PayPal Uses Renkus-Heinz for Outdoor Meeting Space

PayPal uses Renkus-Heinz line arrays and subwoofers for outdoor meeting space

PayPal recently added an outdoor meeting space with full AV capabilities to its company headquarters in San Jose, California. Conference Technologies, Inc., is the contractor and installer for the new system. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, with multiple offices throughout the U.S., CTI has a long relationship with PayPal, designing and installing systems in more than 600 PayPal conference rooms throughout North America.

PayPal's San Jose campus comprises eight buildings, with a large outdoor green space in the middle equipped with an outdoor kitchen and seating area. The company wanted to upgrade the space with a first-class AV system and turn it into a community gathering place for all-hands meetings and corporate events. "As with most installations, this one had unique challenges, especially with regard to audio," said CTI design consultant Josh Keller, who oversaw system design and installation. "We needed versatility, including high intelligibility with relatively low volume, and at other times we need to push it. Renkus-Heinz digitally steerable arrays enabled us to direct the sound precisely, minimizing reflections off the surrounding buildings and preventing sound from interfering with people's work, especially during the day."

Keller specified a Dante network employing a pair of weatherproof Renkus-Heinz IC Live Gen5-series ICL-F-DUAL-RD digitally steerable line arrays. The arrays were paired with two Renkus-Heinz PN212-SUB dual 12-inch powered subwoofers and were installed on either side of a 16 by 10-foot Planar CLO Series outdoor-rated LED video wall to create a high-end AV system for movie nights, corporate messages, and meetings.

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Each ICL-F-DUAL-RD array employs five 6.5-inch cone transducers and three 1-inch compression drivers per module. Vertical opening angles can be defined for up to eight steerable beams, which can be individually aimed in software. Vertical pattern control can be steered up or down from -30˚ to +30˚, with beam control effective down to 400 Hz. Horizontal dispersion is 150° up to 3 kHz and 120° above 3 kHz.

The ability to precisely steer custom-shaped beams enables the PayPal system to provide even coverage across the entire community space while minimizing reflections and interference with nearby work areas. "That's where the Renkus-Heinz IC Live arrays really excelled," said Keller. "Beam steering gave us the focus that we needed in critical areas and still achieved the coverage and punch. We especially used it to keep the reflections off the surrounding buildings and allow intelligibility to be as high as it could be with the volume as low as it could be. In addition, with multiple beams, we could get a long throw to reach the people in back without blasting the people in front."

Keller considered his options and decided that larger, "big box" line arrays weren't a good fit for this project. "We wanted to find something smaller and less obtrusive that had an outdoor rating and could be run over the network," he said. "That narrowed the field considerably. Based on our relationship with our rep and with Renkus-Heinz, and the good support we've had in the past, we chose Renkus-Heinz. I've been using Renkus-Heinz for about 15 years, and I'm a really big fan of the IC Lives."

The new AV system is a central hub for PayPal. Since it is implemented over an IP network, everything can be transmitted anywhere in the campus. A Biamp Tesira SERVER-IO AVB configurable audio DSP with a SIC-4 four channel input card, SOC-4 four channel output card, and DAN-1 Dante card manages the system, while Crestron touch screens provide user control. Digital traffic is handled by a Cisco 48-port gigabit PoE managed switch. For larger productions, a Midas M32-R digital mixer with Dante expansion module can be rolled out and easily patched into the network.

The new system at PayPal headquarters is now up and running. "Our representative came in and commissioned the system quickly," Keller said. "Everyone is pleased with the sound and capabilities of the new meeting area at PayPal."