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Massive Sports Bar Installation for Serious Audio – Part 2

Show 128, Part 2

SVC Podcast – Show Notes – Show 128-2:

In this edition of the SVC Podcast, SVC Contributing Editor Bennett Liles continues his talk with Casey Johnston of Serious Audio Video in Union City, New Jersey about the installation of 75 TVs, 40 speakers and a Lutron lighting system in Kilroy’s Sports Bar and Grill just down the street from Met Life Stadium, site of the 2014 Superbowl. Casey outlines the installation of Sharp Aquos TVs, the ELAN g control system, some 40 pendant speakers and a Lutron lighting control system just in time for the big game.

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From Sound & Video Contractor Magazine, this is the SVC Podcast with Casey Johnston of Serious Audio Video. Show notes for the podcast are available on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at

With the Super Bowl looming a few weeks ahead, Kilroy’s Sports Bar next to Met Life Stadium had to get 75 TV’s, 40 speakers and a lighting control system up and running. They called in Serious Audio and Casey Johnston is going to wrap up his account on how it all went. That’s coming up next on the SVC Podcast.

Casey, thanks for getting back with us for Part 2 on the SVC Podcast from Serious Audio Video in Union City, New Jersey. We were talking about the huge installation in Kilroy’s Sports Bar in Carlstadt, New Jersey right next to Met Life Stadium, the site of last year’s Super Bowl. Something like 75 TV’s, 40 speakers, and lighting and it all had to have power. That must have been a massive job just running power to all of those things.

It was. We worked extensively in the beginning with the electricians making an electrical plan, making sure all of our calculations were correct, and it was – it was an under going to say the least. But at the end of the day we had clean power throughout and the infrastructure was solid. [Timestamp: 1:30]

Yeah, I guess there would be nothing worse than to have all of those monitors finally hooked up and then see something like AC hum bars going through all of them.

Which happens out there with our competition quite a bit.

Ha, but only with the competition.

That’s exactly right.

I read in the press release on this about a lounge area and they charge premium prices to go in there so what do they get in the lounge area?

Well, they wanted somewhere that people would come in and sit in a relaxing atmosphere but still watch all the games. And the main focus there was for bottle service. So our response to that was creating this wall with all these TV’s – a mixture of 80’s with a side-by-side row of 50’s underneath it. It was a fireplace setup so it almost gives a feeling of a control-room-meets-living-room atmosphere. And actually it’s been very lucrative, you could say, for the owner. [Timestamp: 2:23]

Yeah, if you want to take somebody out and really give them a wow factor, in that place you can get pretty maxed out on all of the video sources, the sound and all of that.

Definitely they really have a memorable experience there. They allow that for that area, so that’s been a profitable thing for them and it always seems to be booked up. So they always seem to have people over there, the bottle service is going, and it’s good. [Timestamp: 2:44]

I know they probably have a loyal crowd of regulars that frequent the place, too. You used the ELAN g control system for this and I know that one of the great things about that, as we talked about in Part 1, is all the different places you can control from. You can have mobile control. One thing we didn’t mention before was how all of the control signals are conveyed to the monitors. Is it infrared, serial, Ethernet?

Believe it or not, for just powering the TV’s on and off for the ELAN platform we’re using IR. The TV’s aren’t really doing anything; they’re just monitors. So we’re just turning them on and off and we have that working seamlessly just through IR without the need for serial or Ethernet. [Timestamp: 3:23]

Alright, so keeping it simple keeps it reliable.


So how did you handle the sound and keep it from getting to be a total cacophony in there with all of the different sources they can be listening to at the same time?

Sound in rooms like this is tricky. What we’ve always tried to do is we do more speakers than you would think. We have pendant sound tube 8-inch woofers hanging throughout the entire ceiling. I wouldn’t know the exact measurement, but I would say we probably have – probably in a 10-square-foot area we’ll have three speakers and that carries throughout the entire restaurant. Every area of the bar is covered with these pendant speakers. We feel that by using this we eliminate hot spots and dead zones at the same time, which one of the things that most people will find when you go to these big sports bars, these big clubs, is you’ll be hanging out at your table and the music is blasting, and you go six tables over and the music’s not loud enough. [Timestamp: 4:15]

And if you’re watching a game and somebody is watching something else it could get a little distracting but I guess the pendant speakers act sort of like spotlights for sound. If you can get it isolated then it’s just about controlling the groups of speakers.

Yeah. It works very well by using the pendants. You really eliminate these hotspots and dead zones, and we’re allowed to keep the volume at a comfortable level while still filling the entire area. [Timestamp: 4:40]

So how does the Lutron lighting system work?

The Lutron lighting system, we have a lot of the lights on timers to turn on at opening, shut off at closing, of course. So the lights, of course, never get left on. The opening crew always has lights to walk in on.  Additionally the lights are set to dim with the sunset, so the ambiance is always right at night. This is also all done through the ELAN system in integration with Lutron. [Timestamp: 5:05]

That sounds like it would be fairly easy to work in. The lighting and sound are such different animals to work with. I would think that as the evening goes on, the sound level tends to go up. So what was the learning curve on this system? You had to train people how to use it so how quickly did they take to it?

A very short time. ELAN’s intuitive user interface is extremely quick to master for new users. Most importantly it’s hard to mess up because of the way we have it programmed. We also did some great macros such as all TV’s on, open store, all TV’s off. It allows a single touch to do a hundred different steps of time-consuming tasks. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say that we have DirecTV in there and then we have – we obviously have cable in there. In the event that, let’s say, DirecTV goes out – say there’s a storm going on or whatever it may be – we have one-button programs in the user interface that they select that button and every TV in the place will switch over to cable. So they’re not sitting there with everyone kind of booing and hawing and hooing about having blank TV’s throughout the restaurant. [Timestamp: 6:09]

At least if you just switch to a different source it looks halfway planned.

It keeps people in their seats.

Keeps them there and buying stuff; always a good thing. Now when you guys were working on this were there any ideas that came up in the process or was it pretty much just following through with the plan from the very beginning?

I would probably say a mixture there. Obviously it was a strong plan from the get-go and we stuck to it. But like all custom projects halfway through the duration you always start either coming up with ideas or catching things that aren’t going to work. So I guess the answer to that one would be a mixture. [Timestamp: 6:46]

Yeah, you could run into things that could give the users trouble when they take over but that just keeps it interesting.

Yeah. Yeah, you could say that.

So what’s coming up next for Serious Audio Video? What have you got coming down the pipeline?

In the commercial sector we’re always doing sports bars. We’ve got another Buffalo Wild Wings coming up. We’re doing very, very well with that franchise. We’re doing most of their sports bars throughout Jersey and even a few in Staten Island. And on our residential side we’ve got a pretty big project coming up in the pipeline that we’re hoping to have finished by early spring. And since we’ve done Kilroy’s we’ve had a lot of great response from it. We’ve gotten a couple of other sports bars signed on after seeing the work we did there. So what’s coming up for us is hopefully good stuff. [Timestamp: 7:31]

Well I know it’s great to see people using the system and having fun with it and everything working the way it should. Casey Johnston from Serious Audio Video in Union City, New Jersey and Kilroy’s Sports Bar next to Met Life Stadium. Thanks for telling us about this one.

Thank you guys for allowing us to share.

Thank you for being here with us for the SVC Podcast with Casey Johnston of Serious Audio Video. Show notes are available on the website of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at Be back with us next time for the SVC Podcast.

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