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Case Study: Margaritaville, Lanier Islands

The lakeside entertainment complex at Margaritaville presented systems integrators dB Integrations and network AV solutions company Visionary Solutions with a real-world experience in 10G v 1G.

Margaritaville at Lanier Islands includes restaurants, tiki bars, and walk-up food and drink concessions. along with boat rentals, cruises, water sports, and more. The new AV system serves the entire water park, including the pool, restaurants, and bars.

The park was equipped with OM2 network fiber before dB Integrations joined the project. “I had originally planned to use a 10 Gb network but OM2 can support multimode 10 Gb for only 30 yards, and my pointto-point switches, where we’re jumping fiber-to-fiber, have to be much further apart,” Block explains. “There wasn’t time or budget to pull new fiber, so we had to go with a 1Gb network. The Visionary Solutions encoders and decoders can handle 4K video at under 1GbE per stream; from there we just needed to account for the number of simultaneous streams across the uplinks between switches.”

The LandShark Bar and Grill, an important attraction, is equipped with 14 TV displays indoors, plus a large LED wall on the outside face. The new Paradise Beach Cantina has one TV display, and the new Beach Bar—an open-air bar with a wooden roof—features two pole mounted displays. The larger Tiki Bar features eight TV displays. Margaritaville’s wave pool already had an LED wall but it wasn’t working until dB Integrations’ video engineer reprogrammed it.

Across the lake are powerful Danley Sound Labs speakers and a huge 30 x 40-foot Jumbotron LED wall, which had been the only working display before the recent project. The lake also offers a floating stage that’s linked to the audio network.

To feed all the video displays, dB Integrations installed 27 Visionary Solutions PacketAV D4100 switch matrix-routable decoders with Power over Ethernet (PoE). Each display has a D4100 decoder, except the Tiki Bar’s eight TVs, which are served by four D4100s paired with Kramer one-to-two HDMI distribution amps.

Video sources connect to the network using eleven Visionary Solutions Duet encoders with PoE, which also incorporate Dante/AES67 audio. Sources include seven DirecTV boxes, a BrightSign digital signage player that plays custom Margaritaville “lifestyle” videos, and a hot-rodded Windows PC that hosts a playlist-driven media player the staff calls “Screenplay.” Screenplay delivers a customized playlist combined with video content that complements the music. Screenplay is the main AV source for the water park but the network can deliver video and audio from any source to any destination.

Block designed the network around a QSC Q-SYS Core 110f DSP. “The beauty is that natively, Q-SYS utilizes the AES67 protocol over the network, and the Visionary Solutions Duet encoders can extract audio from the HDMI stream and put it directly into Q-LAN via AES67,” he explains. “That allows us to get synchronized audio distribution entry and video distribution entry on one Duet encoder. It’s fantastic integration.”

Visionary Solutions has developed plug-ins for Q-SYS Designer that allows them to manipulate their devices within the Q-SYS environment, enabling end users to route video from any source to any display using the touch panels.

“Visionary Solutions not only recommended the switches, they had us send the switches to them, and they preconfigured the whole system for their encoders and decoders and the Q-SYS Core. They laid the groundwork for our network configuration so it was mostly ready when we got on site,” Block says.

That wasn’t the end of the support, he recalls. “One Saturday, I got a call—nothing was working, audio or video, across the entire park. Our master switch is on the other side of the park from our main AV rack, including the Q-SYS Core. Everything relies on the fiber that connects the master switch and the main AV rack. It turned out construction guys were digging and cut that fiber. I called Visionary Solutions, and they logged in and modified the network setup so LandShark could be up and running over the weekend. When the fiber was fixed, they rebuilt the regular configuration.”

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