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Conference Center Connects with QSC Q-Sys Integrated System Platform, Part 1

Jan 9, 2013 12:38 PM, With Bennett Liles

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The QSC PL340 amplifiers installed by CSI for the ballrooms

The QSC PL340 amplifiers installed by CSI for the ballrooms

You’ve got the core and the amps; it seems pretty close together. What’s the cable run like between those?

The core itself connects to its I/O frames. We have 15 of those. That connection is digital, so where the I/O frames are located, the longest analog run we have to an amplifier is 10ft., everything is digital to that point, so the inputs from the microphones and the outputs to amplifiers happen remotely to the core itself. [Timestamp: 6:19]

OK, so your long cable runs are then from the amps to the speakers?

The real nightmare cable runs. We’ve got almost 200ft. of five wire. Now we’re using a really, really big cable about the size of your cable antenna cable and five of those, but even at that, trying to run a high-definition analog signal that far is a nightmare and its going through a switch first. In every room there is an upscaler for the video, which upscales the video to HD and analog and then sends it through out to the switchers, which then send it back to the same room. So if you’re watching a video in the farthest conference room, you have the signals of both audio and video traveling 150ft. to 200ft. one way and 150ft. to 200ft. back. [Timestamp: 7:05]

OK so as far as the users are concerned, when they’re in the conference rooms out there, what do they see as far as what they’ve got for AV facilities in the rooms?

Well, every room has a minimum of this upscaler and a mono audio line, a line level inputs, VGA computer inputs. For our outputs, we’ve got five wire RGBHV video, bi-directional Cat-6 analog phone, fiber interconnects between the two data rooms with 24GB throughput. We had to split up our system into two systems, so there are two data rooms and two different video switches. The thing about the Q-Sys is it can handle all of this without all of this machination. You just stick the core in there and you run Cat-6 to your I/O frame; the I/O frame has GP I/O outputs. It’s analog and digital outputs, and you configure that frame with four cards; each card having basically two channels or four channels and two amplifiers. So all of your input and output happens there locally. Basically what it becomes is to the user is it’s a sealed system. He sees none of this. [Timestamp: 8:16]

I read that you’ve got some Earthworks microphones in the ballrooms for monitoring the acoustical situation in there.

Yeah, one of the other things that Q-Sys can do, which not many other systems have ever been able to do, is it has the ability to analyze an incoming signal, compare it to its outgoing signal, and make adjustments. So they wrote a special program for us to do EQ as well, so we have 16 listening microphones throughout the building and if the promoter wants it to be automatic, we can EQ the room empty, set the volume levels with the room empty, and then as people come in with coats and mass and noise [and] the sound floor goes up [and] the absorption goes up, the EQ balances itself and so does the volume level. [Timestamp: 9:00]

That’s great to be able to adapt it that well, sort of on the fly because they have so many different things going in there you can never be sure what sort of acoustic environment you’re going to be dealing with.

Right or technical requirements, I mean we had in the first week we had a doctor’s convention and they had to be able to not only communicate while they were there, [but also] a couple of them performed robotic surgery from the conference using our lines and equipment. [Timestamp: 9:27]


It’s just amazing.

I also saw that the system automatically combines the rooms when the air walls are opened. Do you have sensors triggering that or is that part of a manual control sequence?

We have an infrared sensor and it tells the lighting system and the audio system when the combining walls are open or closed. When they’re open all inputs in the room become that room’s inputs. The speakers they’re all matched. The videos all matched and then when the room closes they divide and the systems divide. [Timestamp: 10:01]

That’s really something. I’d really like to see how that works. That’s almost like it’s got a mind of its own.

Between that and the ability to control it completely remotely it makes it absolutely hands off for the staff and one of the big things about hospitality staff is they may know how to count chairs, but they don’t really know much about audio/video and so most of the time you have to hire another company to come in and run the show. Well, you don’t have to with this trade and conference center. It’s smart enough that it will do it by itself. [Timestamp: 10:33]

Well, it’s a fantastic system and in part two we’re going to get more into that. Thanks for being here Rick and for taking time to explain how the whole system works at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center. In part two we’ll get more into the Core 4000 and how you use the amps and integrate those with the emergency system in the facility and some other things but thanks for being here for this one.

Well, thank you very much for your time. I enjoyed it.

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