A/V Distribution - 30HDTVs 10 sources min - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 69 Old 07-19-2009, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to design a system for a restaurant / sports bar I might purchase and kind of hit a road block. (looking at startup capital needs)

I've been over several options but here is what I'm doing (estimated price includes sat boxes and baluns etc.):

30 HDTVs
Either minimum of 10 Satellite boxes or one for each TV
If I go with one per TV, I need to figure out how to control all the boxes which will be located in a central closet. This route will also kill the need for a switch. ($5600)

I was looking at the Avatrix units but it's only 6-source. Could I use one zone from each and wire it to the other unit to enable 10 sources? I then could use the expanders to reach the rest of the TVs. ($14000)

Or, using the Xantech c88HDs daisy chained together to get the 30 zones (4 units). Would 4 units together be still 8 source or do the source inputs from the other units become available for all? ($9400)

Audio will be in 5 zones with varying amounts of speakers but I was going to use a Xantech zpr6810 or ZonePro 1261 fed to a crown CTS8200.

I would love to have touchscreen or remote control options from any zone so I have to keep that in mind. I'm just getting my feet wet in commercial audio. Anyway, I'm going round and round in my head and getting dizzy so any input will help at this point.

Thanks in advance,
Brett
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post #2 of 69 Old 07-20-2009, 12:00 AM
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well damn, that's a lot of displays
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post #3 of 69 Old 07-20-2009, 12:18 AM
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This is a huge job. Maybe best for a pro.

In my search for a smaller system, I did see a couple large stackable switches. Is everything close enough to run component cables or will you be running everything using cat5e/cat6? If it's anything like sports bars I've been to, lots of the televisions are fairly close together. Not sure what the component length limit is, but there's these:
http://www.hdtvsupply.com/16x16-av-matrix-switch.html
Stacks to 16x32. Pronto remote compatible.

Here's a cat5e to component matrix:
http://www.hdtvsupply.com/component-...t5-matrix.html
You would need baluns, probably another 5k for those. Looks like seperate audio switcher would be required. Again, huge job, I have no idea how one would set this up, but just to give you ideas. I have no experience with this place or their switches.
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post #4 of 69 Old 07-20-2009, 06:25 AM
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you should invest in a matrix switcher to do this chaining da's together will cause problems. Autopatch and Extron are good choices.

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post #5 of 69 Old 07-20-2009, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettvdi View Post

Or, using the Xantech c88HDs daisy chained together to get the 30 zones (4 units). Would 4 units together be still 8 source or do the source inputs from the other units become available for all? ($9400)

When you daisy chain units together, it does not increase the number of zones. So you would have 32 zone, 8 source system with the Xantech.

It also appears that both the Cat5e and component outputs are active at the same time with the Xantech HD88CC5 unit. So you could use just two of the units to power your 30 TVs, but you would have pairs of TVs that would have to show the same source. So TV 1 and TV 17 would always show the same source, TV 2 and TV 18 the same, etc. That may not be good enough and you might need extra units to give you 30 discrete choices, but it's a possibility at least.

- Brian

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post #6 of 69 Old 07-20-2009, 10:01 AM
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I've deleted the original HDMI over IP suggestion. Updated drawing and prices for a 10x30 HDMI over IP matrix implementation are later in the thread. The original implementation guestimate was much more expensive than necessary.

Ed Qualls - Just Add Power
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post #7 of 69 Old 07-20-2009, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. I don't think I would go the hdmi route because of the expense.

What I'm leaning towards is having one satellite box for each display in the A/V closet. Then I would use the component Cat5 baluns to deliver the signals to the TVs. I just don't how to set up control via IR in this setup. Any input as to how this would work? IR router of some sort I assume.

A 10 channel matrix seemed like an easier route and less equipment in the closet but I definitely would need the displays discrete. That's why I was wondering if you could use a second xantech unit as a source and that would give me the 10+ sources.

Quote:


you should invest in a matrix switcher to do this chaining da's together will cause problems. Autopatch and Extron are good choices.

I'm not too familiar with these guys but will give them a look. I guess I need to pick a route and run with it.

Thanks again, I'm looking forward to more discussion.
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post #8 of 69 Old 07-21-2009, 01:31 PM
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Not sure where you're located, but if this is going to be a sports bar, then your only choice is DirecTV (NFL Sunday ticket). Their remotes will do RF.

Tom
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post #9 of 69 Old 07-21-2009, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justtaint View Post

Not sure where you're located, but if this is going to be a sports bar, then your only choice is DirecTV (NFL Sunday ticket). Their remotes will do RF.

DirecTV is definitely who we are going with Thanks for that, I did not know the remote do RF so that would make things a whole lot easier. Can you change the signals so all the boxes don't all react to a button push?
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post #10 of 69 Old 07-21-2009, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Nevermind I found a manual. Thanks again, that makes me feel better.
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post #11 of 69 Old 07-22-2009, 06:36 AM
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We have 5 receivers at home, 4 are currently using RF remotes. Haven't had a problem.

Tom
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post #12 of 69 Old 07-22-2009, 12:21 PM
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DirecTV RF remotes in a commercial setup will be a headache. Do yourself a favor and get a pro. It will save you both time and money.

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post #13 of 69 Old 07-22-2009, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg C View Post

DirecTV RF remotes in a commercial setup will be a headache. Do yourself a favor and get a pro. It will save you both time and money.

I will likely get a few quotes for this job when the time comes but I like to understand all this stuff myself. I wouldn't be using the DirecTV remotes but a couple of harmony remotes with RF. Those also come with the RF receiver/extender. That and the use of keypads in each zone should make it fairly simple to operate.
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post #14 of 69 Old 07-24-2009, 06:40 AM
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Harmony remotes will last about a week in a bar environment and I don't think you can do IR routing to 30 DTV boxes with it, at least not easily. Good luck.
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post #15 of 69 Old 07-24-2009, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I know the harmony remotes can only control up to 15 devices so with that option I would have only 10-12 boxes with the extra slots open for the audio devices. The remotes would be used by management only so I hope they would last longer than that. If there's a better product for that use, I'm all ears.
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post #16 of 69 Old 07-24-2009, 08:35 PM
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I just designed a system for a client and used an Autopatch AVS-MD-1232-347, it has 12 inputs and 32 outputs via component bnc connections and it also has a audio matrix switch. This is probably the best way to go as you can control audio and video independently and autopatch offers a easy to manage front lcd display so you can assign source to output, but also gives you the flexibility to control it via a web browser or rs-232 for ie. crestron control. As far as ir control to tv's, you will have a hell of a time trying to control these with rf or ir if you are planning on universal remote type of control for these many tv's. To be honest you are almost better off manually going around and turning the tv's on and off. I would suggest a dedicated control system, you may spend more up front but control if programmed correctly will not fail. Also a word of advice, make sure that all the tv's you purchase are either commercial grade or have serial ports for control. This will definitely assist in controlling this many tv's.

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post #17 of 69 Old 07-24-2009, 08:52 PM
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Can't wait to see and hear the final result. I do this stuff for a living. I have yet to see a penny saved up from not cost 2 to 5 in the end, in situations like this.

I'm kicking back and being entertained by the DIY answers.
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post #18 of 69 Old 07-24-2009, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgiron View Post

I just designed a system for a client and used an Autopatch AVS-MD-1232-347, it has 12 inputs and 32 outputs via component bnc connections and it also has a audio matrix switch. This is probably the best way to go as you can control audio and video independently and autopatch offers a easy to manage front lcd display so you can assign source to output, but also gives you the flexibility to control it via a web browser or rs-232 for ie. crestron control. As far as ir control to tv's, you will have a hell of a time trying to control these with rf or ir if you are planning on universal remote type of control for these many tv's. To be honest you are almost better off manually going around and turning the tv's on and off. I would suggest a dedicated control system, you may spend more up front but control if programmed correctly will not fail. Also a word of advice, make sure that all the tv's you purchase are either commercial grade or have serial ports for control. This will definitely assist in controlling this many tv's.

Thanks, this is good information. I'll see if I can find an Autopatch dealer in the area.
Quote:


Can't wait to see and hear the final result. I do this stuff for a living. I have yet to see a penny saved up from not cost 2 to 5 in the end, in situations like this.

I'm kicking back and being entertained by the DIY answers.

I'm glad I can provide entertainment for you. I'm obviously here for advice so put your 2 cents in by all means. As I've stated, I'll be getting some profressional quotes but for now I have no idea what to stay away from or go towards. Figuring our this system helps me to understand what goes in to the project and I can better explain to someone what I need / want and know when I'm getting BS'd.

The first people I've spoken with designed a system using several Niles receivers and I knew this wasn't feasible by any means. That's when I decided to do my own research on the matter. So sit back and enjoy but I'm just trying to figure out the best solution for this whether it be a "DIY" solution or getting professional help. From where I started I wouldn't have known a good professional solution from some jack leg rip off.

This has to be done the right the first time. I'm too used to restaurants with short sighted solutions.
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post #19 of 69 Old 07-25-2009, 06:49 AM
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Brett,

I've not seen a scope or needs assessment. Everybody is focused on product and back end equipment/ front end equipment at the moment. But I'd take a step back and forget about that for a little bit. Play the part of a dumb/non-techno restaurant manager and think about what you want and how it needs to work efficiently during business hours to fit in with your desired restaurant experience presented to the customer.

I always look at systems in bars and restaurants with an anthropological eye. Just finishing a restaurant up myself. Budgets usually get tight for audio/video unless it's a real sports bar. I see a lot to be desired usually, but sports bars usually get done up a lot better.

We know you want 32 TV's.

Do you want any source to be able to play on any TV? This will add cost and complexity. I'm sure you'll have some displays in common areas that can share the same source, maybe they can run off a DA. Maybe you can make the bar TV's full matrix but group common TV's together to save cost. Just an idea.

How will it be controlled? Will the manager be the only person controlling or will bartenders be able to change TV's/channels at client's requests? I'd be concerned about a bunch of RF remotes from the end user standpoint: they get lost, misplaced, bar fluids on them, etc. They'll be all over the bar area. It might be better to have the same touchpanel UI at a few POS locations so anybody has access to it. A floorplan/map graphic showing displays may also be desirable: you want staff to be able to address changes or customer requests as efficiently as possible.

Any good systems contractor should run you through these questions first before they start throwing equipment quotes together. Take pause and think about your needs and how it works for the users and customers then get back to the black boxes and gizmos.

You've already figured out that a bunch of stacked Niles receivers didn't seem right so you're on the right track.
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post #20 of 69 Old 07-25-2009, 05:15 PM
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My company Archer Systems is a System Integrator for the federal government. I now the benefits of using highly talented specialists. In my opinion, most AVS members who are CIs tend to be much more talented than the average CIs, they are much more in tune with product selection and overall system design.

That being said, I have had many local CIs come to my home to give ROM pricing on a large whole house AV solution. Their price quotes were so astronomically high that I decided to research on my own to find robust alternatives.

I would definitely go with an all component solution. From my research, the only *reliable* hdmi switch for your needs is the Digital Media matrix switch from Crestron which is probably roughly in the 20k - 50k (wild ballpark price range). HDMI is notorious for having problems over long cable runs and negotiating handshake over HDMI is complex and problematic.

The Autopatch AVS-MD-1232-347 is a good solution and it has a lot of features. It is in the 20k price range though. It probably has better features than what I am recommending, which is a CMX1616V from Video Storm.

http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=CMX1616V

I recently discovered this product after many nights of no sleep searching for a solution for my residence. It costs $2k. It is expandable up to 32 relatively easily (check out the product comparison page on the Video Storm website and you will see the expansion module). It is also controllable via IR or RS232.

THis product is perfect for what I am doing. In addition to the video zones, I will also have 14 audio zones, and 5 of them will be Surround Sound !!

Well, I think I am too excited about this product as you can see
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post #21 of 69 Old 07-25-2009, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpapa View Post

Brett,

I've not seen a scope or needs assessment. Everybody is focused on product and back end equipment/ front end equipment at the moment. But I'd take a step back and forget about that for a little bit. Play the part of a dumb/non-techno restaurant manager and think about what you want and how it needs to work efficiently during business hours to fit in with your desired restaurant experience presented to the customer.

I always look at systems in bars and restaurants with an anthropological eye. Just finishing a restaurant up myself. Budgets usually get tight for audio/video unless it's a real sports bar. I see a lot to be desired usually, but sports bars usually get done up a lot better.

We know you want 32 TV's.

Do you want any source to be able to play on any TV? This will add cost and complexity. I'm sure you'll have some displays in common areas that can share the same source, maybe they can run off a DA. Maybe you can make the bar TV's full matrix but group common TV's together to save cost. Just an idea.

How will it be controlled? Will the manager be the only person controlling or will bartenders be able to change TV's/channels at client's requests? I'd be concerned about a bunch of RF remotes from the end user standpoint: they get lost, misplaced, bar fluids on them, etc. They'll be all over the bar area. It might be better to have the same touchpanel UI at a few POS locations so anybody has access to it. A floorplan/map graphic showing displays may also be desirable: you want staff to be able to address changes or customer requests as efficiently as possible.

Any good systems contractor should run you through these questions first before they start throwing equipment quotes together. Take pause and think about your needs and how it works for the users and customers then get back to the black boxes and gizmos.

You've already figured out that a bunch of stacked Niles receivers didn't seem right so you're on the right track.

Thanks for your reply! Here is a basic rundown of how I would like to see things work and how they will be handled in the operations side of things.

All equipment should be contained in a central A/V room. Displays will be numbered for ID purposes if we need to change the channel. Programming will be planned out in advance. The games to be shown on the main dispalys will be marked on the displays themselves (ie. sunday morning the main display will have a "Redskin" tag, I know but I was raised as a fan so I can't help it) so people can situate accordingly. Other displays I'd like to be able to change the channels when requested by customers. A manager should be readily available to make the changes so IR, RF, touch display or whatever is fine. It will be a management thing.

The BGM for each zone will be pre-planned, really depending on game schedules. I would like volume control at the employee level. The jukebox may have inputs so BGM will play when the jukebox is not being paid to play. I have to check further into that.

P/A should work from bar area. Hostess seating will be controlled with pagers.

Lighting would also be nice to have controlled via the same source. I would like expandability options available for HVAC also. Everything should be scalable.

5 zone as follows audio independent from video

Main Dining area - 8 speakers 12 Plasmas (2-58, 10 mix or 42-50)

Banquet room #1- 4 speakers and local video / audio input capability (presentations and such) 4 plasmas (58 or HD projector, 3-42)

Banquet room #2- 4 speakers and local video / audio input capability (presentations and such) 4 plasmas (58 or HD projector, 3-42)

Bar Area- 8 speakers - 4 additional speakers in the bathroom, 10 plasmas (split of 42 and 46 maybe 1-2 50)

Patio- 4 speakers

Inputs for audio:
XM, PA (would like to be able to use mic selectively between zones or all rooms), 2 Sat boxes, Jukebox

Inputs for Video:
10-12 DirecTV HD boxes, Each display should be independent and show any source. I originally thought I would use 30 boxes at each display but thought control would be very messy.

I'm sure I left something out but that is the meat of the system. Our current budget is probably around the $50k range. Less would be nice but we want it done right.

Quote:


In my opinion, most AVS members who are CIs tend to be much more talented than the average CIs, they are much more in tune with product selection and overall system design.

Precisely why I posted here for this project. I can't agree more. I've owned a sign shop for about 5yrs now and it's really hard to find great companies/individuals for vendors or professional services. I'm sick of trial and error.

Thanks again for the replies, very helpful.
Brett
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post #22 of 69 Old 07-26-2009, 07:51 AM
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Forget about trying to use the DirecTV remotes. These RF remotes are meant for a residential setting.

Forget about trying to use Harmony remotes. Harmony is a consumer product and not meant for commercial applications. It will not weather the storm of bar use and its not capable of doing what you need it to. IMO You should be looking at a control system that offers RS-232 control of your displays and sources.

And.. as some of the others have mentioned.. you should seriously consider an in-wall mounted user interface for 3 reasons.

#1. The 'remote' will always be in the same place. You will never waste time trying to find it.

#2. The 'remote' will never grow legs and walk out the door. By accident or otherwise. I remember the good old days when the word CRESTRON meant nothing to a house full of sub contractors. Now.. thanks to the internet everyone knows how much they can sell a TPMC-8X @ ebay for. So all it takes is for someone to notice the logo on the remote and poof its gone.

#3. No one will ever drop, sit on, step on an in-wall remote and your less likely to get something spilled on it also.

If you go with a touchscreen you will have the ability to better tailor the user interface. You will be able to add simple to use buttons like ALL ON or ALL OFF right a long with the more complex controls where you can specify what source goes to what display. Because the touchscreen is graphic based you have complete control over what you see while using it.

When choosing your displays.. remember that you cant use the same ones they are selling at BestBuy and Costco. You need commercial displays that are built for being left on all day... every day. Consumer displays will die a quick death under those conditions.

Finally.. steer completely clear of HDMI for now (maybe forever). DO NOT hire anyone who tells you otherwise. (go ahead and flame me) It will increase cost, NEVER work properly (go ahead and quote me) and IMO your patrons wont notice the difference.
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post #23 of 69 Old 07-26-2009, 11:19 AM
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50K / 32 = $1562 per TV. That can get mounts and probably cabling, but that's about it.

As 39c said you need commercial displays. They really aren't too much more than the COSTCO displays but are truly designed for long life.

I'd rethink your budget. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but I rather you got the news early before you wasted yours and others time. However, a good ESC (electronic systems contractor) should set your expectations quickly. Get a plan of the joint and prepare to share it with any firm you may talk to. Give them the lighting or seating plans (both would be better if separate documents). They are also the best source to properly value engineer the system to fit our budget but still strive to achieve what you really want.

You still have to do an audio system and most importantly, a control system. The control system has to be easy and efficient for the proper staff to use so don't blow all your dough on displays and speakers and cheap out on the control and equipment. If anything it should be somewhat the other way around.

I noticed you have the amounts of speakers picked out for certain areas. What is your decision based on? In many cases it's more desirable to have more speakers for even sound distribution than less, not for playing loudly at all. Any competent firm should be asking for plans of the facility to measure cubic feet of airspace and also to see where everybody is sitting, for the purpose of engineering actual SPL at any given place.

Another option to consider and one that any competent firm should be able to answer your questions on is the use of an ambient noise compensator. Properly set up it means you rarely if ever have to adjust volume; it automatically lowers the volume when you have less patrons, and adjusts when you have more patrons/louder. Nice for running your PA through as well. If you choose this option, you don't need volume controls for staff in those regions, only at the touchpanels since it would be expected that volume adjustment should rarely happen.

I agree to not even consider HDMI at this point. To 'do it right' would cost a lot of $ and it would still be finicky. Component is still great for broadcast video and is much more manageable.

I think it's great that you're coming here and asking the questions. In this economy anybody you call for help will want the work and tell you they're good at it and good for it. Some may be so desperate that they'll tell you your budget is good but not deal with shortcomings and hit you up later for more cash to do it the way you wanted to in the first place. Beware. You should get the feeling pretty quickly if you're dealing with people who know what they are doing. Make sure whoever you deal with is competent and professional, even if it means paying more money. This is a large system and you want it done right and working reliably for your staff and patrons.
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post #24 of 69 Old 07-26-2009, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't think I'll be able to squeeze much more than $50k so this should be interesting. I think we could work with the remotes at first as long as the system design is expandable/upgradable to RS232 control for the future. Any loose ballpark as far as cost goes for a project like this?

I don't have the floor plan yet as we are just in the beginning stages of securing the financing. I should be getting more information in a few weeks and I'll be able to give more details for quoting firms.

Anyone know any reputable firms in Virginia?

Also, what are good commercial displays? I can start at 720 and gradually upgrade to 1080p if needed.

As far as control goes, is a controller needed or can wall plates send the RS-232 commands along? Software needed? I know it comes with controllers already.

Thanks again for the replies, you guys are very helpful.
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post #25 of 69 Old 07-26-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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It cannot be stressed enough to NOT use a harmony remote in this commercial enviroment, actually, I wouldnt even put in a residential job: to restrictive, not flexible enough and SURELY not built tough enough.

In wall control is a ABSOLUTE must! Also, your budget wont cut it unless you want 32" screens or less and limited control and flexibility.

Go with a matrix switch, get the budget UP'd and dont even consider anything less than a URC remote as well as IN WALL control. The remote should NEVER be in the patron's hands, ever.
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post #26 of 69 Old 07-27-2009, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettvdi View Post

Anyone know any reputable firms in Virginia?

I haven't seen your facility plans and have no idea of size, scale, difficulty, speaker or display layout. However, I think you need $100k-ish to play ball and do what you need to do (not want to do).

IR remotes will be a disaster and very frustrating. To make it work you need advanced IR routing equipment and custom programming that will get left out should you ever upgrade to a viable control system: you won't save much money or your time by doing a temporary solution that doesn't work that well.

Let the ESC work with you on value engineering, they'll know where to save the $ and where to spend it. As you said:

Quote:


This has to be done the right the first time. I'm too used to restaurants with short sighted solutions.

So am I.
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post #27 of 69 Old 07-27-2009, 12:29 PM
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Anyone know any reputable firms in Virginia?

Check out Chad Shell at HCC. He is located in Richmond. His company website is http://www.hccva.com/

I know Chad and can confirm he is top notch. He was referred to me by QQQ. Tell him your project needs and tell him your budget and he will be sure to do his best.

Where are you in Virginia? I am in Sterling now.
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post #28 of 69 Old 07-27-2009, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Excellent thanks! I'm in Virginia Beach now but likely moving to Blacksburg if all goes well.
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post #29 of 69 Old 07-27-2009, 10:19 PM
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Your budget does sound pretty low for what you are trying to accomplish. Did you figure for the cabling you will need to run as well? Will you do the runs or will that be done by the professional? Is the electrical in place to handle what you want to accomplish or do you need to include an electrician's work in your budget?

Don't skimp on infrastructure as that is usually the hardest to go back and do. Adding more TVs later is very simple once the money is available as long as you have the wiring in place.
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post #30 of 69 Old 07-28-2009, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Your budget does sound pretty low for what you are trying to accomplish. Did you figure for the cabling you will need to run as well? Will you do the runs or will that be done by the professional? Is the electrical in place to handle what you want to accomplish or do you need to include an electrician's work in your budget?

Don't skimp on infrastructure as that is usually the hardest to go back and do. Adding more TVs later is very simple once the money is available as long as you have the wiring in place.

Electrician is lumped in with other start-up expense. This project is included. I hadn't gotten to those questions yet. A dedicated panel will be run to the closet but I will need protection/conditioning and was wondering what would be the best route.

I can handle the wiring and all the materials are included in the start-up. That's a good point about adding TVs in later. I'm sure if I'm forced to make cuts, those will be the first to go (to a point anyway).

Thanks again!
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