Case Study: University of Miami

Revolutionizing University of Miami's Audio Video Landscape: An Inside Look

Whenever Miami is mentioned, sun-splashed visions of South Beach along Ocean Drive leap to mind, with its sherbet-shaded pastel Art Deco District buildings, deeply imbued in rich pigments of cadmium, cerulean, and phthalo, their hues hearkening back to the halcyon days of the mid-20s. The legendary collection of nearly 1,000 historic buildings is the highest concentration of Art Deco structures worldwide, continuing to retell their histories almost a century later. Their existence parallels the timeline of another historic metropolitan area landmark in Coral Gables, the University of Miami, seven miles southwest of South Beach.

1926, as stucco touches were being applied to future South Beach waterfront mainstays, the University of Miami opened its doors to the first enrollment class and a nascent freshman football team. Sans an official designation other than its affiliation with the school, the team tenaciously tallied a perfect 8-0 inaugural season, despite the first game being postponed nearly a month due to the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926. Devastating as the storm proved to be, it managed to provide the team with its official nickname. Also, the official school colors of orange, green, and white were selected at this time, symbolizing Florida orange trees. Orange represents the fruit, green the leaves, and white signifies the blossoms. The following season,1927, witnessed the team compete as a varsity entity, starting the first chapter in its continuing, storied history.

As the program’s centennial nears, a revamp to the team training facility was merited, including an expansive area intended to provide student-athlete football players, coaches, and staff an accommodating environment to decouple from the intense pressures to win at the NCAA Division 1 level. Just as working alongside one another is essential for team success, learning to reduce stress and balance life plays a vital part in shaping the lifelong personal success of these young men. The project was designed with critical elements for socializing as a team and for the capability to immerse in some activities individually. The timing coincided with last season’s official arrival of new head coach Mario Cristobal, marking the former Hurricane’s homecoming return since his playing days at the school and his first coaching role as a graduate assistant in 1998. 
Based in Miami and quarterbacked by Jesse Miller, Midtown Video was tasked with bringing the project over the goal line. High-profile, high-level projects are the norm for Midtown Video. The chess game began when it was decided Audio-Visual over Internet Protocol (AV-o-IP) would provide the best method for effective distribution of audio/video signaling. During the initial stages of the installation, Jesse was hampered, along with most in the A/V integration industry, by supply chain constraints. Upon learning that supply chain chicanes did not similarly plague Sioux Falls-based AVPro Edge and its unique, vertically integrated manufacturing capabilities, straightaway collaboration between the two companies enabled Midtown Video to handily beat the installation play clock and meet the project turnover date. 

The installation was not without specific challenges. Though AVPro Edge manufactures and pre-configures its network switches, optimizing performance compounded by the excessive demands of packetized AV-o-IP and not mere network data, the University of Miami IT department standardized an alternate switch brand across the campus whose use they preferred. Undaunted, AVPro Edge Tech Support, joined by Midtown Video and the university’s IT wizards, worked tirelessly to configure this aspect of the system to operate flawlessly. 

The massive video wall is the best way to keep tabs on conference rivals during a bye week. As many as four key games can be displayed simultaneously and delivered with the video precision the AVPro Edge reputation is known for. With the AVPro Edge MXnet AV-o-IP Ecosystem, a virtual matrix switcher is created for the networked video, enabling video content to be delivered effortlessly to any desired display location or to merge the video wall into a stadium-sized image to critically scrutinize next week’s opponent in a big way, albeit, surrounded by a rare hint of luxury. Some athletes may opt instead for a bit of “me time” and to stay keen with hand-eye skills by cocooning at one of the PlayStation 5 pods, going through future dreamed-of NFL game scenarios bruise-free. Yet others may elect to do reps in the state-of-the-art weight room, spiritedly motivated by the pseudo-crushing, crystal-clear sound waves of the Danley Sound Labs audio system that, almost by itself, makes blood move through the body. 

The almost business-like atmosphere of NCAA football makes impossible demands on student-athletes in nearly every human dimension. Providing an inviting environment to escape momentarily and decompress returns big rewards on Saturdays during the fall and, who knows, perhaps even on New Year’s Day. AVPro Edge and Midtown Video are proud of their synergism in making this facility a technical tour de force while creating a cutting-edge retreat from the all-consuming rigors that few outside college sports comprehend entirely.

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