The University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Science attracts top engineering students and faculty from across the globe who come to the school to conduct high-impact original research in science and engineering. Upon graduation many go on to become leaders in a wide range of engineering disciplines and related fields.
When the university began expanding their distance learning programs it was critical that they selected a solution that provided students and faculty, of both the real and virtual classrooms, with a high-quality AV collaboration system with crystal clear audio capabilities. They turned to ClearOne, a leading global provider of audio and visual communications solutions, and their CONVERGE Pro 2 professional audio DSP platform and Ceiling Microphone Array.
“We’ve worked with the University at Buffalo and their distance learning program for a couple of years now,” explained Brian O’Leary, Account Executive at Veraview, the AV systems integrator that installed the ClearOne solution. “And when it comes to distance learning we knew they needed a high-quality collaboration and communication system, so going with ClearOne was an easy decision.”
Veraview has installed several ClearOne CONVERGE Pro 2 audio conferencing solutions at the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Science over the last two years, and for this most recent install O’Leary was tasked with outfitting two more rooms within their growing distance learning program.
The students that are accepted to the School of Engineering and Applied Science are met with a demanding curriculum that explore the tough challenges society and the environment face today.
In order to properly address these challenges on a more global scale, the school’s distance learning program has opened up students to more diverse teams to collaborate with and share research and findings. The right audio conferencing solution has been of critical importance to the program’s success.
“Within a distance learning environment, particularly one of this nature, high quality audio recording is essential,” O’Leary said in explaining why ClearOne was such an easy decision for this install. “No one wants a poor-quality audio recording. That just won’t fly. Students may tune out of the video part of the equation but the audio is central to a successful distance learning experience.”
Among the features the ClearOne CONVERGE PRO 2 offers that both O’Leary and the university find crucial for the distance learning program are the platform’s Acoustic Echo Cancellation on every microphone input and Noise Cancellation with Adaptive-Ambience.
The ClearOne Ceiling Microphone Array also brings crystal clear conferencing sound to the solution. Three wide-range microphones are mounted together into a single unit array, providing the rich sound of three individual unidirectional microphones while maintaining full 360-degree coverage.
O’Leary installed the ClearOne solutions in rooms measuring 20’ x 40’ (seating 30-40 students) and 20’ x 20’ (seating 20-25 students). He added that both students and staff are delighted with the performance of the solutions as they perform optimally in any size room.
The school’s recording software was easily integrated with the CONVERGE Pro 2, which O’Leary added was another important plus in the school’s decision to go with ClearOne, as this makes it easy for the students to access the lessons when completed.
As the distance learning trend continues to catch on at colleges across the country, O’Leary anticipates more installs of this nature in the future. “When it’s a distance learning install we always go with ClearOne,” he said. “It’s the brand name we lead with as we like to use a best-of-breed strategy for these kinds of solutions.”