Mega MediaMatrix installation in Doha
6 July 2012
Qatar - A sizeable Peavey MediaMatrix system was chosen for Phase II of the massive AV installation at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) to create the perfect audiovisual control system solution.
One of the biggest AV projects the world has ever seen, QNCC utilises more than 250km of fibre optic cabling to connect all systems to a central hub, and the project incorporates everything from BGM to broadcast. It took almost two years for a 60-strong workforce of specialist technicians to complete.
From the offset, systems integrator Techno Q was handed the task of designing a system whereby each of the building's three main areas (exhibition halls, meeting rooms, and connecting public areas) could be controlled centrally as well as locally. And this place is vast - the exhibition space alone totals 850m (over seven halls), and there are 42 separate meeting rooms and seven hospitality suites.
A central control room was needed to run the entire network, and large-scale programming was required for both the audio and visual systems, therefore 82 Peavey MediaMatrix NION n3s and 91 Cab 4n units with Crestron RoomView were deployed, which provided a massive 2,760 channels of audio, all run over CobraNet.
"The project was highly complex," says Ahmed Abdel Kader, projects engineer at Techno Q. "For MediaMatrix we are using CobraNet connecting each DSP and each Cab 4 to the network, and then we can send a bundle of the audio through the CobraNet to everywhere."
The system was split out between DSP programming and control system programming, according to Techno Q control systems programmer, Rob Tognoli, who also rates the NIONs very highly.
"Audio and control worked side by side and the audio/DSP programming was a vital component," he reveals. "The [MediaMatrix] NIONs are certainly the backbone of the entire system."
A total of 15 IDF rooms are located on the bottom floor, with four IDFs controlling the meeting rooms, and a further three controlling centrally. Equalisation for each room was also done by Techno Q, and controls each circuit within the building.
"All the  speakers had to have the same impedance," Kader adds. "There are so many circuits, so if you need the volume up in one area it means the volume goes up for more than one circuit, so it requires a lot of programming, as you don't want the sound to be higher for one circuit than another."
Enter MediaMatrix. Kader describes its integration with RoomView as a major advantage, and was very impressed by its performance.
"One of the reasons we went with MediaMatrix was because it had good references from airports for these types of projects," he says. "They can combine the whole building so you can, for example, have one source and send it to any room."
The central control room has three mix positions on its main console; each one has a split-screen for video production and a monitor to display content for any of the meeting rooms.
"All the HD cameras come through the multi-mode fibre to a receiver here and are converted to HD/SD-SDI and connected to the main router so you can route the signal to wherever you want," says Kader. "We can route any presentation from any room to any other; you can do the same thing with the audio signal."
The room also boasts a diagnostics console, which allows the operator an overview of each part of the system.
"There is a graphic interface for the Crestron system, which makes it very intuitive," Kader continues. "And there is a grid of the MediaMatrix, so you can view either an individual zone or all the zones at any time."
Kader says on the whole, the project has been all about quality, and has been a pleasure to work on. "The very latest technology has been applied throughout this building and it was a very good design," he concludes. "And as far as the ability to route any system anywhere - they have the capability to do just about anything you would expect in the 21st Century."
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