Visionary Solutions Stands Sentinel at Nido de Aguilas International School
Serving more than 1,770 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students from more than 50 countries, the Nido de Aguilas International School is a highly respected liberal arts and college preparatory institution. An authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (USA), the private, nonprofit, co-educational day school has been educating the children of international businesspeople, diplomats, and other dignitaries, as well as local children seeking a U.S.-style, English-language education, since 1934.
Recently, the prestigious school added a new public address and emergency voice evacuation system, designed and installed by specialist AV integrator Novotic S.A., which brought more than 18 years of experience to the project. The school’s 160 rooms were outfitted with Community W series loudspeakers powered by 118 Visionary Solutions PNA-D2 Dante/AES67 networked power amplifiers. The Dante™ audio-over-IP network is managed by five Symetrix Prism 4×4 DSPs, each equipped with two xOUT 4 output expanders, and a Crestron CP3 control system. Visionary Solutions’ new Sentinel software provides proactive network AV monitoring with real-time alerting.
“The project was developed to replace an older emergency system,” recounts Novitic S.A. General Manager José Manuel Abarca Durán. “The school has different recorded emergency messages that will play over this system, depending on the emergency, such as earthquake, fire, terrorist attack, theft, and so on. The teachers also receive emergency response training.”
“This was one of our first Dante integrations,” Novitic S.A. Operations Manager Joaquín Galdames notes. “We needed a high-quality amplifier that was simple to connect and power, and the Visionary Solutions PNA-D2 is powered over Ethernet, which made it easy to deploy. We were very pleased with the PNA-D2′s audio quality, and we were pleasantly surprised by its power capacity. Often we used one PNA-D2 to power two rooms, although some amplifiers power one room.”
“The school had already installed a powerful networking infrastructure,” adds Abarca Durán. “Their IT department created a separate VLAN for the emergency system, and since they already have the network, all we had to do was connect and set up the Symetrix DSPs and Visionary Solutions amplifiers. That cut costs by 60% compared to other solutions they considered.”
With an emergency system, reliability is paramount. To ensure that the system is always active and ready to use, the Novotic team provided the school with Visionary Solutions Sentinel network AV monitoring software. “Visionary Solutions actually created the Sentinel software for this project,” explains Galdames. “Sentinel makes it simple to check and monitor the network and the amplifiers, which is important because we have so many devices. Now we have a window that shows us everything we need to see.”
Sentinel can provide Dante level and status monitoring with real-time audio level metering via HTML5 browsers and can provide real-time monitoring of Visionary Solutions Duet-series enterprise AV-over-IP devices. Alerts may be via browser, SNMP, or external API. Sentinel can be deployed entirely on premises, or in a hybrid cloud using a lightweight local gateway, and can be integrated into other enterprise-wide monitoring and control systems, making detailed Dante and AV-over-IP status available to existing solutions.
“The school could not afford to continuously test the system,” details Abarca Durán. “They needed some kind of feedback from every component to make sure all system components are active and running at all times. With Sentinel, they can see the connectivity is up all the time, and when there is a problem, they get notified. After a few tests, the emergency system has been working properly. The combination of Visionary Solutions PNA-D2 amplifiers and Sentinel software with Symetrix DSPs has worked so well at Nido de Aguilas International School that we are now offering this solution to other universities.”