We’d done some Satellite work for the Company at their premises in Castletown but they were moving to a new bespoke building in Douglas and were looking to upgrade their TV system in the new facility. As the new building would be a ‘blank canvas’ they wanted to know early on what cabling would be required so could be put in place prior to installation.
The initial requirement was to have 8 TV’s of the same type in a video wall set-up, which could view live news feeds via Satellite, FreeView and information from 3 PCs. The idea was that each TV could watch any of the different sources (satellite, freeview or PCs) either simultaneously or independently at any time.
We explained the implications of having several TVs of the same type in one location and the difficulty in controlling them individually with a standard remote control due to their close proximity to each other. Also there would be complications splitting the signals from each source device and the number of cables involved would be cumbersome. With this in mind we proposed a unique AV distribution system which could not only meet their needs but also offer easy control and management of the system. The system is powered by manufacturer Smart-e, a leader in AV distribution and switching equipment. Along with this we suggested using Commercial grade TVs as they were to be on for long periods of time, so domestic TVs would not really be appropriate. As discussions went further the plans altered slightly with the TV layout changing from a video wall to being situated around a pillar so maximum staff could view them. This added in new complications as they could no longer be wall mounted so we suggested using ceiling pole mounts to hang the TVs from. During the project we had several meeting with the Project Manager, Electrical Contractor and the companies own IT staff to discuss our plans and make sure the correct cabling was put in place.
The end result not only met the clients’ expectations but far exceeded them. We fitted a 16 input x 16 output Smart-e AV Matrix, which would allow for multiple video sources (satellite receivers / PCs, DVDs etc) to multiple TVs, this ended up not just being the 8 TVs originally discussed but due to the flexibility of the system we could add in more TV’s easily over the buil
dings CAT5e cabling infrastructure. We could also easily add in more source inputs, but not only that the entire system was easily controlled via a PC using the Smart-IP software. This includes not just changing the input on the TVs but turning them on / off, adjusting volume, c
ontrolling individual TVs or all at once. With the Smart-e system we could also set-up schedules so all TVs automatically turned on when the office opened and off when they closed every day, therefore eliminating the need for a member of staff to remember to do this. With this system at no point does anyone need to physically touch the TV or a TV remote, everything is controlled by the software, which can be on several PCs for easy access.
All the source equipment is neatly hidden out of the way in the Comms room and additional satellite receivers can be added in easily if required due to the Communal style system we fitted. This also applies to the PCs as there is spare capacity in the Smart-e matrix to add further devices in which will then automatically send the pictures to the TVs without the need for further cabling.