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New Austin Hotel Includes Flexible AV in Meeting Space

Hilton Garden Inn
(Image credit: Just Add Power)

Austin, Texas, has become a mecca for tech giants like Apple and startups alike. To achieve new levels of success for this mini–Silicon Valley, meetings have become the bread and butter of operation. A newly built Hilton Garden Inn in the area needed a transformative meeting space decked out with the very best in intuitive AV control for hosting presentations, trainings, and corporate events. Integrator Mood:Texas turned to its standard in AV-over-IP distribution and AV control, Just Add Power (opens in new tab) and RTI (opens in new tab), respectively.

Hilton Garden Inn

(Image credit: Just Add Power)

The hotel’s first request for the divisible ballroom was to include a Maxell 4K projector in each of the three spaces, along with an HDMI input that would allow guests to connect their laptops and send the video signal to the screen. One of the rooms also includes a display.

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As the install progressed, the hotel wanted to add the ability to watch TV on the projectors as well. Along with the three HDMI inputs (opens in new tab), sources included three cable boxes, three Barco ClickShare wireless presentation systems, and two audio players, requiring both easy-to-install, AV-over-IP system and user-friendly control system.

RTI KA8

RTI KA8 Touchpanel Controller (Image credit: Just Add Power)

Just Add Power’s platform includes affordable transmitters that connect to each source and a receiver for each display. Mood:Texas installed a Cisco switch to support the number of transmitter and receiver devices in the system. The platform uses the facility’s existing network infrastructure—Cat5/6/7 or fiber optic cabling—to send video and audio signals from source to screen reliably and with ultra-low latency. Integrators can design a system to be centralized, decentralized, or a mixture of both. Plus, Just Add Power supports scalability for future source and/or screen expansion in the future, which was a key factor on the hotel project.

“We knew it would be vital to implement an easy-to-use system that was expandable depending on what they wanted to add later on,” said Eric Ramay, CTS, CTS-I, CTS-D, system design developer for Mood:Texas. “That's one reason we went with the Just Add Power system. Instead having to resell them an entire new HDBaseT matrix, we just add three more transmitters to their switch to support the three cable boxes.”

Hilton Garden Inn

The meeting space can be divided into three separate areas to house multiple events. (Image credit: Just Add Power)

Just Add Power offers ultra-low 16ms of latency from source to screen and supports 4K Ultra HD resolutions, HDMI 2.0 devices with HDCP 2.2, and CEC on/off commands. The platform enables seamless switching between any resolution HDMI source as well as uncompressed lossless multichannel audio formats, including Dolby Atmos support. Other features include video wall configuration and image push, pull, and pop. An integrated scaler on the receiver automatically adjusts the picture to fit the screen, no matter the make or model of the display.

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For the install, Mood:Texas relied on Just Add Power’s VBS-HDIP-708POE PoE transmitters with stereo out and VBS-HDIP-508POE PoE receivers. The wall plates installed in each of the three spaces are the VBS-HDIP-707WP2, which is a single PoE-powered HDMI wall input. An ST1 sound transceiver was installed to support stereo audio sources; it can de-embed any audio from any source or any receiver and route the audio where needed. “It just makes it so much easier as an integrator to ensure that we have the correct audio, the correct format, and we're able to get a nice clean audio off of those HDMI inputs,” said Ramay.

Another benefit is that the system integrates seamlessly with the company’s preferred control system, RTI. Just Add Power provides free drivers for many popular control systems, including RTI, and an easily accessible API. RTI’s XP-6s control processor—the integrator’s go-to control processing solution—is the brain for activating the capabilities available on each of the room’s KA8 touchpanel controllers. Ramay also expanded the system with contact closure support to control the projector screens from the controllers, as well as fulfill a last-minute request for shade control. A simple module from P5 bridged the shades and RTI (opens in new tab) together.

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With Just Add Power and RTI systems, room combining is simple and intuitive. When the room is combined, depending on the state of the room, the controller only gives them the option to access the appropriate Just Add Power inputs and outputs.

“For example, if all the rooms are separated, we do not want room one changing anything in room three that’s being used for another meeting,” expalined Ramay. “That could be a huge issue if somebody is in the middle of an important meeting but are interrupted by music playing over the speakers. As the rooms separate, the controller completely reconfigures the control screens to only allow of them to have access to the rooms’ inputs and outputs from the controller in that room. If they're all combined, they literally can do everything from any of the control screens. They don't have to run to each of the controllers.”

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