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Case Study: The Factory in London, Canada

The Factory, in London, Ontario, is Canada’s newest and largest indoor adventure park. Built in a former Kellogg cereal factory, the 170,000-square-foot complex features the highest indoor rope course in North America, a large “warrior course,” an arcade, a Kid Zone, virtual reality games, escape rooms, a restaurant, and a 28,000-square-foot “Hero Room,” which hosts the trampoline park–all served by an AV network.

Designing and installing audio and video systems for the massive concrete building presented an array of challenges for Austin Speidel, Electronics Design Engineer for Superior Trampoline Manufacturing (STM). STM provides turnkey solutions for trampoline parks, including advanced trampolines of their own design, trampoline-integrated games, interactive lighting, and related equipment and supplies. Speidel is a one-man electronics division, designing and installing customized AV systems for trampoline parks and developing specialized technology, such as an RFID wristband system.

Speidel’s video-over-IP network runs over dual fiber lines and encompasses the entire facility. Four cable boxes feed a choice of TV programming into the network via Visionary Solutions PacketAV Duet encoders, which offer both video and Dante audio encoding. “The Factory also has 10 places where we installed Duets so they can do corporate presentations and the like,” reports Speidel. “They can roll a mobile podium into the restaurant with a Duet, and since Visionary Solutions encoders and decoders use PoE, the client just connects one audio and one video network cable and plugs the laptop into the Duet, and audio and video are on the network.”

At least 20 TVs serve the complex. The restaurant also has two 5500 lumen projectors, most with Visionary Solutions D4100 decoders, powered over Ethernet. In each staff room. “Visionary Solutions Duet decoders have analog audio output so we use a Duet to feed video to the other TV and send network audio to a Stewart amp that drives a couple of ceiling speakers.”

A Symetrix Prism 8×8 DSP in the main AV rack manages the network. Three background music players and a couple of mics connect to the Prism’s analog inputs. The Dante audio network feeds PreSonus AIR powered loudspeakers in the big main room via a Symetrix xIO 4×4 I/O expander. Community pendant speakers, driven by Ashly power amps, serve a 1,000-foot-long by 50-foot-wide concrete hallway. The restaurant has its own network switch and Symetrix xOUT 12 audio output expander, in addition to the Visionary Systems Duet encoder and D4100 decoders.

“Our decision to use video over IP was based on integration between Visionary Solutions and Symetrix products,” explains Speidel. “I used Symetrix Composer to control network discovery, video routing, and configuration and switching. I used Symetrix SymVue to design custom software control panels for The Factory’s operations with integrated control of Dante audio, Visionary Solutions video, and cable. Having one control interface for video and audio was huge. The client uses the control panel on a tablet that they can carry around to control a mic in the lobby or video in the restaurant. They can switch from a logo screen to a presentation input easily.”

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