The Buzz: Installation Spotlight: Doubletree Hotel Denver
Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Dan Daley
The Doubletree Hotel Denver wanted to take its public areas retro-modern, adding the kind of low-slung red leather couches that you would see in the edgier homes on the '60s-themed TV series Mad Men. To keep the emphasis on the décor, but still keep these areas firmly footed in the 21st century, the new round of audio and video had to seen and heard, but not obviously so.
“The management did not want to have any speakers visible at all,” says Shawn Hansson, president of Logic Integration in Englewood, Colo., the systems integrator on the project. All loudspeakers — there are well more than 80 of them — would have to be ceiling-mounted or camouflaged, such as eight Niles Audio RS6 rock-shaped outdoor loudspeakers. Even some of the four 42in. LG Electronics RU-42PX10C flatscreen displays are on stalks in large lobby-area planters, as though they were put there by arborists rather than integrators. The other main challenge was the fact that the hotel would remain open throughout the renovation, so the installations had to be done in four phases.
The hotel's ballrooms were the first to undergo renovation. With no light switches allowed on walls, Crestron TPS-2000L Isys 5in. active-matrix touchscreen panels with audio and video would control the lighting.
“They were programmed to allow each ballroom to be configured as one large ballroom, divided in halves, in thirds, or in quarters — each subsection with its own lighting and audio control,” Hansson says.
This same grid would also control the microphone layout and mini-stereo jacks for laptop computer use installed in plates on all four walls, also allowing input levels to be controlled from the same touchpanel. Even though the integrator has its own staff programming expert, the programming became complicated enough that Logic Integration brought in subcontractor Chris Jensen, a certified Crestron programmer, to do the touchscreen layout design and code it.
“It was a lot of work on that end, but the result is a very clear, easy-to-use GUI which represented a map on the other end for the client,” Hansson says.
The ballroom has an Allen & Heath MixWizard WZ3 14:4:2 dynamic compact mixer with four-group audio that is routed into a Crestron 8×8 matrix switcher.
The ballrooms' new fluorescent lighting was requested to be placed on dimmers. But since fluorescent cannot be dimmed beyond approximately 50 percent, incandescent wall sconces were also added and tied to the Crestron control system. Any time fluorescents and high-voltage wiring are used together, the audio cables need secure shielding. In this case, Windy City Wire 16-2 loudspeaker cable and shielded line-level microphone and loudspeaker cable were run.
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