SVC on Twitter    SVC on Facebook    SVC on LinkedIn

 

Designing the National Oilwell Varco Boardroom

The ability to hide AV systsems, in deference to a room's aesthetics, is a constant challenge for AV pros, especially in high-end corporate boardrooms. Company executives usually want all the capabilities of modern AV technology but don't want to see blank screens and messy wires when it's not in use. AV integrators have figured out most of the tricks to hiding flat-panel displays, loudspeakers, and racks, but what happens when your client wants to hide the world's largest plasma display?

The ability to hide AV systsems, in deference to a room's aesthetics, is a constant challenge for AV pros, especially in high-end corporate boardrooms. Company executives usually want all the capabilities of modern AV technology but don't want to see blank screens and messy wires when it's not in use. AV integrators have figured out most of the tricks to hiding flat-panel displays, loudspeakers, and racks, but what happens when your client wants to hide the world's largest plasma display?

CCS Presentation Systems confronted this challenge when it was hired by oil and gas industry supplier National Oilwell Varco to design the boardroom for its corporate headquarters. CCS had to turn the renovated top floor of the building into a functional but awe-inspiring boardroom–without a hint that it sported a 103-inch and two 65-inch plasmas.

"The size of the room dictated the need for that size of display. Previously a rear projection system was installed but even they knew it was becoming antiquated technology," says Kevin Salmon, CCS account manager, who worked with the architect and end-user to incorporate the AV into the room. "There is a classic feel to the boardroom but the magic is that it has cutting edge technology seamlessly integrated."

PDG Architects and general contractor Stone Construction played a bigger role in the AV design than you might normally expect. One of the biggest reasons: The Panasonic 103-inch plasma couldn't mount onto a traditional in-ceiling lift because there wasn't enough space above the top-floor ceiling. Therefore a creative solution was required. The team turned to Electro-Kinetics for a custom swing-hinge lift for the displays. Engineers working on the lift design had to ensure that the hinge and lift motor could support the nearly 500 pounds of the 103-inch plasma display as it moved the screen 90 degrees from vertical to horizontal, and back again.

It turned out the custom lift for the 103-inch display was so much larger than other hinge lifts the company has manufactured for CCS projects that it did not fit into the client's elevator. Stone Construction provided the crane that hoisted the lift up the outside of the building and through the seventh floor windows. "The plasma itself fit in the elevator with only 1 or 2 inches to spare," says Salmon.

A Tandberg Edge 95 MXP HD videoconferencing camera is also mounted on the custom lift because the client preferred not to hide the camera in the wall. In the closed position, the 103-inch display, videoconferencing camera, and mount are tucked in a horizontal alcove in the ceiling. The 65-inch displays on each side of the room fold up in similar fashion.

"The other 'wow' factor is the cascading inserts integrated into the conference table that are timed to open in sequence while the plasmas are retracting from the ceiling. This is everyone's favorite part of the room," says Todd Petree, technical services manager for CSS, who worked on the AMX programming to achieve this effect.

To illustrate the intricate level of detailed planning and coordination required for the project, the wood grain and unique V-shaped millwork pattern of the table is continuous once the table inserts are in their closed position. Electro-Kinetics custom-built the mechanisms for the table inserts and sent CSS the motors in advance so they could be installed in the table. The motor for each insert resides in the table legs. Each table insert includes a Shure microphone, VGA with audio connection, four data and four power outlets, and a USB input for a thumb drive to the dedicated PC in the equipment room. "The thumb drive is for anyone who wants to run a presentation from the in-house PC rather than bringing in a laptop," says Salmon.

An integral part of cable management is the conference table itself. With built-in, concealed cable management and strategically placed floor cores, not a single wire is seen by the end-user. Multiple two inch conduits run from the table to the rack room located in the former rear projection room.

Custom AMX programming made it so that the cascading inserts in the boardroom's table open in sequence at the same time the plasmas are lowering from the ceiling.

Custom AMX programming made it so that the cascading inserts in the boardroom's table open in sequence at the same time the plasmas are lowering from the ceiling.

The boardroom also needed to fill the role of a command room for the executives and board members during emergencies. The matrix switcher ensures that any input is routed to any display. Inputs include the Tandberg videoconference system, dedicated PC, five laptop connectors, three satellite TV receivers, and a Blu-ray player. For maximum utility, the 103-inch plasma image can be split into four 51-inch images using a RGB Spectrum Quadview.

All of the equipment is controlled by an AMX control system, including the plasmas and lifts, table inserts, a moveable wall that reveals the food serving space, Lutron GraphikEye lighting control system, and the curtain control system. One 17-inch Modero Touch Panel is hardwired into the corner wall, while an 8.4-inch Modero ViewPoint wireless tablet lives in a docking station on the adjacent wall. "The strategy behind the intuitive programming is that a user never presses more than two buttons to set up the AV," adds Salmon.



Browse Back Issues
BROWSE ISSUES
  August 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover July 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover June 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover May 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover April 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover March 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover  
August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014