Washington State Integrator Transforms Car Dealership’s AV Beyond the Ordinary

Washington State Integrator Transforms Car Dealership’s AV Beyond the Ordinary

Jupiter PixelNet video wall drivers support the 24 by 50-inch screen video wall, and Crown Pro amplifiers power the Barrier Mercedes dealership’s showroom speakers.BELLEVUE, WA—The Barrier Mercedes showroom started out as basic “cost of doing business project,” with background audio, an intercom system, and other standard features, but Madrona Digital proposed a much more sophisticated AV installation designed to grow the business. The end result was a much more expanded system designed to make AV the foundation of the dealership’s marketing strategy.

The Bellevue, Washington installation was completed with 16 zones of 1080p video, HD audio and paging, three conference rooms, and the highlight—a 24 by 50-inch screen video wall.

“The massive video wall was an outgrowth of this collaborative work,” said Amir Majidimehr, founder of Madrona Digital. “We educated the customer on what was technologically possible and explained how this reasonable technology investment would be more impactful to his business, while still being easy to use.”

Jupiter PixelNet drivers support the video wall, and Crown Pro amplifiers power the showroom speakers, all integrated through an Elan control system. The 16 HD display devices receive content from several Blu-ray inputs, digital signage feeds throughout the showroom, and HD transmissions to and from the various car repair bays. A Wyrestorm 16x16 matrix (MX-1616-PRO) is responsible for distributing all of this content.

A Wyrestorm 16x16 matrix (MX-1616-PRO) is responsible for distributing content from various inputs to the 16 HD displays in the dealership.“Wyrestorm’s 16x16 matrix product was the switching fabric that allowed us (and now them) to route digital signals from many AV sources to the video wall, and then take the video wall output and route it to the other displays,” Majidimehr explained. “This provided a very flexible and powerful solution to create the most dynamic video displays throughout the showroom, from the VIP waiting rooms to the aforementioned video wall.”

As the “heart of the system,” the switching solution would stand out in a bad way if any of the video sources were to go down. This reliability concern, along with compatibility, were factors leading Madrona to select Wyrestorm. “There are many video switching products in the market, but they often suffer from compatibility problems that are only discovered in the field and when specific products are attached to it. With Wyretorm, we could sleep easy knowing that it would work out of the box. And that is precisely what it did,” Majidimehr said.

The other major selling point was price. “Wyrestorm was significantly less expensive, relative to the other reliable option that we would consider deploying,” he said. “Given the fact that there is serious ROI attached to commercial projects like this, such a savings was a critical part of us winning this contract.”

One challenge Madrona dealt with on the project was the balance of the long-distance cable runs between displays, along with a high level of background noise, due to the use of HID and LED lighting drivers. These issues were resolved with Wyrestorm’s HDBaseT extender sets, which seamlessly integrated with the Elan control system.

Most importantly, the client was impressed by the support and service Madrona delivered, and the new technology has enhanced the Barrier Mercedes dealership. “The use of the video wall and screens throughout the showroom has become an integral part of the dealership’s operation. It is so easy to use that even the staff with moderate technical background is able to create new looks and presentations,” Majidimehr said. “As a result, they are able to constantly change the experience for customers in their showroom, which gives it a fresh vibe and reflects the innovation of both the dealership and the cars they sell.”

Madrona has traditionally been a more residential focused integrator that has selectively engaged in commercial projects. The projects Madrona pursues provide opportunities to extend the customer’s vision beyond the ordinary. “We do this by presenting solutions that they might not have considered due to unfamiliarity with what is technically possible,” Majidimehr said. This approach does not always lend itself to commercial projects, but Madrona has experienced growing interest and anticipates its work on these types of installations to double in the next 18 to 24 months.

Lindsey Adler is associate editor for SCN, Residential Systems, and Healthcare AV.

Lindsey M. Adler

Lindsey M. Adler is an audiovisual storyteller based in New York.