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Vista Spyder X20 Helps Saves Lives and Train Surgeons at Barrow Neurological Institute

The Vista Spyder X20 0808 video processor is helping save lives and train surgeons in the TelePresence Conference Room at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Managing up to 18 sources, including feeds from cameras and monitoring equipment in the operating theaters, the Spyder is delivering images, interactivity and PowerPoint presentations onto screens and laptops for the benefit of tomorrow's surgeons. Moreover, with Cisco (Tandberg) codecs, participants from around the world can view the proceedings.

"About six years ago, the doctors saw a teleconference room and wanted something similar for a surgical teaching theater at the Barrow," said Gabriel Arnn, TelePresence Producer of Barrow's Eller TelePresence Conference Room. "The original design was very limited with low-resolution, low-brightness images and no picture-in-picture capabilities. We saw a need for high-definition images with as many sources on the screen as possible, in any scale or configuration, to optimize the visual content.

"Having looked at numerous products, nothing matched the Spyder demonstration. We have eight LCD monitors in portrait mode and the other products could not match the pixel-by-pixel palette we created. Spyder handled the rotation as well as the raster with ease. It was seamless, with no lag crossing from panel to panel; neither did it skip a beat as images passed from screen to screen.

"The conference room has a one-of-a-kind system anchored by the Spyder," Arnn continued. "We don't know of another system that is capable of packaging all the video together and sending it out on one stream. People come from all over the world to see the amazing care our doctors give at Barrow. We can send three separate codecs to remote locations, then render the composited image at our end, and send it anywhere as a single image."

Integrator Brent Stanphill of Level 3 Audio Visual configured eight 46-inch Samsung LCD screens in a half-moon curve. "The monitors have no bezel, just a very thin mullion, for an almost seamless image," he explained. "The Spyder is used as the palette to put up multiple images or one image, up to 4K resolution, across the monitors.

"We have two Toshiba medical-grade HD cameras butted together to create a panoramic view," continued Stanphill. "When the operating room is live, we can view it and the output from an endoscopic camera, giving the audience a comprehensive view of what is going on. We can also send an audio bridge and do an audio teleconference. We push the final output to one of three Cisco videoconferencing systems."

After evaluating several video processors, Stanphill is convinced Spyder is the best choice. "It's the only video processor capable of doing a true portrait video output," he added. "The doctors love it, and some of them have said they plan to revolutionize telemedicine using this system."

"Vista has also been very responsive on the service side," concluded Arnn. "They have gone above and beyond the call in helping us conceive, spec and support the project. They have definitely built a relationship with us, and I hope to work more with them. The Spyder is the most future-proof product I have ever seen."

About Barrow Neurological Institute

Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is an internationally renowned medical center that offers care for people from throughout the world with brain and spine diseases, disorders and injuries. U.S. News & World Report routinely lists St. Joseph's as one of the top 10 best hospitals in the nation for neurological and neurosurgical care.

About Vista Systems

Vista Systems was acquired by Christie, a global leader in visual solutions for business, entertainment and industry, to create a comprehensive source for image processing and projection solutions. The acquisition combines the power and flexibility of Vista's video switchers and real-time windowing and composition products with the power, performance and reliability of award-winning Christie projection systems. Vista Systems' switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at