Netpractise carries out advanced AVintegration at Team GB House
The British Olympic Association's(BOA) operational headquarters during London 2012 (Team GB House) was completewith private hospitality area, a special lounge designed to allow athletes tospend time with theirfamily and friends, a press conference room, broadcastsuites and back office operations centre for sports and news analysis.
Situated opposite both Olympic Park andStratford Station — Team GB House was designed to provide arelaxinghaven for nearly 550 athletes, who represented Great Britain at the Games, withsecure access fromthe village.
TheCentrebenefited from anadvanced digital communications infrastructure, designed and installed bymultimedia systems integrator, Netpractise Ltd., who have previously deliveredinnovative audio visual solutionsfor the BOA at their London HQ.
All principal audio tools in the key areasat Stratford were from the Harman Pro brand portfolio — supplied and specifiedby Sound Technology Ltd, in partnership with resellers, CoNi Ltd. Thesecomponents includepremium JBL VRX line array elementsand CBT constant beamwidth series, Crown amplification and BSSSoundweb London configurable DSP for audio routing and system optimisation.
To facilitate the vast multicastrequirement (including feeds to 22 screens onsite), the AV specialists providedend-to-end connectivity viaTCP/IP,specifyingthe formatting, transmission and signal routing, building onthe I/O expansion offeredby the BSS digital architecture.
Assistedby Sound Technology's Project Team, a top-gradeaudio specification was put together.
Soundreinforcement in the stylish Hospitality Suite, complete with stage andsimulated running track, are threewhiteceiling-mounted JBL VRX932LA enclosures, two either side of the stage,operating as a single pointsource with the third used as a delayed fill forthe rear of the rectangular room. For LF extension a VRX 915S single 15in reflexsubwoofer is ground mounted off stage, while an auxiliary VRX 915 comes intoplay whena party vibe is required, or when a DJ plugs into the input providedfor the purpose (there is also a mini-jack plug-in for MP3 background musicduring the day).The main systemis powered bytwo Crown CTs 2000power amplifiers.
The P&G Nearest and Dearestrelaxation lounge, sponsored by Procter & Gamble — which is not accessibleto press or public — sees the deployment of eight JBL Control 25's mountedabove the huge penthouse-style picture windows, offering spectacular views overthe Park and City, and powered bytwoCrown CDi 1000 amplifiers.
The Press Room features a pair of JBL CBT70J ConstantBeamwidth column line array loudspeakers, ensuring high speech intelligibility,and powered by a Crown CTs 1200. There are six table microphone inputs forAKG's C747 miniature shotgun mics —the same microphone model as installed at the lectern position in theHospitality Suite for presentation purposes.
Netpractisealso providedsix channels of AKGradio microphones in total, including four AKG DMS700wireless systems (with two DSR 700 dual receivers), twohandhelds featuring AKG's reference D7 capsule andtwo belt-packs with CK77miniature, premium lavalier microphones.Offering pure,uncompressed digital signal path and 512-bit secure encryption, these are used by the MC's, intervieweesand presenters in the mainhospitality suite, with a further handheld and lapelmicrophones for use in the press conference room.
Elsewhere,around the perimeter are 14 JBL Control 52 surface mount satellite speakersdivided into two zones (of eight and six respectively) to ensureintelligibility throughout the area, each driven by a Crown CT8758-channelpower amplifier.
Thereare two main control rack positions — a local audio drive rack next to the mainReception desk and a main Comms Room, where four 47U racks are almost fullyloaded.Installed to the AVracks are the ExterityIPTV head-end, complete with dual content servers and anExtron XTP HDMI matrix switcher solution providing centralised high definitionvideo distribution.
Brandonand Todd designed the digital matrix to enable Netpractise project manager TomMartelli to configure his system with 32 inputs and 23 outputs, includingProgram Audio (VT audio) across five zones.
TheSoundweb London fixed-format (12-in/8-out) BLU-100 processor in the comms roomhas had its capacity expanded via BLU-BIB break-in box (offering eightadditional inputs) and BLU-BOB breakout, giving anadditional eight outputs,located in the local amp rack. They have deployed a BLU-Link solution, withBSS's high bandwidth digital audio bus providing easy connectivity, usingstandard Category 5e cabling — which canextend across a distance of 100m betweencompatible devices.In this wayonly two runs of CAT5 are necessary for the Hospitality area, offering a highlycost-effective solution with cable redundancy.
Alsoconnected to BLU-Link is a BSS BLU-120I/OExpander at the back of the press conference room which feeds a stage box with16 x XLR's — providingaswitchable line level output facility for use by broadcastcompany cameracrews.
TheCentre will operate without a sound mixer over its 18 hour daily duty cycle —instead an iPad with custom GUI will be usedto facilitate source switching, content selection andaudio volume/mute control across allzones
SaidThomas Martelli, “We owe a lot to our principal suppliers, such as the SoundTechnology project team for their professional support.For a project as high-profile andtechnically complex as this, we felt it was criticalto its success to involvethe in-house technical resources of Sound Technology and other suppliers.”
Following the conclusion of the Olympics Games, Team GB House will be handedfrom the BOA to the British Paralympic Association (BPA), to become ParalympicsGB House forthe Paralympic Games. At theconclusion of that, the site will be completely decommissioned and thetechnical equipment will go on to start a new life elsewhere.
In conclusion, Netpractise operations director, Ian Wilks, stated, “Having worked on previous projects for the British Olympic Association,we were delighted to be given the opportunity to deploy the AV technology forTeam GB House. The client brief dictated that a robust, flexible and innovativesolution was required and it was decided that the Harman Pro range of audioproducts were a perfect fit and complemented the videodistribution components.Working closely with the Sound Technology technical team, from the initialdesign phase, through to installation and final commissioning enabledNetpractise to deliver ahead of time and ensurethat the audio system exceededexpectations.”
For more information please contact Harman Professional distributor in the UK/ROI Sound Technology Ltd on 01462 480000, www.soundtech.co.uk