Our biggest Barco control room project to date, a complete Barco rear projection 40 cube videowall, Barco videowall controllers and Barco Control Room Management Suite software package was installed at the premises of Mobile Telephone Networks (MTN) in Randburg, South Africa.
We were fortunate to obtain permission from MTN to share the entire installation process, from dismantling the previous videowall to powering up their new Barco system.
The installation process start to finish
MTN is one of South Africa’s leading telecoms service providers with branches across South Africa and Africa, and is the 1st corporate in Africa to obtain this latest technology.
This latest Barco ODL series videowall is designed to operate 24/7, 365, for 11 years without a significant reduction in brightness and incorporates Barco’s unique SenseX technology helping to maintain image uniformity across the entire display.
A special thank you to Peripheral Vision, the South African distributor of Barco control rooms, Mr T S Zwane an external Barco specialist, Mr A Mahomed of Al-Kausar HSE services, and the Control Room and AV Solutions team for all the effort and long hours which was instrumental in making this massive undertaking a phenomenal success.
A functional and effective boardroom audio visual installation need not cost a small fortune.
We were tasked with providing a cost effective solution in two boardrooms at a local beverage supplier. The client wanted a simple, wired solution capable of showing presentations from laptops and utilising both VGA and HDMI cables. Nothing more! So, that is exactly what we provided.
We received a rather unusual request in October 2018: Relocate a 10 year old 30 cube Barco videowall and Transform A computer system from an existing site to a new location in Johannesburg, South Africa!
Scroll to the bottom of this article to view the slide show.
This request, no doubt, came with a unique set of challenges and risks. Given that this equipment was long since declared “end of life” by Barco and no spare parts or support was available from Belgium for this “relic” the biggest risk in taking on this mammoth project was damage resulting from dismantling and transporting the equipment.
Personally for me, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the feeling of satisfaction, so I applied my mind to the challenge and accepted the project from this client.
Needless to say, we were able to successfully pull off this “miracle” and I got to experience my satisfaction!
Our team was all too aware of just how careful we had to be. I knew that the equipment would be in good hands. After all, I had personally, in the past, overseen the installation of many of these old Barco videowalls and was quite familiar with the Windows XP based Apollo software and Transform A computer system, and I had a competent team.
The videowall is stripped of its components.
The screens are being removed.
Barco certified engineer Yusuf R Shaik inspects the videowall.
The cables on the graphical computers are about to be removed.
The videowall structure is completely stripped of its components and is ready to be dismantled and transported.
The columns are assembled at the new site.
The videowall slowly takes shape again.
Our team cleaning the dust from the screens, now fully assembled.
The rear is also cleaned and checked.
Nashief has the honour of the first switch-on, now that everything has been checked. Success!
Our core team walks away, successful! The project was completed in just under 2 weeks.
Control Room and AV Solutions officially launched its new website division in August 2018 with a very specific mandate: To assist home based enterprises and small businesses get onto the world wide web, cost effectively.
The initiative was driven by the company’s MD, with the aim of tackling South Africa’s high unemployment rate in two ways:
Provide a truly low margin website product range specifically to assist the entrepreneur in reaching a wider audience and gain credibility.
Create employment opportunities within the organisation whilst transferring skills to the youth.
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Control Room and AV Solutions recently won another tender to install a boardroom audio visual presentation and voice lift solution at a government institution in Midrand, South Africa.
The solution had to be video conference ready as well as wired and wireless presentation capable. A high brightness full HD projector was also specified.
The client was very specific in their requirement for a quality solution as this particular boardroom belonged to the office of the CEO.
The total solution was delivered and installed within a space of three days.
Safety first as the mountings for the large projector screen are installed.
The large projector screen has been installed and aligned to the ceiling.
Yusuf R Shaik works hands-on on most projects. The wifi capable full HD projector is visible above.
Mduduzi carefully finalises the in-ceiling speaker position.
Nashief wipes off all traces of fingerprints after installing the speaker mesh.
The table is prepared for a below level pop-up box which houses the VGA, audio and HDMI connectors.
Mduduzi begins carefully drilling the holes for the table mounted voice lift microphones.
Nashief adjusts the audio levels in the room via special software.
The audio and video is fined tuned for best results and tested.
The team posing for a picture after all tests indicate a fully functional solution. Neat and tidy work comes standard.
A close-up of the sensitive voice lift microphones.
34 Barco IVD5521 narrow bezel LCD panels were installed in a curved configuration for the main videowall which is driven by multiple Barco linux output nodes. This combination allows for the entire display to function as one large logical screen.
The content management was achieved with the Barco CMS (Control Room Management Suite) software package, especially developed for control room applications.
The entire project, from assembly to commissioning, was concluded in just over a week!
The project from start to finish
The site ahead of the installation.
Unpacking the boxes.
Assembly of the pedestals.
Our technical specialist, Nashief, hard at work.
The pedestals are connected together using a 5 degree curve kit.
Leveling the structure is extremely important.
Our Barco certified engineer inspects the structure.
Building of the second level starts.
Technical specialist Nashief inspecting the mechanism.
The Barco LCD panels are carefully attached.
Barco certified engineer Yusuf R Shaik being obsessive about a level structure.
Finally, all 34 LCD panels have been installed.
The client ready to test the system after alignment and installation of the CMS package.
The replacement of the LED light source and cooling units is recommended after five years of operation on the OL series Barco videowalls.
New generation-3 LED chains and cooling units
The new generation-3 LED chains which were installed represents the latest in LED chain technology, and is considered to be an upgrade from the original generation-2 devices originally supplied with the videowall.
In addition, all fifteen cubes had their liquid cooling units replaced to allow for optimum cooling of the redundant LEDs and internal electronics.
Initial alignment check
Replacement of components
Close inspection and fine alignment
Image alignment and colour balance
Once all the LED chains and cooling units were replaced, an image alignment and colour balance was performed to ensure that any content displayed over the entire 15 screens appeared uniform.
The entire operation was completed within three days.
Control Room and AV Solutions proposed a very cost effective and versatile presentation system to a client in Midrand, October 2017, which was accepted, allowing us to demonstrate that quality and versatility does not always come with a large price tag attached.
For this solution, we installed a well known brand of projector capable of receiving content over the client’s wifi network, but we did not just stop there! We also added cables to support VGA and HDMI signals, thus supporting most old and newer laptops as well as mobile devices.
This solution was installed into 3 boardrooms, all linked to the client’s wifi network.
The result: The possibility of presenting to all 3 boardrooms SIMULTANEOUSLY from a laptop OR mobile device.
Of course, wireless presentations to each individual boardroom as well as traditional wired presentations are also possible.
The best part was the cost. Three boardrooms, fully installed for less than R80,000.00!