Center to Converge Technology and Media

By COLLEEN HUBER

The new Convergence Center currently under construction promises sophisticated equipment for the students and staff of the University of Mary Washington.

However, the sophistication promised is more of a concept than anything definitive currently. Although, this is not to say that the technology planned for the center now is not sophisticated. However, according to Associate Provost John Morello, the plans for the building are quite advanced.

“The buildings technology is designed so that it is adaptable to the future,” said Morello. “It will be able to change with the new.”

The idea is that the Convergence Center will not be stuck with old technology, as the technology in the future will inevitably change, according to Morello.

The basement of the Convergence Center will offer many amenities for students and staff, including multimedia labs.

One of the labs will have Mac and PC workstations with software to enable students to create “high quality multimedia presentations,” according to the Sextant Group, Inc. Audiovisual System Descriptions pamphlet.

The Sextant Group, Inc. is a national independent technology-consulting firm.

The labs will also feature vocal recording booths, audio recording and microphones. Each of the labs will contain at least one 27-inch desktop flat-panel display, according to the pamphlet.

One of the labs will contain a blu-ray burner and player, DV/HDV tape decks and a dubbing station that will allow video and audio media to be converted to digital format, according to the pamphlet.

“The rooms will have everything that is necessary to do a high-quality project,” said Morello.

According to Morello, students will be able to access the rooms with their UMW ID card.

The Convergence Center will also have a recording studio that will allow students to record small video and audio productions, according to the pamphlet.

According to the Sextant Group, the window in the recording studio will allow the student in the control room to work with the students in the studio while minimizing audio transference.

The studio will include wireless microphones, multi-format digital recording devices and a control system with a 10-inch wireless touch panel among other amenities, according to the pamphlet. The room will also include a green and a white cyclorama that will allow students to put a background in their project.

The Convergence Center will provide a digital auditorium, which will contain three large screens, according to Morello. The room will have “highly flexible infrastructure including easily-configurable performance and studio lighting on a pipe grid system,” according to the pamphlet.

The digital auditorium will also provide video conferencing which will enable the user to stream events, ranging from news events and debates to sporting events, according to Morello.

A two-story media wall will expand from the second and third floors, according to Morello. The media wall will consist of separate flat panels that will come together to create one large screen.

The software that will be provided in the Convergence Center will be the necessary standard and modern audio-visual multimedia software , according to Morello.

“The software will be the program of choice at that moment,” said Morello.

The Convergence Center will offer advanced and sophisticated equipment to the students of UMW to enhance their learning and education experience. However, Morello emphasized that the amenities that will be available to students are subject to change because technology is constantly expanding and growing.

Freshman Victoria Moore is excited for what the new technology can bring to the Convergence Center.

“It’s good that they are going to bring modern technology to UMW so students have the opportunity to use it,” said Moore.

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