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Biamp Systems - Orlando's Courtroom 23

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Biamp Systems - Orlando's Courtroom 23
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Description
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CHALLENGE

Create the most advanced “real world” courtroom possible, utilizing technologies tested in Courtroom 21, the experimental mock courtroom at the William and Mary School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia. Link the three-building main Court facility downtown with the Juvenile Courthouse, Orange County Jailhouse and fifteen courtrooms in the Osceola County Courthouse, all located miles away. And provide the capability to expand to additional remote local courthouses.

Courtroom 23’s architectural design presents many issues for audio sound reinforcement. It’s a two-story high room “built like a church cathedral,” with a balcony for observation and seats for over 300. Overlapping needs for sound reinforcement, court reporting, remote testimony and media control placed competing demands on the AV system design.

SOLUTION

The Roger A. Barker Courtroom, located on the 23rd floor of the Orange County Courthouse in downtown Orlando, is the centerpiece of one of the more highly evolved and interconnected court systems in commission. Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit Court embraced new technologies early on. The courtroom is wired for audio and video, with video cameras, multiple plasma and flat screen monitors, voice-activated video teleconferencing and full webcasting capabilities. Boasting an interactive electronic evidence presentation system, real-time digital court reporting and online legal research, it continues to embrace new technology to enhance court efficiency. Courtroom 23’s Chief Audiovisual Engineer, John Byram, and his team deliver all these leading edge capabilities through a networked media system based on Biamp’s Audia® Digital Signal Platform. The network is connected via fiber optic backbone with PESA routers, making the system resources available throughout the network.

SYSTEM SPECIFICS

The full-featured AudiaFLEX DSPs, with flexible input/output configurations, solve the problem of multiple mixes for sound reinforcement, court reporting and remote testimony. Audia’s leveler is used to compensate for people who move around a lot. The antifeedback function compensates for the open mics. The AudiaFLEX is also programmed for a discrete mixer function dedicated to the court reporters. It even allows the reporters to access a password-protected level of control to change individual mic levels themselves, which dramatically reduces the Ninth Circuit’s service calls. The engineering staff can also make those adjustments remotely, without interrupting court proceedings. The Audia-based networked media system makes it possible to give each presiding judge control in the courtroom and over what the media sees. In Courtroom 23, Crestron ISIS 6000 touch screens on the judge’s and clerk’s benches are programmed to provide access to the Audia DSP functions. In all the other rooms, Biamp Volume/Select 8 remote controls perform the same function. Judges have control of volume levels, without affecting recordings for court reporting. Additional features allow judges to mute the outside media feed, introduce pink noise into the system for a private sidebar and to playback proceedings on demand.

CONCLUSIONS

With Audia on the network, one person can administer all sound in all courtrooms from one computer, without impacting the proceedings. The Audia-based networked media system connects the Ninth Circuit with a world of possibilities. Remote testimony from expert witnesses and out-of state police helps reduce scheduling delays, while saving money. Networking also reduces transportation and security costs by enabling remote arraignments. Now the presiding judge can go to a central court to arraign and take initial appearances from all locations in Orlando and Osceola counties. As courtroom technology evolves, the flexible, powerful Audia platform will make it easy and affordable for the Ninth Circuit to further the cause of justice.
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