Clear-Com teamed with MW Comm Solutions of Plano, TX to solve a tricky intercom challenge at The Theater at MGM National Harbor. Serving the Washington, DC entertainment market, this new 3,000-seat theater attracts world-class acts such as Bruno Mars, The Who, Chris Rock, and Tom Jones, just to name a few.
Systems integrator PSX Worldwide Audiovisual Technologies of New Orleans, LA was hired to translate the theater’s ambitious AV design into a functional and dependable reality. “The hybrid intercom system at The Theater at MGM National Harbor is all based on Clear-Com technology, including three HelixNet digital partyline intercom systems and a two-wire, four-channel analog partyline system,” said Ed Vigueira, senior engineer/project manager, PSX Worldwide Audiovisual Technologies. “When we anticipated challenges in achieving the specified connection choice, we turned to Clear-Com for help—and help they did.”
Originally, the theater’s AV design specified connecting the venue’s diverse intercom systems over shielded Cat-6 cables. These intercom cables would have been terminated to shielded punch blocks inside patch bays at the theater’s equipment racks, while using XLR connectors at field panels throughout the complex.
Mindful that PSX Worldwide needed answers quickly to complete the theater’s AV integration on time, Clear-Com directed Ed Vigueira to MW Comm Solutions for a creative custom solution.
“MW Comms came through for us by designing and custom-building one XLR to 10 shielded Cat-6 jack rack-mounted distribution boxes for this project, giving us a clean, dependable way to bridge the gap from the base stations to the patch bays,” Vigueira said. “With the addition of shielded STP patch cables, we had everything we needed to get the entire intercom system working. There was no noise, no latency, and MW Comms’ plug-and-play design saved us many hours of labor. At the same time, this solution allowed us to get 10 physical outputs out of each intercom channel.”
In addition, the custom solution added more flexibility and configurability. Normally, a theater system is hard-wired and changes very rarely. However, the Clear-Com HelixNet solution with the MW Comms “jumper connection” allows the theater to make changes on the fly. With big name artists coming through multiple times per week, this allows them to change production easily for each performing artist.
The importance of MW Comms’ custom solution, spurred into existence by Clear-Com’s knowledgeable customer support, made all the difference to The Theater at MGM National Harbor’s AV installation. “I’m glad we were able to devise this solution for PSX Worldwide,” said Michael Wilson, founder of MW Comm Solutions. “Thankfully, Clear-Com knew their client’s needs, and knew who to ask for help.”
“Our client was delighted with the final intercom product, and the designer was satisfied that we had met his requirements,” Vigueira said. “As a systems integrator, you sometimes find yourself squeezed between specifications and physics. Fortunately, Clear-Com and MW Comms stepped up and solved this challenge for us, easing the pressure!”