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Clutch Performer: Key Digital AVoIP System Stars in Sports Bars' Big Season

At The Bear Trap restaurant and sports bar in Tuscaloosa, AL, four big flat screens behind the bar are just the beginning of the viewing options for its customers. With a scalable, cost-effective infrastructure of Key Digital gear, The Bear Trap provides an example to follow for sports bars looking to upgrade their AV infrastructure. (Image credit: Key Digital)

This is the time of year that sports bars live for: the Super Bowl, NCAA's March Madness, NBA and NHL All Star Games and this year's Winter Olympics (opens in new tab) make for a dizzying and delirious few months of nonstop games, matches and events. It's prime season for these establishments, with every flat screen in the house lit up with a different game and every loudspeaker alive with crowd cheers and announcers pontificating, while the wings and cold ones keep moving. It's also when sports bars need to make sure their audio and video is in major-league shape, and scalable AVoIP (opens in new tab) technology from Key Digital (opens in new tab) has the right stuff to make that happen.

[Key Digital Offers Solutions for a Reconnecting World] (opens in new tab)

A great example is found at The Bear Trap (opens in new tab), Tuscaloosa's only rooftop restaurant and bar, deep in the heart of Alabama sports country, overlooking Bryant-Denny Stadium (home of the University of Alabama's famed/feared Crimson Tide). Patrons enjoy a kinetic atmosphere created by the strategic placement of large video displays and projection screens throughout the two-level building, all thanks to a scalable AV over IP system from Key Digital, installed by locally-based expert integrators EMB Pro AV (opens in new tab). The Bear Trap co-owner Daniel McCullum wanted to be ready for the winter rush--venues like sports bars are the most popular locations for fans to gather to watch sporting events outside their homes. However, as The Bear Trap management was about to embark on the project to refresh their AV systems, they worried it would prove to be a daunting task to update the unruly wiring and dated cabling infrastructure, consolidate expensive monthly subscription sources for a more economical solution, and modernize the atmosphere, all while staying true to their college sports-bar roots. With their focus honed in on providing the most robust system at a cost-effective price point, the professionals at EMB Pro AV knew to turn to Key Digital for a reliable and trustworthy AV over IP system.


The Bear Trap restaurant and sports bar's AV rack includes six Key Digital KD-IP822ENC AV over IP encoders, which enabled the venue to modernize its systems, simplify wiring and reduce monthly cable subscription costs. (Image credit: Key Digital)

EMB Pro AV's system design included Key Digital's KD-IP822 (opens in new tab) AV over IP encoders and decoders, which seamlessly integrate with the installed third-party Creston (opens in new tab)control system, providing exceptional signal paths and allowing the video system to be used for digital-signage applications. Key Digital's AV over IP product family offers near-limitless scalability, and leave room for future expansions as often as the restaurant would like.

K[ey Digital Bolsters KD App With Source Control Capabilities] (opens in new tab)

The result provided benefits for patrons' experience and the owners' pocketbooks. In addition to the crystal-clear picture and razor-sharp audio fans enjoy, "Every month we're also saving money on the cable bill, because we were able to get rid of about 12 boxes that were previously mounted right at the televisions," McCullum explained. "That's a great savings right off the bat. And now with this digital signage we can advertise specials and sell more than we ever have of certain premium liquors just by putting the names up on the displays and letting everyone know to ask for it by name. We're looking into eliminating our printed specials inserts because the displays do such a better job of reaching everyone in the crowd. We're really happy with the system and look forward to expanding our AV even further in the future."

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.