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Beyond the Menu

Reliable, Scalable Video Distribution for Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse Delivered by Audio Contractors LLC Using Just Add Power

The Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse opened its latest location in Madison, Wisconsin. Like its predecessors, the Madison locale serves up American comfort food, vintage cocktails, local craft beers, and an extensive wine list, while offering a number of displays to entertain patrons with live sports and other televised content. To deliver the viewing experience for guests, the tavern called on integrator Audio Contractors LLC.

Audio Contractors outfitted Liberty Station with 12 displays — including eight ringing the main island bar, one in the lounge, and three in the outdoor patio area — playing out content from four DirecTV boxes. To provide a seamless experience for guests, a video distribution system was required that would allow staff to change each screen’s sources independently and send any source to any screen. In addition, the system had to be exceptionally easy to use, allowing employees of any technical skill level to quickly perform these functions with minimal training. Finally, as Liberty Station wasn’t sure how many DirecTV boxes they would eventually need, the ability to cost-effectively add sources to the system was imperative. To meet these requirements, Audio Contractors relied on Just Add Power’s 3G Ultra HD Over IP platform.

“With the number of sources required being an unknown, there were two options for providing Liberty Station with the scalability it required,” said Andrew Szlapka, commercial sales/system design at Audio Contractors. “We could utilize a video matrix switch with plenty of extra ports that they may never use — an option that represented a huge investment — or we could help them keep costs low by utilizing an IP-based solution that could be expanded as needed. IP was the obvious way to go, and Just Add Power is our go-to when deploying these systems due to its reliability, seamless setup, and cost-effective scalability.”

Liberty Station’s Just Add Power system offers ultra-low 16 ms of latency from source to screen and supports 4K Ultra HD resolutions and HDMI 2.0 devices with HDCP 2.2. The platform enables seamless switching between any resolution HDMI source as well as uncompressed lossless multichannel audio formats, including Dolby Atmos support. Video wall functionality is built-in for displays installed in portrait and flipped configurations, as well as image push, pull, and pop features.

An integrated scaler on the receiver automatically adjusts the picture to fit the screen.

Each of the tavern’s DirecTV boxes is equipped with a Just Add Power VBS-HDIP-707 PoE transmitter, while VBS-HDIP-508 PoE receivers are attached to the displays. The Ultra HD Over IP platform is engineered to provide complete scalability, so expanding Liberty Station’s system with an additional screen or DirecTV box is as simple as adding another receiver or transmitter.

The tavern’s Just Add Power system is powered by Luxul’s XMS-2624P 26-Port Gigabit managed PoE+ switch — with a dedicated VLAN for AV data — while staff control the guest experience using the Kramer Control browser-based solution running on an iPad. Audio Contractors created a customized user interface for the iPad that depicts Liberty Station’s layout, display locations, sources, and more — all on one screen. Real-time feedback allows staff to see which DirecTV box is playing on which displays. To change sources, they simply tap a source to select it and tap on the screens or screens they want to display it on.

“Liberty Station absolutely loves their Just Add Power system, which has performed reliably day in and day out since the tavern opened its doors to the public,” added Szlapka. “It’s so intuitive to operate that staff were able to just pick up the iPad and start using it before we even had a chance to provide any kind of training. They really like the real-time feedback and how simple and quick it is to switch sources. If patrons are watching a game on a certain TV and move to another, it only takes a second to send their game to the new location. Guests appreciate the seamless viewing experience. And in the rare event that a satellite connection drops out, Just Add Power’s push/pull feature allows Liberty Station to display a custom image — such as a list of the day’s specials — instead of having a blank screen.”


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