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SSE chooses QSC and Shure for AV integration at Phillips auction house

Internationally renowned auction house Phillips has turned to integrator SSE for an AV project at the company’s European HQ in London’s Berkeley Square. SSE installed a Q-Sys audio routing and management system, based around a Core 250i processor, to distribute and control networked audio and video throughout the building.

The building is a six-floor complex that incorporates auction rooms, client presentation and hospitality areas and offices. Several channels of Shure’s ULX-D wireless microphone systems have also been installed, these can be linked into the building-wide Layer 3 audio network. The Shure and QSC equipment was supplied by Shure Distribution UK.

The Q-Sys system also controls the video via the RS232 protocol and a Kramer video switcher. Control over the AV via Q-Sys is maintained via QSC TSC touchscreen control panels situated throughout the building.

“With the flexibility Q-Sys offers, Phillips are now able to set up a wide range of activities in their public spaces with a few minutes’ work at one of the touchscreens,” explained Emma Bigg, director, SSE Installations. “You can make a speech or give a presentation by simply plugging in a laptop and a microphone into the network and selecting that option on a touchscreen. We had anticipated having to handle a lot of I/O locally in the original design, so the fact that you could just provide network connection points throughout the building and network the Q-Sys I/O Frames was quite appealing, too.”

The Shure ULX-D wireless systems also simplify sound reinforcement for events, Bigg continued: “There are two Shure UA864 antennas in each of the two galleries to give wireless coverage, so all the Phillips staff have to do is pick up a wireless handheld microphone, press ‘Mic’ on a touchscreen and it’s routed straight into the building’s audio systems. There is also a separate ULX-D receiver that is stored with a live console in a rack, so that when they’re doing larger live events with the console, the receiver is local to the console and they can use the same radio mics through that receiver, leaving the system more in control of the engineer on the desk.”

Bigg added: “Generally, there is a move to systems like Q-Sys underway in our industry, and Q Sys is top of our list. It has been on our radar for several years, but when it first came out it was hard to justify the cost on the projects we were involved with. Now we’ve got the smaller Cores, the 250s and the 500s, the situation has totally changed.

“Eddie Thomas and Paul Todd at SSE have increasingly been specifying Q-Sys for their projects, including Liberty Stadium at Swansea, and they were both closely involved in specifying the system at Phillips. As designed, the system is complex but very manageable, and includes some futureproofing, it isn’t all implemented yet, as the client wasn’t certain exactly how all of the spaces would be used over time. So we’ve put in over 1.5km of fibre-optic cable, and we’ve put in Q-Sys and the Kramer switcher, which has a lot of room for expansion. We know that when Phillips are ready for these systems to do more, we will be able to realise their requirements with the infrastructure we’ve already installed.”