Located just a stone's throw away from the hallowed turf of Nottingham Forest Football Ground, Trent Bridge cricket ground, Nottingham Rugby Club and Notts County's Meadow Lane Ground, The Southbank Bar in Nottingham is a mecca for any sports fan heading into Nottingham’s city centre. Part of the Great Northern Inns group, The Southbank Bar is the latest within the group to receive a sophisticated AV refit in order to provide the best quality sports coverage.
As part of the recent refurbishment, Great Northern Inns turned to local AV specialists Cable Guys to provide an audio visual experience that would impress customers. The AV needed to deliver outstanding sports coverage and live entertainment to every inch of the bar. Cable Guys exceeded the client’s expectation by installing over 24 screens, video walls and televisions to distribute high definition live sports coverage, news updates and entertainment from 8 separate AV sources, including a combination of full HD and 4K UHD to provide the best quality AV possible.
One of the main objectives was to provide multi-channel picture-in-picture functionality to the bar’s 90” UHD screens. To deliver the best possible results whilst ensuring full flexibility of sources to screens, Cable Guys worked closely with AV distribution specialists CIE-Group. The team worked together in designing and implementing a fully integrated AV distribution system using the latest CYP HDBaseT range of 4K UHD Matrices and Receiver End Points, together with CYP's innovative EL-41PIP.
CIE's CYP product manager Martin Featherstone explains; "Cable Guys approached us to get involved in the design and specification by offering an innovative solution in the Southbank Bar delivering HD and UHD content to a large number of screens. Within the system is the PU-8H8HBTPL-4K22, which is the latest HDBaseT Lite Matrix which delivers 4K content, as well as HDCP2.2 compliancy, together with the CYP's Power-over-Cable HDBaseT Lite Receivers. We've also made great use of CYP's EL-41PIP picture-in-picture device, which allows for four separate sections of content at any one time without any bezel interference."
The EL-41PIP HDMI switch device, is particularly effective in this environment as it allows the bar to show several different sporting events on one screen. For example, the screen could display a live football match, while also showing a different live match (perhaps one that will affect the final score of the main match displayed) in the bottom right corner. This allows customers to see the full sporting story on a single screen, without having to look at another screen on their phone or at the other end of the bar. Up to four separate feeds can be displayed on one screen at any time.
Cable Guys' Lee Spicknall describes the project in further detail; "In [The Southbank Bar] we have a pretty colossal system; 8 sources; 4 Sky HD boxes, 1 band camera, a promotional computer delivering digital signage, a DVD player and of course the picture-in-picture device which enables us to overlay different sources on top of one another in multiple configurations.” He continues; "There are also three CYP 8x8 matrices which control every source to every screen in the bar; what that means is that each screen can quickly and easily be configured to show whatever we want it to."
A key requirement from the client was that the install needed to provide audio to every area of the public space to ensure visiting sports fans have consistent access to live commentary. The new AV system means that customers can hear up-to-the-minute live coverage of their favourite sports throughout the bar. The Southbank Bar even went the extra mile to guarantee that no matter where you are in the bar, you won’t miss a moment of that all-important match. Speakers linked directly to the audio in the bar have been installed in the bathrooms to safeguard customers from missing an exciting moment during a natural break.
Southbank Bar manager Owen Roach, said of the new AV refurbishment; "It's fantastic. The biggest thing for us is to try to be the first to do new things and deliver the latest and best technologies to our customers. When people come to watch sport it's an experience – it should make a serious impression. I like to think we've got that all-round package – we're not just about sport but it's a huge part of what we do. It's about providing an enjoyable experience and attracting people in."
Working closely with both CIE-Group who supplied the AV distribution equipment and manufacturers CYP, Cable Guys' Lee Spicknall welcomed the high level of support provided throughout the design and implementation of the system; "The support was great. Having Martin to communicate with at CYP and getting an immediate response was massively important to us. It goes to show that CYP have control over their products; they really can get inside their products and make them work for a particular circumstance. Both CYP and CIE-Group as our supplier really helped out and put the cherry on the cake for us!"