalers behind the scenes. According to Tim Johnson, manager of Academic Technology Services at the University of New Mexico, “If the switchers are invisible to the user, it means they’re doing their job. We’ve found the product to be seamless and the support from Kramer to be outstanding,” he said.

In addition to the 14 classrooms and computer labs, the Learning Center’s 300-seat lecture hall also includes a Kramer switcher/scaler. It controls video and audio components for large presentations, delivering the highest possible resolution from each source. Completed in late 2010, the University of New Mexico’s Science and Math Learning Center houses the departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Biology, Mathematics and Statistics, Chemistry and Chemical Biology. The Kramer Electronics scaler/switchers rock with dazzling detail for all the Center’s visual needs.

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