Q-Sys delivers cost saving at Melbourne’s Crown Spas
AUSTRALIA: Melbourne-based systems integrator Digital Living has placed a Q-Sys Core 500i processor at the heart of the upgraded A/V systems within Crown Spas, a prestigious casino and hotel complex located on the south bank of the Yarra River. The use of Q-Sys alongside the complex’s existing fibre-optic infrastructure reportedly saved between 15 and 20 per cent of the originally projected costs.
The Crown complex is known for encompassing one of the world’s largest casinos. Also on the site are three hotels, luxury shopping facilities, several nightclubs, a cinema, various restaurants and two spas, including the five-star Crown Spas itself. In addition to the Q-Sys core, the project included 22 QSC TSC-3 touchscreens and 15 CX254 four-channel amplifiers, all sourced from Australian QSC distributor TAG.
Digital Living’s brief for the new audio system required the routing of four in-house audio streams from the Crown Casino's main A/V control centre to over 40 different zones in the Crown Spas, via a second switch in the luxury Crown Towers hotel. The system also had to integrate the Crown complex's Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System (EWIS), whilst delivering bi-directional operation, allowing spa managers to use iPods as sources in the gym and spa rooms. Audio from inputs in the spas and gym areas had to be routable back to the proposed audio management platform for the complex, and accessible from the main control centre if required.
Meanwhile, the size of the Crown complex meant that audio networks had to extend over considerable distances. The main hotel is located more than 500m from the audio inputs in the main control centre, while the spa and gym rooms are a further 100m away. In the original quote for the project, the cost of network cabling and labour were both prohibitive.
‘Giles Brading at TAG suggested we try looking at the numbers again with Q-Sys,’ explained Digital Living director Matt Price. ‘When we did, we found we could make massive savings.’ In the completed project, the complex’s existing fibre-optic network has been utilised between the control centre and the Crown Towers hotel, while a Cat-6 network has been laid from the hotel’s racks onwards.
‘I was very impressed at the saving we achieved,’ continued Mr Price. ‘We have used QSC amps and speakers on a lot of projects in recent years, but tended to use other products for the audio management layer. We had looked at using Q-Sys on smaller projects, but we hadn't proposed it for an installation on this scale before. This project made us look into it in more detail, and made us into total converts. The amount of bi-directional traffic that's passing through those Ethernet connections at the Spa and across the Crown complex is pretty impressive.’
He added, ‘The individual components, such as the Core 500i processor, were a little more expensive than other equipment we have used in the past, but the investment was worth it. Because of the complexity of the wiring and infrastructure required, when you looked at the costs of the system as a whole, there was a significant saving.’