If you walked through URC’s booth at CEDIA Expo 2019 in Denver, Colo., perhaps you were surprised to see a sports bar setup as a focal point. Or if you’re among the growing number of integrators who deploy URC solutions into commercial spaces, perhaps you weren’t.
The control manufacturer highlighted how its Total Control system and related control and AV distribution products are a winning fit for easy-to-control, easy-to-install light commercial work like bars, restaurants, corporate meeting rooms and more.
CEDIA Expo Booth Spotlights Solutions’ Versatility
In fact, URC handed out its Unsurpassed Awards to dealers with a reception at the Expo, and it turned out this year’s entrants and winners illustrated to the company how popular its control ecosystem has become for commercial applications.
“We had Best U.S. Commercial and Best International Commercial Install [along with the residential awards] and were delighted to find that a lot of our dealers submitted for the commercial installations,” says Petro Shimonishi, director of marketing, URC.
“I’m still relatively new to the brand and I’m asking questions [of the dealers during the awards]. … A lot of dealers are doing commercial installs with our products, and I never really thought of URC in that way.”
In polling URC’s dealers, Shimonishi found them to favor URC’s ease of programming and user interface navigation/controls via one touchscreen. In its booth, URC showed simple multidisplay source selection and AV adjustments from a Total Control touchpanel.
“One sports bar [installation into the URC Awards] had 71 screens and it was all controlled by one of these touchscreens behind the bar,” Shimonishi says, “and the end user was basically quoted as saying this was the easiest system they’ve ever used and they’ve been a bartender for 20 years with experience using a variety of control system brands.”
Besides highlighting Total Control at CEDIA Expo, URC also introduced a new loudspeaker line. To assist audio installation in commercial environments, the speakers feature a patented “truly tool-less design,” according to the company. Installers can speed up the audio portion of a project as the speakers install in less than a minute.
A Look at Top Commercial Installations
For examples like that of how integrators are succeeding and satisfying commercial clients, here’s a glimpse at four of this year’s Unsurpassed winners:
ReVampIT Audio Video – Best Commercial Installation – USA
ReVampIT Audio Video (Scottsdale, Ariz.) performed the work in the project Shimonishi refers to, at K O’Donnell’s Sports Bar & Restaurant.
It features a total of 71 TVs (36 inside, 35 on the patio), five zones of audio, all controlled by URC’s Total Control System using URC TDC-7100 tabletop touchscreen controller. Video distribution is done via Just Add Power IP-based system.
ReVampIT technicians custom programmed the URC interface to also do source tracking for the system, so when the end user wants to control one of the TVs, they select the zone, the TV number and the UI automatically shows and keeps track of the now playing source.
“The bar owners and managers have said that this is the easiest system they have used, and many of the managers have used several other systems at other jobs,” notes Jack Thompson, ReVampIT Audio Video owner.
Chelsea Connected – Best Commercial Installation – International
Chelsea Connected Ltd (London, U.K.) designed and delivered a tasteful installation of a distributed AV system in a wine bar, The Humble Grape.
The Canary Wharf, London, establishment features a projector, a drop-down screen, a 55-inch Sony OLED display in the private dining room, plus multizone music. It’s all designed to blend in neatly with the elegant surroundings and is controlled using URC TKP-7600 in-wall touchscreens connected to a URC MRX-15 processor.
Chelsea customized the touchscreens user interface with custom graphics with Humble Grape’s brand identity. Staff can also control the system using the URC Total Control app on their smartphones.
“I first met the wine bar owner in 2010 when I set up my business. Chelsea Connected had a stand at a local street party in South London; we did a bit of IT work at their home and a few years later when the owner started The Humble Grape bar we were asked to the audio-visual. This is their fourth (and boldest) installation for them,” says Chelsea Connected’s Dudley Rees.
“The owners and many of their staff are pretty good with technology, however, we were mindful that as new staff join, they may not be tech savvy, so we wanted to create a system that was easy to use.”
Total Connect Custom Audio Video & Nard’s Technical Services (tie) – Most Unique Installation – Worldwide
Total Connect Custom Audio Video (Acworth, Ga.) completed a very unique mobile install for NBA Digital, installing Just Add Power video distribution controlled by TDC-7100 tabletop touchscreens in five rooms.
The URC system commands 34 TVs in one room, along with a triple-TV wall, a quad-TV video wall, a six-TV video wall and a six TV scoreboard.
The custom-programmed UIs offer current source buttons for all 44 TVs to track what source is selected.
Nard’s Entertainment (McLean, Va.) was also awarded an Unsurpassed Award for their installation of URC’s DMS distributed audio system and Total Control system into a Carr Properties’ smart building, “The Hub,” in Washington D.C.
“From the time you enter this building through the parking garage with soft background music until you complete your business in one of the conference rooms or group spaces, you feel more like you’re at the Ritz vs. an office building,” says John Carroll, Nard’s CTO.
Nard’s designed the user interfaces with corporate branding and off-site control for building engineers, property management and IT professionals.
The integrator created a system that anyone could use and get the full benefit of all technologies such as music, TV, video conferencing, wired and wireless presentations, and media casting, says Carroll.
“At The Hub the trick was to design a system that allowed users the ability with no training whatsoever to use the technology that Carr had placed in its building,” he says. “So we started the design at the interface and then worked backwards to find the products that allowed us the ease of operation that we were looking for.”