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From boardrooms to courtrooms.

The National Geographic Society in Washington--the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organization--needed conferencing technology to upgrade its 88-year-old executive boardroom. The room has 25-foot ceilings and hard surfaces, such as marble, wood, and plaster, causing significant problems with clarity and echo.

The society, which publishes the world-renowned magazine National Geographic, turned to Gentner Communications' AP800 and AP400 audioconferencing and APV200-IP videconferencing programs. "Acoustically, this room was a nightmare," says Noel Gregos of Metro Technical Services, which handled the installation. "Gentner's Audio Perfect equipment effectively eliminated the echo, which created a conferencing environment where every person in the room can hear and be heard clearly, no matter where they are located."

"Gentner's Audio Perfect products are extremely user-friendly," says Eddie Dornack, manager of presentations for National Geographic. "I was amazed with the total ease of installation. Despite their sophisticated capabilities, the AP400 and AP800 are basically plug and play products."

The AP400 and APV200-IP are also being used in 62 locations--courtrooms and detention centers--of the Montreal, Quebec, Canada's court system with the goal of eliminating all pre-trial transportation of prisoners while expediting the arraignment process.

"According to the courts, nothing could go wrong," says system integrator Harold Schneider, president of Inter-cite Video of Montreal. "Redundancies were essential, and the audio and video had to be top-notch so that the judge could see facial expressions and hear each spoken word with absolute clarity, both of which are critical in determining innocence or guilt.

"At first, the judicial system was dubious about the concept of arraignments by videoconference," he adds. "They just didn't think it would work. But after the initial demonstration, they did a 180 [degrees] turnaround." Gentner's equipment has been installed in 21 of the court system's 64 locations.

With arraignments via video-conferencing, more than a typical day's worth of cases can be completed in about two hours. The remote setting also eliminates concerns about having prisoners in the courtroom, which leads to a smoother arraignment process.

www.gentner.com Circle 255 for more information from Gentner Communications Corp.
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Title Annotation:Product Information
Author:Kelly, Sean
Publication:Communications News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2000
Words:339
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