The Hopkins County Courthouse
Hopkins County Courthouse, in Sulphur Springs, TX, was constructed in 1894. It was built with no clock in the tower because, as one of the county fathers said, "If you get up when the sun rises and go to bed when it sets, you don't need a clock." A historical landmark, the courthouse was restored in 2003 and still accommodates county administrative offices, as well as a courtroom.
In an effort to bring the courthouse's functionality up to speed, Mission Service Supply, based in West Monroe, LA, was contracted to install an AV system. The objective was to incorporate various multimedia devices into the courtroom, while maintaining the integrity of the beautiful old building. Courthouse personnel needed the ability to show videos, computer graphics, and charts from different locations within the courtroom. They also needed to be able to isolate presentations of content to particular persons in a hearing or trial. For example, the judge may need to review a video before he allows the rest of the court to see it, or there may be a picture that only a witness is supposed to view.
"The system is very easy to operate," said Brent Gay, presentation system specialist with Mission Service. "Either by the judge or whomever is in control of the floor."
As the courthouse was not built to house sophisticated electronic equipment of any kind, space was a premium. After consulting with Extron specialists, Gay decided that Extron's Skew-Free™ AV UTP cable was the best choice for distributing high resolution signals through the building's small conduit pathways. The addition of an Extron TPX 88 A twisted pair matrix switcher saved valuable rack space as well.
"Using the TPX 88 A also saved the customer money by not having to change the signal back and forth," Gay added.
The Extron TP T 15HD AV twisted pair computer-video and audio transmitter and TP R 15HD A twisted pair RGBHV video and audio receiver were selected for sending audio, as well as video, so if any content needs to be reviewed privately, they can hear the sound that accompanies the video. An Extron DVS 204 four input digital video scaler was also installed so video from the VCR/DVD player could be scaled and viewed on the 17-inch flat screen monitors placed at pivotal points within the courtroom.
Considering the delicate nature of such an undertaking, Mission Service encountered few problems retrofitting the AV system into Hopkins County Courthouse.
"Historic renovations take a long time," said Gay. "But the on-site install time for the AV equipment was quick, about one week."