Sentosa island links BGM sites with Digigram
SINGAPORE: Ten previously unconnected BGM sites across the Singaporean resort island of Sentosa have now been connected to a single playout server for the first time following the installation of a fibre-optic ring plus Digigram hardware and software. The project comes as part of a multi-phase plan to improve networking across the island and deliver centralised control.
‘We have 10 locations across the island which were localised and individually controlled, and we wanted a networked system offering centralised control to support our outdoor music,’ explained Nicholas Tan of Sentosa Leisure Management Pte Ltd. ‘We wanted to be able to upload content centrally and then have the flexibility of using a scheduler so when it comes to seasons such as Christmas, for example, we could play seasonal music without having to go around to 10 different locations changing it all. And the beauty is that when the season is over, the music will revert to the usual audio tracks through the scheduler during the off-season.’
Complicating the project, however, was the fact that the 10 zones were all developed independently at different times and with different technology. Though the island’s BGM loudspeaker system remains largely consistent with approximately 400 Bose Freespace 360P II 100V ground speakers, each zone’s control room was unique. ‘They were all developed at different times because Sentosa is ever-developing,’ continued Mr Tan. ‘Whenever we come out with a new part to the island, a new area, a new localised system is added.’ The locations include high-profile attractions such as the Wings of Time concourse, Merlion Plaza, the Sentosa Boardwalk, Palawan Beach and more.
The possibility of creating a more centralised solution was raised following the installation of a huge fibre-optic ring by the Sentosa Development Corporation in August 2013. ‘It’s part of our master-plan to have the island covered by fibre-optics,’ enthused Mr Tan. Once the ring was installed, the search began for the most efficient method of linking the 10 sites.
The solution was delivered by Control Logic Systems Pte Ltd (CLSPL), whose David Seow suggested using Digigram Pyko IP end-points. ‘I’ve created similar solutions before in previous projects so I knew it could be done,’ Mr Seow explained. ‘We ran a trial – it’s one thing to say that you can do something like this on paper, but in reality it can be different – and it worked well, so began to design the larger system. We also asked Digigram to become involved.’
Following consultation with the manufacturer’s Singapore office, Pyko-Out end-points were installed in each of the 10 locations, each with its own assigned IP address. They are served by a Pyko-In device located at Sentosa’s Depot Office. Scheduling and control is managed via a customised version of Digigram’s Audio Manager software, developed over the course of a three month period to ideally suit Sentosa’s needs. ‘I think the biggest challenge for us was the software development,’ reasoned Mr Seow. ‘We had to think about how to cater for the 10 locations and the fact that Sentosa has seasons. The hardware was quite straightforward once we had the IP addresses.’ Crucially, the centralised system also allows for live announcements should they be required.
Having now completed phase one of the project, Mr Seow is understandably pleased with the results. ‘We can also monitor the devices on the same path,’ he said, ‘and it makes life very easy for everybody. The whole idea was to reduce manpower, increase productivity and make Sentosa’s workflow more straightforward.’ Phase two, meanwhile, is expected to begin before the end of 2014 and will see the addition of the island’s four Sentosa Express monorail stations to the network.