A new Bosch DCN-NG (Digital Congress Network-Next Generation) installation is at the center of the renovated County of Hawaii Council Chambers in Hilo, Hawaii.
The Hawaii County Chambers in Hilo
Featuring Bosch’s DCN flush-mounted desktop consoles and accessories, the system provides the county’s lawmakers with user-friendly flexibility for communication and voting at council meetings, all with software-controlled display monitor interfacing and videoconferencing capability.
The Bosch system’s low-profile hardware complements the newly renovated space. Ten positions are equipped with DCN flush-mounted units mounted to a custom Koa wood counter on a dais (for eight delegates, one chairman and one clerk), with two additional discussion units (one for the assistant, one for the witness). All eight delegate positions are equipped with a loudspeaker, a microphone with on/off switch, and a voting unit.
Hawaii-based AV specialists The Audio Visual Company (AVCO) integrated the system, which was designed and specified by D.L. Adams Associates.
“This installation was primarily about adding functionality and enhancing ergonomics, and the Bosch systems stand alone on those terms,” says Warren Miyake of AVCO. “For example, instead of arranging all the devices in a single row, we split the installation into two rows of modules, with the speaker and microphone module flush-mounted behind the voting control module. This modularity made it easier to free-up valuable space on the work surface, and the modules’ compact size meant installing them was less invasive to the custom Koa laminate. Though they have a wide range of features on hand, it’s all presented in this clean, user-friendly configuration.”
This high degree of flexibility was also present in the specification process.
“From the very beginning, when the specification was assessed, through to the final revisions of the system design, the itemized hardware and software lists Bosch provided were very helpful—it was relatively easy to reconfigure the system design and equipment combinations to more precisely address the customer’s needs or make any changes,” Miyake said. “Also, the Bosch team was hands-on in helping us assess and re-assess the technical requirements and the additional equipment needed to fulfill the installation, including the upgrade of the software from the classic to the new DCN-SWSMV conference control software.”
Beyond the eight delegate positions, the chairman’s position has additional features, including a priority button to mute active microphones temporarily or permanently. The clerk’s system is the same as a delegate’s, but does not have voting capabilities. Instead, the clerk is responsible for controlling the system via the DCN-SWSMV software on his or her laptop. Tasks include initiating voting (voting results are then displayed in real time in PowerPoint on the desktop monitors and displays in the chamber), turning delegates mics on or off if necessary, and managing the DCN-MR (meeting recorder software). The software also allows the clerk to transfer all these responsibilities to another workstation.
“The council members are very pleased with the new system and how easy it is to use, along with the customer service they’ve received,” Miyake said. “A Bosch Conferencing specialist even flew over from Minneapolis to train them and show them how to get the most out of the system. For example, in addition to learning how the DCN software can help them more effectively manage their voting, they also learned how to record each council session using the Bosch DCN-MR (Meeting Recorder) software. The Bosch software is powerful, but it’s very simple to use. These recorded files are then flagged to reflect which microphones were 'on' at any given moment. These digital recordings can be more efficiently archived (and accessed via a private LAN) and will also make it much easier for their staff to provide transcriptions – they used to rely upon analog video recordings.”
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