We wanted to offer an experience that was as close as possible to physically being in class, and with Sony we have achieved that.
Luis Francisco Blanco,
Comillas Pontifical University
Based in Madrid, Comillas Pontifical University offers teaching in 120 subjects to more than 15,000 students.
The global coronavirus pandemic demanded a rethink of traditional lecture-based teaching, explains Luis Francisco Blanco, CIO of Comillas Pontifical University: “Following the COVID 19 crisis and seeing that we would need to continue teaching students from home, we started to plan possible future scenarios back in May. We got in touch with various providers who could offer solutions to meet our needs. When we saw the possibilities offered by Sony we didn’t think twice.”
While some classes were already being streamed online, the sudden change in circumstances meant that all face-to-face learning had to become virtual. To offer the same quality of learning experience for students on campus and for those participating from home, the university embarked on a major upgrade of its AV systems.
A primary requirement was cameras and microphones that offered the closest experience possible to being physically present in class. “We wanted cameras with a wide zoom range that allowed a view of the entire class, as well as more focused shots with easy preset adjustments using the remote control,” says Luis. “We wanted it to be simple for lecturers, while also making the student experience as similar as possible to being in the classroom.”
Comillas University thus decided to equip its 228 classrooms with Sony SRG remote cameras and MAS-A100 Beamforming Microphones, ready for “bimodal” teaching.
Capturing crisp Full HD images, the SRG cameras allow lecturers to easily adjust zoom and other settings via a remote control. Ceiling-mounted MAS-A100 Beamforming Microphones capture the voices of lecturers and students in the room without requiring direct physical contact, avoiding potential infection risks. The microphones also feature powerful digital signal processing (DSP) with unique algorithms that extract clear speech while suppressing unwanted feedback and noise.
“At Sony, we work closely with our customers to understand their needs and provide them with the most suitable solutions,” says Maxime Lemoine, Segment & Trade Marketing Manager at Sony. “With Comillas University, we wanted to give students and lecturers the best possible experience, both in class and in their assessments.”
Since September 2020 the university has delivered on average more than 900 hours of classes to over 6,000 students a day using the new system. “We wanted to offer an experience that was as close as possible to physically being in class,” says Luis; “With Sony, we have achieved that.”