The residents of the chic apartment building at 880 P in trendy Northwest Washington, D.C. often migrate to the building’s two-story rooftop terraces. There, a dozen stories above the street, they can enjoy views of downtown Washington, a cascading waterfall, high-tech grills, lounge chairs, and an indoor music room, complete with a Steinway baby grand player piano, and a bar they can stock for parties. The rooftop even sports a private dog park, along with grooming stations.
Music for this extraordinary terrace area flows through a sound system accessed using an Attero Tech unBT2A Bluetooth audio wall plate. The unBT2A is a single-gang, Decora-style wall plate system that provides simple, one-button pairing for Bluetooth devices and outputs stereo audio over CAT5 cable, using Dante. Designed for integration, it offers customizable Bluetooth-friendly naming, remote pairing activation, and remote status monitoring via RS-232.
“You can use either the button on the unBT2A or the Crestron panel to pair your phone and play music through the sound system,” relates Daren Eveleigh of local systems integrators HS Solutions. “The Bluetooth signal is really strong, so the range is good, and you don’t have dropouts. We’ve tried other Bluetooth products, and many times you can’t get more than 10 or 15 feet away or the signal drops out. We haven’t had that issue here, and we’ve walked all the way down to the end of the rooftop deck.”
Another advantage with the Attero Tech system, Eveleigh notes, is the way it handles pairing. “I like that when you pair a new phone, the old phone’s pairing is broken,” he details. “That’s good because in a residential or commercial environment, you don’t want other people’s phones to be stuck paired to the system. If somebody’s phone does get stuck you can unpair it from the Crestron panel.”
The unBT2A can send stereo or mono output, “so you can log into the Attero Tech system with your computer and change settings so you have a mono output, which makes wiring a little easier,” offers Eveleigh. In 880 P’s new sound system, audio enters the Attero Tech unBT2A over Bluetooth and then flows to a BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 DSP, which manages three audio zones. “We have twelve JBL 8-inch ceiling speakers in the music room,” Eveleigh specifies. “Outside, we have a dozen or so speakers on each of the two terrace levels. All three zones are controlled with the Crestron system.”
“Typically we used to install iPod docks on the wall but they became obsolete,” Eveleigh recalls. “So then we went to Bluetooth, but we had those issues with weak signals and dropout with other systems, and the other systems often needed to be reset by unplugging and plugging back in. With Attero Tech, we no longer have any of those issues, plus we have mono/stereo control.”