The Waltham, MA-based team of HB Communications equipped the TD Garden’s Legends Club with a variety of innovative AV technology, including Christie projection, EAW loudspeakers, and NanoLumens displays. Larry Bird and Bobby Orr. Two of the greatest names in sports history, and legends whose play earned them godlike adulation among the fervent fans of Boston, one of America’s most passionate sports markets. Both of these transcendent heroes called the Boston Garden home; today, its replacement, TD Garden, is home to a new crop of talented basketball and hockey players who help keep the locals’ spirits high through the gelid New England winters.
To reward the most passionate fans of the Celtics and Bruins with a place that honors their favorite franchises’ storied pasts, the arena’s management decided to upgrade the amenities of its private, members-only restaurant and bar, the Legends Club, with cutting-edge audiovisual equipment. The upgrades, performed by the Waltham, MA-based team of HB Communications, commenced in June of 2014 and were completed in time for the start of the 2014–2015 NBA and NHL seasons in October.
Located on the third level of the arena, the Legends Club has access restricted to full and partial season ticket holders. But according to Andrew DeCesare, senior account manager at HB Communications, the Legends Club also plays a more important role to the franchises that call the arena home.
“During the day and for night games, it’s a restaurant with quite a few different display elements installed,” he said. “But it can be switched to a presentation area, where they can have press conferences, new player introductions; things of that nature as well.”
In designing a space to both celebrate a rich history and inaugurate new heroes, a strong audiovisual element was essential.
The installation included 26 Samsung thin-bezel displays, deployed via Peerless-AV mounts in various arrangements, including a three-by-three and two-by-two video wall around the main bar. Three Christie Digital 1080p projectors present sports programming on three 119-by-212-inch Da-Lite Advantage Electrol screens, and four of the space’s columns were covered with NanoLumens 5.6 millimeter LED display wraps. All of the video is fed from Crestron equipment, including a 32-by-32 DigitalMedia switcher, Air Media Presentation Gateway, and CresFiber fiber optic cables.
On the audio side, 19 Eastern Acoustic Works loudspeakers are driven by a Crown CTS8200 eight-channel, 70-volt amplifier, with Biamp Tesira Server audio processor. For presentations and press conferences, two Shure wireless systems (an eight-channel and four-channel) with 10 SM58 wireless microphones and two wireless lavalier mics are incorporated.
The crowning feature, however, are the Bruins’ and Celtics’ championship banners—presented virtually overhead in one of the first installations of NanoLumens’ new transparent NanoClear displays. HB Communications installed 12 of these two-piece projection displays, each of which measure two feet wide by three feet tall, from the ceiling along the length of the bar.
Legends Club is outfitted with 12 NanoLumens NanoClear displays, onto which the Celtics and Bruins championship banners are projected. According to Robert Cross, director of research and development at NanoLumens, the characteristics of the NanoClear solution fit the project’s demands perfectly. “The technology itself is two components,” he explained. “One is a laser projector, which has very high uniformity of colors, so when we do those large-area displays, we have good color matching between the images. The second part is the screen itself. We used a proprietary combination of acrylic and micro-diffusion particles to form a very transparent, lightweight screen. The micro-diffusion particles at their specific fill ratio, which is cast, actually absorb the light being emitted from the projector and glow with that particular color. This gives a very dynamic image, as well as a display that has tremendous off-axis viewing.”
The off-axis performance of the displays in particular proved ideal for this installation: since the displays are arranged in a line, the customer wanted to position each respective projector off to the side, obscuring the video source and preventing patrons from being “hot-spotted,” or blinded by the projectors’ light. According to Cross, other similar display solutions on the market require the projector to be placed at a set distance and location from the screens because of the way they redirect the light. “But since ours does not have that angle dependence, we’re able to get good off-axis viewing,” he said. “And for this particular case at TD, we were able to put the projectors where the customer really wanted them.”
Cross also highlighted the customizability enabled by the NanoClear technology. “Each one of those at TD is its own display, and that allows them to be individually controlled,” he said, “so they can change the content as they wish, whether it be for a Boston Celtics game, or a Boston Bruins game—or if they’re having a concert there, they can put up logos of the band or the act playing.”
So no matter what kind of event the TD Garden hosts, ownership can be sure the most loyal fans have a one-of-a-kind space to enhance the experience.
Matt Pruznick is associate editor of SCN and Residential Systems. Follow him on Twitter @Pruznick.