The Trail Stop Tavern in Eagan, MN, has been serving suburban Twin Cities burger connoisseurs and beer lovers since 2015 with a welcoming atmosphere and exceptional customer service. A dozen 65 and 85-inch video displays throughout the restaurant keep sports fans on top of every game. However, the older infrastructure behind the monitors left much to be desired: Low-end splitters and outdated cabling made for both less-than-optimal image quality and a challenging operational situation, with as many as 15 different remotes needing to be wrangled by staff to control all of the displays and cable boxes. That all changed in October when Edina, MN-based AV systems designer and integrator Innovative Sales Solutions installed solutions from Key Digital (opens in new tab).
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Innovative Sales Solutions partnered with Key Digital to pinpoint the system components, which included eight KD-IP822ENC 4K UHD AV-over-IP Encoders (one per source), 11 KD-IP822DEC 4K UHD AV-over-IP Decoders (one per display or display group), KD-Pro8K 3- and 6-foot ultra-high-speed HDMI cables, and the KD-SMS16 Shelf Mounting System, allowing the integrator to deliver a ready-to-install infrastructure solution that immediately and vastly improved the video quality on the displays, much to the delight of sports-minded patrons. Along with the signal improvements, these solutions provide simplified, centralized control capabilities that, combined with the free companion Key Digital iOS KD-App iOS-based control system, make managing the displays and cable boxes easy for the Trail Stop staff (only iPad taps and swipes are needed to select sources and destinations, change channels, power displays, control volume, or to choose system-wide presets of common setups).
“They had really nice, big displays—it was the signal quality that was the problem, which is not something that many end users realize,” explained John Peterson, vice president of technology sales at Innovative Sales Solutions. “The AV layout was also a challenge for them to manage—some of the cable boxes were up on high shelves that made them difficult to reach to change channels or reboot the boxes.”
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Innovative Sales Solutions installer Chad Bonin replaced the archaic Trail Stop Tavern system with a new ergonomically efficient AV design, featuring six new cable TV source boxes and separate boxes for streaming content, as well as updating the entire cabling infrastructure with Cat-6 wiring. At the core of this solution were the Key Digital components. “It was a well-coordinated collaboration. Key Digital did all the configuration, including the network switch and wireless router. They labeled every part and it came to us tested and ready to install,” said Peterson. “The Key Digital App gave us a perfect control touchscreen without any programming required. Key Digital makes it very easy for the integrator and installer; they even added a numeric entry screen for direct channel selection to their GUI at our request. The restaurant is also ready to add new streaming sources, such as football on Amazon Prime on Thursday nights, as they become available.”
The patrons of Trail Stop Tavern love what they’re seeing. “It’s amazing the quality of the image you can achieve when you use the right components, and the customers are noticing,” he added. “They can now easily have any channel they want on any display, all from the iPad.”