The city of Laredo upgrades to DICENTIS Conference system for government meetings
Since 1984, Laredo, Texas has broadcast its city council meetings via public access cable television. The city updated its 10-year-old conference system with a DICENTIS Conference system from Bosch, providing significant upgrades in control, sound quality and ease of operation with IP connectivity.
The Public Access Center Manager of the city, Gerardo Leal, is responsible for operating the conferencing system during meetings, and porting the audio into the video feed. The program is aired on large video screens within the meeting room, which accommodates about 100 people. In addition, the meetings are streamed online and aired on the city’s public access channel. Audio, data and power for the discussion devices all run over a computer-based IP network using Bosch-developed OMNEO media-networking technology.
Laredo’s set-up features 16 DICENTIS Discussion devices with voting for council members and staffers. Each device is controlled by a single button for request to speak, mute and relinquishing the floor. A green light on the microphone indicates a request to speak, then begins flashing when that person is next in line. Once recognized by the chair, the mic status light changes to red to indicate it is active. The device’s five color-coded touch buttons light up when voting is open. Votes are tracked and tabulated, with the results then displayed onscreen for attendees and TV/streaming viewers to see. Each device also features a volume control and headphone jack, with onboard feedback suppression and data encryption.
The mayor/chair uses one of the latest generation DICENTIS Multimedia devices, which features a 7” touchscreen. This enables a wide range of documents, images and video files to be inserted into the council room’s big-screen video displays as well as computer screens located at each council member’s seat.
Each device is connected via a single CAT-6 network cable via a standard network switch connected to the system’s DICENTIS Audio processor and powering switch. In the control room, an operator tracks system/device status on a display showing a schematic layout of the council chambers, including current and upcoming active mics, and allowing remote override if needed.
Leal is particularly impressed with the DICENTIS High directive microphone, which replaces the long gooseneck mics of the original system. A discreet 4.25” long, their dual-capsule design allows a larger speaking distance and superb intelligibility – even in noisy conditions. “It picks up from several feet away, which basically takes microphone technique out of the equation,” explains Leal. “Now we don’t have to worry about height or talking distance, and the mics are also visually much less intrusive.”
“The DICENTIS system from Bosch gives us outstanding audio and remote system control,” Leal adds. “Our operators control our robotic PTZ cameras, character generator, agenda and other media, recording everything along the way. Having everything networked means smoother-running meetings and an easier job for our techs. We loved our old DCN system from Bosch, and the DICENTIS system is a great upgrade.”
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