May 08, 2014 By D. Craig MacCormack
Steve Keller knew he was walking into a historic place when he got the call to upgrade the AV system in the main ballroom at the Missouri Athletic Club, which opened in 1903.
While that was most definitely exciting for a company based in St. Charles, Mo., it also presented a challenge or two along the way.
Keller and the TSI Technology Solutions team had to be careful with the plaster walls and ornate decorative ceilings in the Missouri Room while bringing the space into today, but not making it look like the equipment didn’t fit in the room, which is used primarily for banquets and functions for as many as 550 people.
“We had to match the ambience of the room without knowing what was behind the plaster,” says Keller, senior account manager at TSI.
Inside the Installation
In addition to updating the outdated sound system with a modern setup that included rotatable Yamaha IF2208W horn-shaped speakers that were paintable and allowed for wide dispersion of the sound, the room got a new projection screen system as well. TSI installed three 16:10 Da-Lite Tensioned Large Cosmopolitan Electrol screens (two 189” diagonal and one 208” diagonal), three Infocus IN5144a WXGA projectors and an Atlona 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher (AT-PRO3HD44M) in the room.
The switcher outputs video over HDBaseT to the Altona receivers (AT-PRO3HDREC) at the projectors, allowing the ability to take any input and send it to any projector.
The speakers are powered by five QSC CMX 500Va amplifiers and processed using a Yamaha CIS (Commercial Installation Solution) MTX3. TSI installed four DCP1v4S to control six audio sources (three wall plate inputs, two Sennheiser wireless microphones, and a DVD player).
Two controllers are on the first floor and two controllers are on the balcony with duplicate controls so the volume of any source can be controlled either upstairs or downstairs, says Keller. Three Altona HDBaseT wall plates (AT-HDVS-TX-WP) are used to extend the HDMI and VGA inputs over a single Cat6 cable to Altona AT-HDVS-RX receivers. TSI used MTEX3 and DCPI line controls for the first time, says Keller.
“We needed to replace an aging sound system that was overly complex and was unable to achieve adequate sound levels without feedback,” says Rick Garrett, director of technology at the club. “It was also very important to our staff and membership that any fixed installations not disturb the aesthetics of our 100-year-old grand ballroom. The new system was designed to be simple enough to be used without the aid of tech support and still provide us the flexibility to accommodate very complex and elaborate audio/visual events when required.”
TSI’s installation allows the banquet captain to maintain control of the entire system from the control booth. The work took about four weeks, including removing the old equipment, installing the new system, programming and training, and the room was ready for the Jack Buck Awards in December. The room was booked during the installation, says Keller, but had some down days too.
“We got enough of a head start to be able to meet the deadline,” he says. Because the club had a somewhat limited budget for upgrades, TSI did not install a touchpanel control, but Keller says that can be added later if they want it.
“We just wanted to get them to the point where everything is functional,” he says.
Keller was excited about his first use of the MTX, saying the device is “very versatile” and TSI will definitely continue using it in restaurants, sports bars and conference rooms, among other applications. At the club itself, there’s talk about upgrading the room next to the Missouri Room as well, and Keller expects TSI to be in the mix for that work too after hearing overwhelmingly positive comments so far.
“They can hear people speaking and the music playing,” he says. “A lot of people have taken notice.”