In the Club
Aug 20, 2014 9:12 PM, By Tim Kridel
Integrating AV for Atmosphere
Slate-NY isn’t your typical sports bar. While there are several screens, this massive 16,000-square-foot New York City watering hole eschews traditional sports bar conceptions—often replete with signed baseballs and smiling athletes adorning the walls—with its trendy high-end club atmosphere, exposed pipes and vents, sleek contemporary furnishings, and mood lighting spread over five unique spaces and two floors.
Already partway through an extensive remodel, Slate- NY brought in New Jersey-based integration firm Homedia Electronics to specify, design, and install videowalls and displays throughout the venue. With major design elements for Slate-NY’s remodel in flux, Homedia Electronics was given a 30-day window to complete the visual display installation—just in time for Slate-NY to hosts its March Madness basketball party for CBS Sports.
At the heart of the multiscreen integration project is a 3x3 videowall. The videowall was initially designed to fit into a customized wall Homedia had created to bear the weight of the videowall and accommodate a loudspeaker system.
“The idea was to have a flush-to-finished look for the videowall and have the speakers recessed,” says Dan Hirschberg, Homedia Electronics owner. “They wanted to have the wall contain four large-venue JBL speaker cabinets and two subwoofers.”
Then Slate’s owners had a change of heart and decided the videowall should be suspended from the ceiling for extra architectural dimension. Heading back to the drawing board, Homedia had to figure out how and where to place the videowall to achieve the desired effect. The ceiling’s steel beams were ideal, partly because the air handlers and ductwork showed they were capable of handling the weight of the displays. The catch? The beams were wrapped in about 8in. of plaster. So Homedia broke out its tools.
“We wound up having to chisel, hammer, and break our way to get to the I-beam,” Hirschberg says. “We built a custom Unistrut skeleton cantilevered off of the I-beam. It’s built to just slightly bigger than the footprint of the brackets, and it looks as if it’s floating in midair. The result was awesome. The speakers still wound up below the videowall, just exposed and on the floor.”
Another challenge were the four 2x2 videowalls above the bar. The Samsung 55in. UD series Direct-lit LED displays were ordered with a rough idea of how they’d go in.
“We did not have an idea of how they wanted to use the screens until they were delivered,” Hirschberg says. “Once we had delivered them, we were given their design concept and were able to modify and plan it out very quickly.”
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