SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO-The Galaxy Lanes bowling alley and entertainment center is located in Puerto Rico's largest mall, and is home to one of the most extravagant integrations in recent years. Audio Visual Concepts' local office handled the install after the owners of the Galaxy contacted them about integrating several different technologies into the new venue.
Distributed audio is a part of the entire experience at Galaxy Lanes, like here by the lanes where EV clusters cover the area. Upstairs in the bars and breakout rooms, SoundTube speakers are installed that carry the DJ's feeds throughout.
"The owners of Galaxy Lanes had seen some alleys in Florida that had projection systems, but they wanted to go a few steps further," said Ivan Mendoza, AVC's project manager. "They wanted projections from the first lane to the 32nd one, they wanted the screens to be much bigger than in other alleys, and they wanted to distribute a lot of plasmas around the site itself."
The install was to be throughout the new facility, which is situated on two levels. On the first level there's an informal restaurant, a counter for all the shoes and such, and there's a breakout meeting room. Then on the second level, the mezzanine, there's a bar, a more formal restaurant, a pool table area, a small stage for live music, and two combining breakout rooms called the SkyBoxes. The facility holds 1,200 people.
On the first level, one of the things that immediately commands attention is the glass-walled DJ cabin, which is floating in between lanes five and six and is accessed by a spiral staircase. Most of the equipment, and all the sources, are located there: DVD players, CD players, music servers, Direct TV feeds, and a 17-inch Crestron Pro2 control system that directs traffic.
The racks are located on the mezzanine level, and from that room all the video distribution is run through UTB cable. Mendoza explained, "In the DJ booth we used Extron MTP T 15HD RS UTP transmitters, which feed a signal to the Extron MTP R HD RS UTP receivers in the equipment room. And in there we have a Extron MTX6400 VID 64 by 32 matrix switcher that leads over to the projectors, which each have their own UTB receivers. It also feeds to the plasmas we mounted around the facility."
Mendoza's crew installed 10 16- by 9-foot Da-Lite Da-Snap screens covering all the lanes. There were around 24 plasmas around the lanes as well. In the breakout room on the first level there's a Sony VPL-CX80 projector and a Da-Lite Cosmopolitan Electrol 100-inch. And in each SkyBox there's a 64-inch Sony FWD-50PX2 plasma for meetings, as well as a Crestron QM-WMC media center and QM-RMCRX media receiver with a Crestron CNX-B12 wall keypad for control. The breakouts include laptop and DVD feeds, plus they can press a button and receive content streaming from the DJ booth. Everything is wired for HD TV as well. Mendoza said, "We had to step up the signals to component level. They don't have HD yet, but they're wired for it when they're ready."
The Galaxy Lanes is situated in the food court level of the mall, so at the door to it there's a plasma that runs ads for the facility. The first thing a visitor encounters when walking in is the informal restaurant on the first floor restaurant. There's a small wall about three feet high, that separates the restaurant from the entrance where three 17-inch LCD panels are mounted. Four Crestron remotes are available for visitors to watch Direct TV on the LCD panels. The DJ can also force a video feed onto those LCDs as well.
The entire facility is swamped with plasmas. Mendoza recalled, "The bar in the informal restaurant has three plasmas, there's one in the hallway near the elevator, and upstairs there's three more plasmas at that bar. In the formal restaurant there's four more plasmas aligned with the semi circle glass walls. In the pool table area, there are two more plasmas. There are also three CCTV cameras, two for live reactions from visitors, and one for the DJ booth for any interviews. The feeds from the cameras are run to the plasmas. We also installed three Sony BRC300 IP cameras for when the facility is able to stream live video on their website."
The DJ booth at Galaxy Lanes is where all the source feeds originate for the entire facility. AVC used UTB cable to transmit signals, all controlled by a Crestron
AVC used SoundTube CM500i in-ceiling speakers for the distributed audio in the breakouts and SkyBoxes because of its BroadBeam waveguide technology, which fuller-frequency dispersion and high speech intelligibility. The bar and lounge are equipped with the RS series from SoundTube because there isn't a false ceiling there. The RS Series are being fed through Biamp MCA 8150 Amplifiers. All signal processing was through Biamp. For the main system, there are four Electro-Voice line array clusters being fed through EV amps, aimed across the lanes. For the live music stage, EV amps and two ZX5 two-way speakers power the system, with Dynacord D115 subs suspended in the corner, and a Mackie mixer controlling the sound. The feed from the live band can also be distributed to the rest of the system.
Another feature of the facility is the digital content that is streamed throughout. Scala Digital Signage supplied all the content for the screens. A local Scala dealer, Macar Aim, installed the system. It has the capability to make all ten screens mounted above the lanes blend into one image for ads. The central server can also do single standalone feeds on any of the other screens in the facility as well. The Crestron TPS-17 touch panel in the DJ booth controls the digital signage system as well.
The facility itself provided a lot of challenges for AVC to overcome. Mendoza recalled, "The biggest issues were the long distances to be covered, and the control of all the units. But another big challenge was the lanes being in between the projectors their respective screens. There was a column blocking almost every the screen. We had to go with an Eiki LC-X6 on one that would allow us to throw from the side and change the shape. And the screens were a challenge to hang from almost nowhere. The rest was just a lot of signal processing. But we had a lot of support from Crestron, Extron, Biamp, SoundTube, and Da-Lite. They were all fantastic."
The install provided AVC with an opportunity to use many of the technologies it installs separately to be integrated into one facility. But this seems to be a trend now among many new construction projects. Mendoza said, "All these places know that there's a lot of high tech stuff out there, and they just want go grab it. There are a lot of smaller local alleys here now scrambling to put in more technology to keep up. These places will be demanding this type of integration from now on, it's set a trend here in Puerto Rico."