At the heart of this laboratory are some of the most innovative research tools devised – and supporting them one of the most complex and powerful audio video systems. “The Medialab is an ‘imaginarium’ for audience research” says Martin O’Neill, Time Warner’s Executive Director of Business and Research Operations.
The demands on the audio video system are enormous. Time Warner asked for a switching system that would route any media source to any display plus a multi-window digital recording system; since a high-definition recording would be one of the deliverables for each project. Media sources may include virtually any smart phone, tablet, Blu-ray Disc player, video game console, DVR or computer, and sources change constantly, depending on the research project.
Diversified installed an audio video switching system based on five Crestron DM32x32 matrix switchers and three DM8x8 switchers to provide a combined 184 input by 184 output switching matrix. It allows Time Warner to switch any source that they can anticipate, to any destination they may use. Diversified also used two Crestron control processors to operate the systems, with a Crestron V15 or V12 touch screen in each of the labs and observation rooms and a TPMC-8X in the rack room.
To provide the multi-window recording that MediaLab required, Diversified installed a total of 16 BlackMagic Design H.264 Pro-Recorders, which are also connected to the DigitalMedia network. Together they can record the media played on any device, the test subject’s interactions with the device, what the test subject says, facial expressions, responses from the audience response system and biometrics, all in sync in real time so that researchers can analyze them at a later date.