In 2017, FLMB kicked off a major initiative to update and upgrade the AV systems in all bankruptcy courtrooms across Florida. It already had a Kramer-based system in place for teleconferencing, video conferencing, presenting evidence and exhibits, and recording hearings. However, the system was mostly analog, and much of the equipment was old, dating back seven years or more. FLMB wanted to upgrade its AV systems to support higher-resolution video, improve the scaling and quality to better support BYOD, and enable easy operation by court deputies, who operate the AV system during hearings.
FLMB also wanted to minimize maintenance and troubleshooting, as the two-person AV team based in Orlando is responsible for all three court locations across the state.
The AV project consisted of updating 10 courtrooms in total, four in Orlando, and three in Tampa and Jacksonville respectively.
Once COVID-19 hit, the court needed to quickly adapt to remote hearings and operations.
Noel Rodriguez, the AV Specialist at FLMB, had enjoyed excellent experiences with Kramer equipment since 2001, including in his previous job in the District Court of Puerto Rico, so Kramer was his first choice for the new project at FLMB. According to Noel, Kramer checks all the boxes: quality, durability, reliability, and customer service. His view: “Kramer service has always been amazing. The math is simple; why buy something that might be reliable, but when it breaks down, you don’t have the customer service for it.”
Once Noel had specified the equipment requirements, a public tender was issued, and a supplier was chosen.
For all three locations, the same design and equipment were procured in a copy-paste manner, for simplicity’s sake. Each courtroom has three cameras – one each for the judge and witness, one at the lawyer’s lectern – and the Tampa courtrooms each have an additional lectern camera. At each courthouse, the installation included pairs of TP−580T high−performance, long−reach HDBaseT transmitters, and TP−580R receivers, PT−571 twisted pair transmitters for HDMI signals with PT-572+ receivers, a VS-88H2 Matrix switcher, VP−424C digital scaler, a VM−4HN distribution amplifier for 4K UHD HDMI signals, and an FC-46XL HDMI audio de-embedder.
Noel and his small team handled the AV system design and all installations. The AV system runs through the IT DC network, secured with IP protocols and passwords.
Jacksonville was the first project, completed in 2018, as its system was the oldest and was reliant on analog technologies. In 2019, the team moved on to Tampa, using the same AV design. The final phase of the project was the Orlando location, whose final courtroom was completed in July 2022.