Extron At 745 Thurlow
Rooftop conference centre enhanced with switching, audio & control.
745 Thurlow is a 400,000-square-foot state-of-the-art office building in the heart of the Vancouver, British Columbia business district. Managed by QuadReal Property Group, it was one of the first office buildings in the downtown area to achieve LEED Core and Shell Gold certification. Its flexible architecture, prestigious location, and easy access to mass transit are just a few of the reasons businesses both large and small are tenants.
Among the building’s many amenities, tenants enjoy exclusive access to a two-room conference centre on the 25th floor with an adjacent lounge and rooftop patio. The conference centre features sweeping views of the city and the North Shore mountains and is very popular with tenants who reserve it throughout the year for business meetings, events, parties, yoga classes, and more. The rooftop patio offers a gas fire pit, tables, and a casual seating area with a barbecue. It’s a popular place to gather and watch the annual Honda Celebration of Light fireworks competition in English Bay.
While tenants have always had reasons to love the rooftop conference centre, for at least the first 10 years after the building’s construction, the AV system was not one of them. The original integrator left the system unfinished. There were button panels that didn’t work. Some system functionality was never enabled. Several devices included in the original design were never installed or were installed but not connected.
The AV technology that was in place lacked the functionality needed by users. For instance, the source devices in the system output 720p or 1080p video, but there was no way to upscale these signals. And the system lacked automation. Setting up the simplest presentation required help from an on-site security officer or property manager, personnel that changed frequently due to promotions or attrition. Unsurprisingly, these issues caused frustration for users and property managers alike.
Limitless AV, a premier systems integrator headquartered in Vancouver, was brought in to manage and maintain the aging system. The company’s responsibilities included responding to the many calls from users for support and keeping the existing technology going until the AV system could be upgraded.
After a few delays, due in no small part to the COVID outbreak, Limitless AV was awarded the contract to design and install a new system from the ground up, complete with automation and advanced technologies to enhance the experience of everyone who uses the conference centre.
“This project had all of the challenges that come with retrofitting an existing facility,” says Barton Moxness, President of Limitless AV. “We had to be very creative in how we leveraged the infrastructure to minimise construction costs while also maximising system functionality and ease of use.”
The design team at Limitless AV sought to deploy a system that could support a wide range of connectivity and be easy for the tenants to use without assistance. To accomplish these goals, they selected Extron switching, signal extension, audio, and control solutions.
DTP System Enables Connection & Control
A DTP CrossPoint 84 4K 8×4 Scaling Presentation Matrix Switcher provides all of the signal routing for audio and video in the boardrooms. The smaller English Bay Conference Room is equipped with a single 86-inch 4K display while the larger Stanley Park Conference Room features dual displays of the same size.
Limitless AV included Bluetooth connectivity, wireless presentation capabilities, conferencing cameras, and ceiling microphones in both rooms so users can conduct meetings over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Multiple HDMI interfaces are provided throughout each room so users can connect their own laptops or other source devices. The video input signals are scaled automatically to make every presentation as impressive as it can be.
Advanced Audio Processing Ensures Clarity for Everyone
Audio system capabilities were expanded by adding an Extron DMP 64 Plus DSP processor, providing support for wireless microphones in the larger Stanley Park Conference Room and on the outdoor patio. In addition, system designers were able to set up three distinct audio zones in the conference centre: the conference spaces, the corridor, and the patio. This enables discrete control and fine-tuning of each area, as well as accommodating a variety of sound system applications.
TouchLink Touchpanels Simplify Control for Every User
The DTP CrossPoint matrix switcher’s integrated IPCP control processor makes centralised AV system control possible. It eliminates the need for a separate controller in the rack. A TLP Pro 1025M 10-inchx TouchLink Pro Touchpanel mounted to the wall in each room makes it easy to control all the audio, video, and integrated room components at the touch of a button. Limitless AV modified an Extron GUI design theme to create a fully customised user interface that reflects the QuadReal Property Group’s branding and features the 745 Thurlow building logo. The interface is so intuitive that users no longer have to call someone for help to start their meeting, and they have complete control of the system.
The two conference spaces can be set up individually or combined to create one large room that seats up to 80 people. An Extron ECM S10 Partition Sensor uses IR to sense the position of the movable wall between the two rooms. Based on its status, the control system automatically places the room into either Separate or Combined mode. There is also custom control for unique and personalised room configurations, when required.
A TouchLink Touchpanel mounted in the corridor outside the rooms is used for selecting audio zones and to adjust the volume in the overflow areas and on the patio. Limitless AV created separate zones for when separate indoor and outdoor events run concurrently.
Feedback on the new system has been very positive. “We were confident that we could deliver the best possible solution with Extron technologies because we knew they would deliver the products on time and support us a hundred percent,” says Moxness. “Users are finding the system extremely easy to use, so calls for support have been reduced to nearly zero.” The building’s owners are delighted to see their investment already returning dividends in the shape of even happier tenants.
Featured Extron Products
TLP 1025M: 10-inch Wall Mount TouchLink Pro Touchpanel
TLP 725M: 7-inch Wall Mount TouchLink Pro Touchpanel
DTP CrossPoint 84 4K IPCP MA 70: 8×4 Seamless 4K Scaling Presentation Matrix Switcher
DTP2 R 211: 4K/60 HDMI DTP2 Receiver with Audio De-Embedding
DTP T HWP 4K 231 D: DTP Transmitter for HDMI – Decorator-Style Wallplate
DTP2 4K 230 Tx: DTP Transmitter for HDMI
DTP HDMI 4K 230 Rx: DTP Receiver for HDMI
DMP 64 Plus: 6×4 ProDSP Digital Matrix Processor
ECM S10: Partition Sensor Set