State of the Art Media System Being Tested in Community Center

Contributed by George Thorsen

The Technology Committee recommended a ceiling mounted LCD projector for the large room of the community center. The proposal, which put state of a state of the art media system in the hands of the center’s users, passed the Board of Directors’ approval last summer. The components of the media system have been purchased and have been tested on and around a table in the middle of the Community Center and the next step is to mount it and configure it to work within our networked environment. Dave Laughman, our technical consultant bought the equipment following plans developed by Mike Hanson, our Community Manager, the Technology Committee and Dave Laughman, our association’s technology consultant. Brain Shaffer, our head of Maintenance, has been instrumental running wires, mounting speakers, estimating space requirements, and attending to many of the practical matters involved with this project.

Dave Laughman, our networking and technology consultant is testing the media system on a table. The projector will be permanently mounted more or less on the ceiling above where David is sitting.

The media system is very complex and can connect and project almost anything, a DVD, streaming media, a PowerPoint presentation, music, etc. The image that the LCD projector display resolution is crisp and depending on the media and device used to transmit the signal can be 4k. Audio comes out of surround sound speakers that have the volume and clarity of an up scale movie theater. The media system will work even with older devices by means of an HDMI connection. A Comcast Cable box can be attached to the system and it is possible to project live TV programming.

There are three remotes, one to control the projector, one to control the amplifier and one to control the DVD player. All of these remotes can be replaced by apps installed on a Windows laptop, an iOS phone, an Android phone, and other mobile devices. The projector “mirrors” what is on the device’s screen. Mostly gone are visible physical connections. Most devices will communicate with the media system using the new wireless network LHPOA-Theater, a network dedicated to wireless transmission from devices to the projector.

The media system has three remotes, They can all be replaced by an app on a cell phone, iOS or Android.

After the media system is working in place, the Technology Committee collaborating with Dave Laughman will produce step-by-step instructions for the four most common uses of the media system. How to play streaming media, How to Show a PowerPoint Slide Presentation, How to Show a DVD (blue ray included), How to Show Xfinity TV programming. The task of simplifying a very complex system with dozens of variations is not a simple task.

The typical user will not see the many dozens of wires that make this media system work. However, “behind the walls”, there are numerous cables, wires and connections.

Having a state of the art, media system with 4k video and movie theater quality surround sound will greatly enhance the value of the Community Center. Renters will be able to make use of these hi tech amenities as well as clubs, presenters at town meetings and Board of Director/LHPOA management. The system should be in place and functioning within weeks.

The Optoma Projector can be operated with proprietary, free apps. To download and install these apps the user clicks on: https://www.optoma.com/hdcastpro

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