entertainment • presentation • installation

Harman Pro products serve Team GB House

The Centre benefited from an advanced digital communications infrastructure

19 October 2012

UK - The British Olympic Association's (BOA) operational headquarters during London 2012 (Team GB House) was complete with private hospitality area, a special lounge designed to allow athletes to spend time with their family and friends, a press conference room, broadcast suites and back office operations centre for sports and news analysis.

Situated opposite both Olympic Park and Stratford Station - Team GB House was designed to provide a relaxing haven for nearly 550 athletes, who represented Great Britain at the Games, with secure access from the village.

The Centre benefited from an advanced digital communications infrastructure, designed and installed by multimedia systems integrator, Netpractise Ltd., who have previously delivered innovative audio visual solutions for the BOA at their London HQ.

All principal audio tools in the key areas at Stratford were from the Harman Pro brand portfolio - supplied and specified by Sound Technology, in partnership with resellers, CoNi Ltd. These components include premium JBL VRX line array elements and CBT constant beamwidth series, Crown amplification and BSS Soundweb London configurable DSP for audio routing and system optimisation.

To facilitate the vast multicast requirement (including feeds to 22 screens onsite), the AV specialists provided end-to-end connectivity via TCP/IP, specifying the formatting, transmission and signal routing, building on the I/O expansion offered by the BSS digital architecture.

Assisted by Sam Brandon and Ben Todd from Sound Technology's project team, a top-grade audio specification was put together.

Sound reinforcement in the stylish Hospitality Suite, complete with stage and simulated running track, are three white ceiling-mounted JBL VRX932LA enclosures, two either side of the stage, operating as a single point source with the third used as a delayed fill for the rear of the rectangular room. For LF extension a VRX 915S single 15in reflex subwoofer is ground mounted off stage, while an auxiliary VRX 915 comes into play when a party vibe is required, or when a DJ plugs into the input provided for the purpose (there is also a mini-jack plug-in for MP3 background music during the day). The main system is powered by two Crown CTs 2000 power amplifiers.

The P&G Nearest and Dearest relaxation lounge, sponsored by Procter & Gamble - which is not accessible to press or public - sees the deployment of eight JBL Control 25's mounted above the huge penthouse-style picture windows, offering spectacular views over the Park and City, and powered by two Crown CDi 1000 amplifiers.

The Press Room features a pair of JBL CBT70J Constant Beamwidth column line array loudspeakers, ensuring high speech intelligibility, and powered by a Crown CTs 1200. There are six table microphone inputs for AKG's C747 miniature shotgun mics - the same microphone model as installed at the lectern position in the Hospitality Suite for presentation purposes.

Netpractise also provided six channels of AKG radio microphones in total, including four AKG DMS700 wireless systems (with two DSR 700 dual receivers), two handhelds featuring AKG's reference D7 capsule and two belt-packs with CK77 miniature, premium lavalier microphones. Offering pure, uncompressed digital signal path and 512-bit secure encryption, these are used by the MC's, interviewees and presenters in the main hospitality suite, with a further handheld and lapel microphones for use in the press conference room.

Elsewhere, around the perimeter are 14 JBL Control 52 surface mount satellite speakers divided into two zones (of eight and six respectively) to ensure intelligibility throughout the area, each driven by a Crown CT875 8-channel power amplifier.

There are two main control rack positions - a local audio drive rack next to the main Reception desk and a main Comms Room, where four 47U racks are almost fully loaded. Installed to the AV racks are the Exterity IPTV head-end, complete with dual content servers and an Extron XTP HDMI matrix switcher solution providing centralised high definition video distribution.

Brandon and Todd designed the digital matrix to enable Netpractise project manager Tom Martelli to configure his system with 32 inputs and 23 outputs, including Program Audio (VT audio) across five zones.

The Soundweb London fixed-format (12-in/8-out) BLU-100 processor in the comms room has had its capacity expanded via BLU-BIB break-in box (offering eight additional inputs) and BLU-BOB breakout, giving an additional eight outputs, located in the local amp rack. They have deployed a BLU-Link solution, with BSS's high bandwidth digital audio bus providing easy connectivity, using standard Category 5e cabling - which can extend across a distance of 100m between compatible devices. In this way only two runs of CAT5 are necessary for the Hospitality area, offering a highly cost-effective solution with cable redundancy.

Also connected to BLU-Link is a BSS BLU-120 I/O Expander at the back of the press conference room which feeds a stage box with 16 x XLR's - providing a switchable line level output facility for use by broadcast company camera crews.

Said Thomas Martelli, "We owe a lot to our principal suppliers, such as the Sound Technology project team for their professional support. For a project as high-profile and technically complex as this, we felt it was critical to its success to involve the in-house technical resources of Sound Technology and other suppliers."

Following the conclusion of the Olympics Games, Team GB House will be handed from the BOA to the British Paralympic Association (BPA), to become Paralympics GB House for the Paralympic Games. At the conclusion of that, the site will be completely decommissioned and the technical equipment will go on to start a new life elsewhere.

(Jim Evans)


Tag Cloud

Harman Pro Team GB House BOA during complete hospitality area lounge designed athletes press conference room broadcast back Games secure digital installed systems audio principal Stratford Sound Technology premium line array Crown routing system including feeds AV provided connectivity signal I/O BSS project team Sound Hospitality Suite stage single used mounted main powered power amplifiers offering high intelligibility microphone inputs miniature Netpractise AKG microphones dual use zones rack local racks matrix solution providing outputs across box additional BLU-Link Hospitality suppliers technical conclusion

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