The Minnesota Supreme Court, sometimes called the “court of last resort”, is Minnesota’s highest appellate court and is unlike any other in the state (http://www.mncourts.gov). Because the Supreme Court plays a vital role in the constitutional system, providing efficient technology for its citizens is essential. When the Supreme Court decided to upgrade their courtrooms, they looked to Minneapolis-based audiovisual integrator, MSpace, to integrate Vaddio camera systems into Courtroom 300.
Courtroom 300 is the larger of two courtrooms used in the Minnesota Supreme Court for video recording/streaming all sessions to the Internet and local public television station, KTCA in St. Paul. The original courtroom had stationary cameras offering such low quality audio as to prompt the redesign of both the audio and video throughout the room. MSpace upgraded the court’s video system with the Vaddio ProductionVIEW™ FX switcher and three WallVIEW PRO 300 PTZ camera systems.
“The ProductionVIEW FX not only featured a preview window for operator control, but also RS-232 remote control,” explained MSpace Sales Engineer/Designer, Tom Larson. Because of the ProductionVIEW FX’s RS-232 remote control capability, Larson was able to create a voice activated, hands-free, operatorless system using a Biamp Nexia audio DSP system with Audio Technica RFI shielded microphones. Microphones were installed for each of the Supreme Court Justices, and a lectern microphone for giving oral arguments to the court. These mics connected to the Biamp mixer that included LOGIC boxes capable of sending RS-232 code information to the ProductionVIEW FX. “Depending on the speaker, code sent to the ProductionVIEW FX specified not only which camera to use to capture the speaker, but also to trigger a preset within the camera to capture the person talking,” explained Larson.
“Vaddio products were chosen for three reasons -- a variety of camera types, their Cat. 5 cabling solution and the hands-on/hands-free control options,” explains Larson. “The Minnesota Supreme Court now has improved video quality on all of the streaming and recording sessions, and video transitioning from speaker to speaker is easy and not distracting to the viewer.” Furthermore, the building is wired to support interactive video court hearings, conferences and training programs between the judicial center and other locations throughout the state.
“We’ve worked with Vaddio on numerous installations in a variety of settings. They carry high-end cameras but also support economical solutions that happen to solve problems other cameras cannot. Is there a camera involved? Do we need to cable over Cat. 5? We’ll use Vaddio again. And again.”