University of Salford’s New MediaCityUK Development

Electrosonic Provides AV Technology for New Creative Space
Manchester, UK

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The University of Salford recently opened a new digital learning and research space at its MediaCityUK development in Salford Quays. This space features a flexible audio-visual system that can be customised and used in creative ways to educate and entertain students and visitors. The original technical design was prepared by The Centre for Virtual Environments at the University of Salford, and Electrosonic engineered and installed the complete system.

University of Salford MediaCityUK

MediaCityUK is home to over 1,500 students, and acts as a creative space to encourage innovation and collaboration between students and professionals. The new entrance area of the building is an elliptical space called the Egg, and it includes a uniquely configurable display wall, a formal presentation space and ten 40-inch interactive touch tables.

“The Egg is in many ways a shop window for the entire building to show off student and academic work and research”. Said Jon Corner, Director of MediaCityUK. “It also provides a space for outside organisations to gather and collaborate, and highlights the cutting edge technology we will be working with in the building”.

University of Salford MediaCityUK

The display wall is composed of 120 separate digital screens that can display 120 distinct images or one single large image at an ultra-high resolution of 9600x3840. Its discrete nature means the display area, location and configuration can be changed with the unique requirements of each project. For example, the video wall, initially installed as a 15x8 array, can be redeployed to achieve project-specific layouts, such as 12x10 or 20x6. It can also be used as an interactive medium by utilising three motion sensors attached to the wall.

The University required the display wall be free-standing on the raised floor and not require any structural fixings to the building, so Electrosonic enlisted Long & Co. of Dartford to provide structural engineering for the design and construction of a suitable support frame.

University of Salford MediaCityUK

Behind the video wall is an enclosed area used for presentations and meetings. With the exception of a large front projection screen that serves a DLP projector capable of displaying images from source devices in the control room, or from a local computer, the layout of this room is highly flexible and can be configured to the requirements of the occasion.

University of Salford MediaCityUK

The ten 40-inch interactive touch tables feature multi-touch infrared sensors, and offer games and web pages that inform users of the latest university news. The interactive software was produced by Stardotstar, a Manchester-based content producer.

A flexible audio system, capable of being relocated or augmented for different projects, is installed in both the Egg and the presentation space. In addition, three HSS powered directional loudspeakers are provided for the experiential area in front of the video wall.

University of Salford MediaCityUK

Equipped with the AV technology provided by Electrosonic, the Egg has the ability to transform, grow and hatch into a number of flexible presentation layouts and uses. Electrosonic continues to support the University with a two-year service contract, including preventative maintenance visits, an eight hour call out response time and telephone support.