The Problem

When the City of Milpitas came to PCD with a project to completely revamp the City Council chambers and adjoining rooms, we had to create and deploy an Audio Visual system that included microphones, cameras, video feed, digital projection, and speakers throughout the building. The Council chambers needed to be accessible via live audio and video feed, recorded via document camera, and also factor in a timer system for public speaking. Voting software was also a requirement.

PCD’s Approach

A City Council chambers is a place for the elected representatives to come together alongside the public for matters of policy, so it’s vital for it to be a space that encourages ease of communication. The audio system should work smoothly and allow for good quality of sound so that everyone in the area can hear the proceedings. Ideally, it’s also beneficial to have the proceedings televised throughout the building so that those who can’t be in the chambers itself can still observe. Additionally, with today’s technology, digitally recording for archival and streaming to cable TV local channel, or to a website and Facebook amongst other venues, is a driving demand.

PCD’s Solution

PCD incorporated a Crestron control system to automate the different rooms within the building, offering a central hub for control of the A/V system throughout the City Council chambers. We used Shure QLXD24/SM58-G50 microphones and Countryman B3W4 microphones for a clear audio signal reproduction set up through the main chamber and nine additional rooms to allow for conference room presentations throughout the facility. To ensure clear, intelligible sound from anywhere in the building, we installed Lab Gruppen C28:4 and E12:2 amplifiers with Bosch/Electrovoice EVID 3.2TV and EVID C4.2 speakers and a Peavey NION digital sound processor.

For visuals, we opted for Vaddio WallVIEW CCU HD-20 SDI high definition pan, tilt, zoom digital cameras and a Wolfvision VZ9 Plus 3 document camera. In the main chamber room, a Digital ProjectiondVision 30sx+ XL 8K lumen high definition projector and Da-lite 60″ x 96″ tab-tensioned screen make presenting information or images easy and accessible, with enough contrast to allow the viewers to see a high-quality high contrast image.

The Lobby was outfitted with a 70-inch Sharp LCD monitor and 55-inch Sony television in the pre-function room, both fed from the house video distribution feeds for observation. For proceedings, a DSAN Limitimer PRO-2000 public speaker timer system and DIS FL 6000 4A voting software was installed. To ensure accessibility for the hearing impaired, we incorporated a Sennheiser SP 230 assisted listening system, which utilizes infrared technology to keep the signal inside the room.

The Result

Our expertise in designing council chamber AV solutions has led us to work on numerous projects for government offices, including the Milpitas City Council Chambers. The complete system allows for excellent sound, video, and accessibility to information from anywhere in the Chambers and surrounding rooms. PCD ensures the hearings and policy proceedings, as well as public meetings, will be more efficient for all involved. When communication is clear, everyone benefits. This case study illustrates ingenuity and adaptability for a unique space that serves the public.


Karen Morgan Photography