New audiovisual system installed at Tyndale

Monday, September 14, 2015

When walking into a cathedral-like setting, most people would expect, along with the usual high ceiling and stained glass windows, an echoing chamber with outdated technology. Not so with the Tyndale Chapel at Tyndale University College & Seminary’s new campus on Bayview Avenue. The chapel, built in the late 1950s, has excellent acoustics. The walls and ceiling were built specifically to reduce echoing, and with newly installed sound systems, the chapel is equipped for modern worship services, classes, conferences and more.

Rainer Halonen, our audiovisual technician, is the brains behind the audiovisual system at the new campus. When researching possible systems for the chapel, Rainer and his team were careful to preserve the aesthetic of the chapel. They needed to install a screen, a projector and speakers without taking away from the beautiful space. After hours of research, they came up with a clever solution. Rainer took special care to add features that would enhance the versatility of the space, while matching their surroundings. The screen now sits in a carefully camouflaged wooden box at the front of the chapel that looks exactly like the marble. When needed, the screen rises from the box. The projector is also hidden from view. It sits in the 400 level balcony at the back and projects a crystal-clear image across 40 metres. “In the Chapel, we don’t want to do anything half-right. We’ve tried to do it right the first time.”

Rainer and his team have also been busy updating the audiovisual system in the rest of the school building. After receiving increasing requests for better classroom control systems and remote teaching capabilities, Rainer installed Q-SYS, a QSC audio system. Every classroom is connected through Q-SYS, which includes microphones, cameras, paging systems, computers and interactive projectors. With this technology, Rainer is able to record up to eight sessions simultaneously, broadcast whole classes to offsite professors or students, and monitor the status of projectors, all from his iPad. It is an impressive system, and one that he hopes will support professors as they teach. “We’ve tried to add some interactive capabilities to all [classrooms],” he says.

Another feature that saves time for professors and students is the card readers at the front of each classroom. These tiny computers allow students to sign in automatically with their student cards. “Anything that we do in classrooms that makes it better for the professors to teach will also help students. If the professors aren’t frustrated while fighting technology, they can focus on teaching. I’ve tried to create something that is easy to use.” Rainer is excited to see how students and faculty use the new tools the campus provides. “It allows us to expand what we offer to students.” 


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