Founded in 1850, Bradfield College in rural Berkshire is one of the country’s leading independent co-educational schools and welcomes over 800 pupils from the UK and overseas. In addition to academic excellence, its alumni enjoy a range of co-curricular activities including sports, theater, music and CCF, among others, all essential parts to helping Bradfieldians become well-rounded people.
In December 2021 the College joined forces with nearby St Andrew’s Preparatory School to form The Bradfield Group, a partnership that offers opportunities to share strategic thinking and developments in teaching and learning, to enhance curriculum and development. professional, for the improvement and better use of facilities and to achieve cost efficiencies through economies of scale.
Bradfield is an established customer of Autograph’s, having previously taken delivery of a full suite of professional audio equipment to facilitate events, concerts, musical theater productions, plays, lectures and presentations from their own resources. On this occasion, Autographs were invited to advise the College on how to extend the use of their Music Hall by installing a large screen that could be used for various activities. Although the venue is a central part of the Music Department, its capacity makes it ideal for many other uses including assemblies, parenting nights, introductions to prospective parents, and even for hiring ex-outside clients.
The design process began following a site visit during the first COVID block, after which Autograph undertook extensive preliminary design work, was subsequently appointed AV’s main contractor – this first work then proved invaluable for the main contractor who has been in close contact with Autograph the entire time. The result is a stunning 3.66m wide by 2m high multi-application LED screen that sits flush with the interior wall and is almost invisible when not in use.
Adam Broom of Autograph was the project manager and comments: “The College wanted a very large, high-resolution screen in the Music Hall that could handle numerous applications and help extend the usefulness of the space. Its appearance and performance also had to meet their core quality ethics and be suitable for a leading independent school. “
“Due to the strong ambient light and the required image quality, we soon discarded the concept of projector and screen. Next we chose an Absen A2719 video wall, a modular design consisting of 36 individual panels but which looks like a single screen. Even in strong ambient light, the superior contrast ratio means it’s always perfectly visible – we’ve gone through a long process of determining the correct pixel pitch relative to the distance between the closest and farthest viewers, and the resolution remains perfect no matter where. there you find the room. It also looks much cleaner and tidier than a ceiling-mounted projector and detachable screen.
The room is also equipped with a speaker stand, equipped with a customized touchscreen that allows presets to be recalled with a single touch via the central control processor, a QSC Q-SYS Core 8 Flex that manages all the audio and video processing. The music rest also features a built-in microphone and video inputs so that various visual media sources can be easily connected.
A dedicated sound system was also installed to complement the new screen, with a pair of d & b audiotechnik 12S speakers driven by a single d & b 10D DSP amplifier, plus a complete Shure SLXD digital wireless microphone setup.
Bradfield’s IT Project Manager was Paul Lock and comments: “Working with Autograph on this exciting opportunity has been a great privilege, Adam and the team have been extremely easy to work with and have provided us with considerable expertise and experience in this area. The final solution was delivered exactly as planned and to the highest standards ”.
Adam concludes: “The project really highlights the importance of getting involved as AV contractors at an early stage. This allows us to start working closely with construction contractors during the initial design phase, which really streamlines the whole process and ultimately also helps keep costs down. Both we and the builders knew exactly what the final result had to be, the projects were signed and in hand well before the work began and the close collaboration allowed us to deliver together exactly what the school wanted. “
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Bradfield College extends autographed AV facilities
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