3 October 2022
Architectural and technological wonder | Padova Congress
Architectural and technological wonder
The masterful use of light, the choice of natural materials and the opening to the outside world through glass surfaces: the Padova Congress designed by Kengo Kuma is unquestionably an international icon in the congress sector and a boast for our country. If the building on an architectural level demonstrates an approach strongly oriented towards the relationship between man and nature, inside it the most advanced functionality reigns, creating a new paradigm in the relationship between man and technology.
Inaugurated on 7 April 2022, the new congress centre is located within the Padua exhibition centre, accessible by all means of transport and surrounded by accommodation facilities, an optimal condition for the large public that it is capable of accommodating with events of international calibre.
Inside, the largest hall, entitled “Sala Giotto”, has 1,565 seats and is equipped with Europe’s most advanced multimedia station for congresses; this is joined by the “Sala Mantegna” with 988 seats, five multifunctional rooms with a total capacity of 750 seats, a press room, a restaurant with terrace and a bistro.
The two main halls, Giotto and Mantegna, are arranged to be divided into three rooms each: the modularity allows events of different sizes to be hosted for a total of six simultaneous sessions. A further peculiarity of the Giotto room, which demonstrates how everything has been taken care of down to the smallest detail, is that the seating in the parterre can be removed to create a large open space of over 700 m2 for galas, road shows, exhibitions and other types of events.
The project updated with the latest technology
In order to keep up with the technological evolution and take advantage of the latest possibilities offered by the professional hi-tech sector, the AV technology was radically updated compared to the initial project: the two cornerstones of this revision, led by designer Stefano De Troia, were the large LEDwalls placed on the main stages, in place of the traditional projectors, and the transmission of AV streams entirely over IP, replacing the traditional matrixes.
4K audio and video distribution entirely over IP
Video contributions, thanks to the flexibility of networked distribution, are available at different points of the stages, both in the main and split halls, via cockpits that can serve both speaker tables and podiums for presentations and conferences. The ability to handle inputs with resolutions up to 4K/UHD and AES67 compatibility for networked audio interoperability make the management of AV sources efficient, freeing the project from the routing constraints imposed by audio/video arrays and allowing the signal distribution infrastructure to be modified and expanded at any time.
The audio system over IP is managed with the Dante protocol, thus compatible with the AES67 of the AMX encoders and decoders, and also manages the simultaneous translation system for the distribution of languages in the auditorium, a fundamental element in a congress-type installation.
As far as public viewing is concerned, the main ledwall in the Giotto room is the largest in Europe for this type of application, measuring 15.36m x 8.64m with native 4K resolution, and merges with the two 4.8m x 2.7m ledwalls below. The return screens, which become the main display devices when using the large rooms in split mode, consist of motorised screens and high-brightness projectors.
Performance and flexibility with AMX Encoders and Decoders
The distribution of signals over the network and integrated control are entrusted to AMX systems, both at the processing level (Netlinx controller) and with regard to encoders and decoders (AMX SVSI 2400 series) in standard 4K with JPEG2000 compression algorithm and AES67 compatibility), already chosen by the designer and successfully used in other applications at an international level.
AMX Series 2400 encoders and decoders are characterised by a latency of just a few milliseconds (virtual zero, practically imperceptible) and are equipped with scalers and advanced features for both video and audio management. The dual network ports allow them to be used for both copper and fibre-optic connections, thus placing no limits on distance and signal quality, while the USB port allows KVM functions – Keyboard Video Mouse – for remote PC control. The PoE+ power supply and seamless native integration with AMX control systems (via API with third-party systems) ensure the quality of the audio/video infrastructure in the network, satisfying both the user’s need for simplicity and the more sophisticated requirements of director controls.
Multi-window layouts with AMX Windowing Over-IP processors
The management of multiple video sources on the same screen makes it possible to create visualisation layouts with a visual impact and information density unattainable with a single full-screen source. If a network device handles this process, then the effectiveness of the layouts is complemented by the availability of video processing in any environment using very few devices serving the entire building network.
The AMX Windowing Processor is a network appliance that handles the audio/video streams from encoders and composes them in real time into a new stream ready to be displayed by any AMX decoder: customisable background, window size and format, crop/zoom functionality and the ability to change predefined layouts “live” generate true video processing available to anyone with a simple touch on a touch panel.
The TeamMate mobile multimedia podium
Finally, the mobile podium in the Giotto room deserves a significant mention. It is equipped with all the multimedia technologies for making presentations and conferences, either using the room’s video sources or autonomously with one’s own portable device. TeamMate’s VariHite Lectern podium is in fact a stand-alone device with a rack integrated into the structure, housing connectivity, Wolfvision visualiser, monitor and control panel. The ability to electronically adjust the height ensures that the podium can be freely used by anyone while maintaining the optimum level of comfort when using the audio-video system.
Designer Stefano De Troia, founder of De.Re.Com, comments enthusiastically:
“The aspect I most appreciate about this project is that it can respond to virtually any request from customers in the conference sector, combining ease of use, functionality, quality, flexibility and scalability. There is not much to invent in this field, but I believe that having an entire congress centre with Over IP signal routing is unique in Italy”.
Roberto Tramarin, Senior Sales Director of Mosaico Group, confirms:
“The AMX integrated control and audio/video distribution system runs entirely on a dedicated fibre network with Cisco switches. In summary, the result is a state-of-the-art system architecture, open to any future implementation”.
– Netlinx NX-2200 Integrated Controller: Programmable network device specifically designed to control AV and building technology using various analogue and digital formats.
– N2400 Series Encoder and Decoder: 4K60 4:4:4 encoder and decoder, JPEG2000, LAN networking, Audio AES67, integrated scaler, crop/zoom, video wall management.
– N2400 Series Video Windowing Processor: 4K60 4:4:4, simultaneous real-time management of multiple 4K60 4:4:4 streams via network connection, customisable layouts with transition effects.
– APPC-10X: Android Panel PC with 10.1″ touch display. Equipped with Android 9 (or optional Linux). This device can be connected via RJ45 LAN, WiFi, Bluetooth and contains a standard option to schedule reboot or shutdown.
– FUNDVHLECT4U: Stand-alone electric lectern adjustable in height (735mm to 1050mm high). Mobile device with lockable castors, 4U 19″ rack, monitor arm, audio/video connectivity, persoanable work surface.
– Desktop Visualizer VZ-8neo: Document Camera equipped with 1/2.8″ CMOS sensor, Native sensor pixels: 3840×2160, Native video resolution: 2160p UHD 60 fps (3840×2160), YUV420. High image zoom capability, integrated lighting, writable surface, image archiving, live streaming, UVC driver for video conferencing.
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