Wake Tech Creates Multipurpose Presentation Spaces with Extron AV Switching, Distribution & Control Products

Reliability, cost, and ease of use have driven the decision for Wake Tech to select Extron as our vendor. Most of our campuses are outfitted with Extron in our academic spaces and conference rooms. The hardware can easily be maintained by our team. Additionally, the support from Extron is top notch.

Joshua Cruz
IT Analyst II
Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech) in Raleigh, North Carolina, serves approximately 70,000 students. At the college’s 127-acre Scott Northern Wake Campus, they recently completed full renovation of a large space to create a versatile high-tech lecture hall contiguous with a sunlit atrium. The 4,600 square foot lecture hall includes a stage facing an audience of 275. The 2,500 square foot Atrium seats up to 95 people at tables that accommodate work or dining. The lecture hall hosts presentations, plays, singing competitions, local television broadcasts, and more. The atrium is used as a prefunction area, as an overflow space for events in the lecture hall, and as a standalone venue to host college and community events.

Wake Tech’s IT/AV staff worked with pro AV integrator Inter Technologies Corporation to design and install the AV systems. Extron was selected to provide AV switching, distribution, and control products for the project.


Wake Tech's Joshua Cruz, End User Support Analyst II, developed the statement of work for an AV system that would meet the needs of presenters, performers, and audiences who would be using the renovated lecture hall and atrium. Detailed design, installation, programming, and commissioning was performed by an Inter Technologies team led by Audio Visual Project Manager Clinton Wimberly. The AV design is fairly complex compared to Wake Tech’s typical classrooms. In addition to the Extron equipment, the stage lighting, house lighting, and sound systems all need to be controlled.


Most Wake Tech academic and conference spaces are outfitted with Extron AV switching and control, and that is the case for this venue as well. An 8x6 DTP® CrossPoint® 4K presentation matrix switcher services the lecture hall and atrium. It allows a variety of AV content sources to be shown on the lecture hall’s main on-stage projection screen via a ceiling-mounted laser projector, on a 65" flat panel display at the lecture hall entry, and on three 77" OLED flat panel displays in the atrium.

AV content can come from the on-stage lectern, from the lecture hall control booth, from an HDMI wallplate in the atrium, or from stage-facing and audience-facing tracking PTZ cameras in the lecture hall.

IN1808 Presentation Switcher Selects and Scales AV Content Sourced from the Lectern

The lectern is located on the lecture hall stage. An IN1808 contained in the lectern determines which AV content originating from the lectern is supplied to the DTP CrossPoint switcher in the main AV equipment rack. It also performs any video scaling that may be required and uses its DTP twisted pair output to send the selected AV signals over the extended distance to the main AV equipment rack via shielded CATx cable. AV sources available at the lectern include a document camera, content from the lectern PC, and images from the lecture hall PTZ cameras. Other inputs handled by the IN1808 are USB, DisplayPort, and HDMI feeds from guest devices that plug-in via active cables that convert these inputs to HDMI before application to the IN1808. Also feeding into the IN1808 is the lectern’s ShareLink® Pro presentation gateway that allows wireless sharing of content from portable devices via Wi-Fi. Presenters at the lectern control source selection, volume, and other AV system functions using a TLP 725T TouchLink® Pro touchpanel.

Control Booth is the Control Center for Theatrical Performances

For theatrical and musical performances demanding high production values for sound, lighting, and audiovisual support, there is a concert-caliber control booth run by seasoned directors and technicians. Positioned mid-house, the control booth is equipped with a live production audio mixing console, a lighting control console for stage and house lighting, and an AV system control station.

Audio Mixing: Wireless mic receivers installed in the control booth connect the audio mixing console to a multitude of wireless gooseneck, handheld, and lavalier mics located at the lectern, at the control booth, and on stage. This is in addition to wired mics and other line audio sources that can be connected at three floor boxes at stage-left, -center, and -right. Up to five mics can be used without going through the mixing console.

Booth Operator Station: The control booth AV control station has a 10" TouchLink Pro Touchpanel from which a technician can control all AV system functions. The AV system control station also includes a house desktop PC and a port for connection of a guest laptop PC. Both PCs can provide program inputs to the AV system, augmenting the array of other program sources that can be displayed on the lecture hall and atrium screens. The HDMI ports of the two PCs connect to the DTP CrossPoint switcher in the main AV rack through a pair of HC 404 meeting space collaboration systems that provide AV signal extension up to 230 feet over shielded CATx cable.

AV System Control

AV system control is handled by an IPCP Pro 350 control processor located in the main AV equipment rack. It communicates over the building Ethernet network with all AV system devices and TouchLink Pro touchpanels at the lectern and the control booth. The control processor also includes relays that control raising and lowering the projector scissor lift and the projection screen. The Extron Control App mirrors AV control touchpanel screens to an iPad wirelessly, allowing event organizers to control AV system functions while roaming anywhere in the venue.

The touchpanel user interface is straightforward and intuitive. The touchpanel screens seen by users at the lectern are simplified versions of the screens available to technicians in the control booth, allowing presenters to start lecturing immediately without the need for extensive AV system setup. The control booth touchpanel screens provide added capability to meet the requirements of theatrical productions and for setting up multiple feeds to multiple displays in the lecture hall and the atrium.


The lecture hall and atrium play a key role in Wake Tech’s fine arts degree program. It serves as the venue for a variety of dance, musical, and drama performances by students and visiting artists. For example, local television station WRAL produces the "Brain Game" academic competition show from the lecture hall. To view a short video clip showing Brain Game show highlights, click on the Featured Video link in this article's sidebar at right. Wake Tech rents the facility to community groups and corporations for educational events, conferences, workshops, training sessions, and meetings.

Joshua Cruz and his supervisor, Jennifer Unitis, Manager of Academic Computing, report that they’ve received positive user feedback about the facility’s AV amenities. Event coordinators find the ability to seamlessly link audiovisual sources and screens between the atrium and the lecture hall especially useful to accommodate overflow crowds and for using the atrium as a “backstage” area. Event coordinators, once trained in AV system operation, handle most functions without technical assistance.

Cruz says that the AV system installation went well, with no surprises. From the time the Inter Technologies installation team arrived on site to the point where the venue was commissioned took approximately four weeks. Explaining why Extron was chosen to supply the AV switching, distribution, control, and collaboration products, Cruz and Unitis state that, “Reliability, cost, and ease of use have driven the decision for Wake Tech to select Extron as our preferred vendor. Most of our campuses are outfitted with Extron in our academic spaces and conference rooms. The hardware can easily be maintained by our team because they have received training and certification from Extron, and they are thoroughly familiar with the gear because they work with it every day. Additionally, the support from Extron is top notch.”

Featured Extron Products

Model Description
DTP CrossPoint 86 4K 8x6 Seamless 4K Scaling Presentation Matrix Switcher
IN1808 Eight Input 4K/60 Seamless Presentation Switcher
DTP HDMI 4K 330 Tx Long Distance DTP Transmitter for HDMI
DTP HDMI 4K 330 Rx Long Distance DTP Receiver for HDMI
SW4 12G HD-SDI Four Input 12G-SDI Switcher
IPCP Pro 350 IP Link Pro Control Processor
TLP Pro 1025T 10" Tabletop TouchLink Pro Touchpanel
TLP Pro 725T 7" Tabletop TouchLink Pro Touchpanel
Extron Control App Control App for TouchLink, eBUS, Network Button Panels, and MediaLink
HC 404 Meeting Space Collaboration System
ShareLink Pro 500 Wired and Wireless Presentation Gateway
Video courtesy of WRAL-TV/Capitol Broadcasting Company