An advanced multi-media campus installation in Frankfurt, Germany.

Frankfurt University is a lively, urban, and cosmopolitan university that provides an excellent atmosphere in which to research, study, think, and create. The university was founded in 1914 through private funding. Thus, the university owes its establishment to the link – which is characteristic for the city of Frankfurt – between dynamic research, the legacy of the Enlightenment, and the conscious commitment of the citizens of Frankfurt to the fundamentals of international trade and industry.

The newly designed Campi Westend and Riedberg Goethe-University in Frankfurt is regarded as one of the leading German colleges for research and teaching. The use of advanced media technology is ahead of its time. 

"We decided to use Dante because we didn´t want to face the restrictions associated with other digital networking solutions. Dante is a self-configuring system, so you don't have to assign an individual IP-address to every component involved. Latency in Dante is very small, and many channels can easily be transmitted between different buildings and different campus with no problems.  It’s truly is plug and play.” - Detlef Hartmann, Hartmann + mathias partnership

The Challenge

To design and implement a scalable, comprehensive Audio and Video solution that covers two campuses each with large number of buildings and rooms. The system must allow faculty and students access to a full range of media, including recording.

The campuses are located in Northwest Frankfurt. Each campus is equipped with a 10Gig fiber optic network backbone, which is used to carry everything from HDMI video to ordinary computer traffic. The number of audio channels required is very high, up to 96 for a single location on campus, and several hundred for the campus as a whole. Audio must be easily configured and changed to meet ongoing usage at the school.

Furthermore, this audio must be matrixed with Video distribution hardware and so requires a solution that gracefully handles a mix of digital and analog I/O.

The Solution

Analog and digital signals from the Crestron A/V matrix are fed to Peavey MediaMatrix NIONs equipped with Dante modules. Peavey XDAB is used to harness large groups of NIONs and provide the high audio channel counts required. Peavey CAB4n units with Dante provide analog I/O to which users can attach nearly source, while Dante-equipped Tannoy QFlex line array speakers are employed for high intelligibility lecture halls.

Dante’s use of IP network standards means that high channel counts are easily accommodated using a single Gigabit network segment, with no need to create VLANs to expand channel count. Dante’s flexible signal routing allows users to send audio where they need it without complex signal processing or the need to manage groups of audio signals.

Stefan Mathias of the Hartmann + Mathias Partnership remarks: “We are able to do Layer 3 routing easily and efficiently which we couldn’t do with other networking technologies. Dante’s compatibility with AVB standards promises a secure investment for the University’s future, which is one of the main reasons we decided to go with Dante”.Awards

2010 SINUS Systems Integration Award 

The 'Sinus – Systems Integration Award' honors planning, creativity and the implementation of those plans in solving complex problems. The Riedberg Campus was the first project in Germany to use Audinate’s Dante solution as the audio network.

Benefits and Savings

  • Complete compatibility with standard IP networks means less configuration
  • Very high channel counts without the need for additional VLANs
  • Insured against future technology changes with AVB and Gigabit compatibility
  • Highly scalable and ready for expansion as campuses grow and merge
  • Lower costs of cabling compared with analog systems