Adding an outdoor meeting space with full A/V capabilities to its company headquarters in San Jose, California, PayPal called on Conference Technologies Inc for the system design and installation. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, with multiple offices throughout the US, CTI has a long relationship with PayPal, designing and installing systems in more than 600 PayPal conference rooms throughout North America.

outdoor meeting spaceThe PayPal campus comprises eight buildings, with a large outdoor green space in the middle equipped with an outdoor kitchen and seating area. The company wanted to upgrade the space with a first-class A/V system and turn it into a community gathering place for all-hands meetings and corporate events. ‘As with most installations, this one had unique challenges, especially with regard to audio,’ says CTI Design Consultant Josh Keller, who oversaw the project. ‘We needed versatility, including high intelligibility with relatively low volume, and at other times we need to push it. Renkus-Heinz digitally steerable arrays enabled us to direct the sound precisely, minimising reflections off the surrounding buildings and preventing sound from interfering with people’s work, especially during the day.’

Keller specified a Dante network employing a pair of weatherproof Renkus-Heinz IC Live Gen5-series ICL-F-Dual-RD digitally steerable line arrays. The arrays were paired with two Renkus-Heinz PN212-Sub dual 12-inch powered subwoofers and were installed on either side of a 16ft x 10ft Planar CLO Series outdoor-rated LED video wall to create a high-end A/V system for movie nights, corporate messages, and meetings.

Each ICL-F-Dual-RD array employs five 6.5-inch cone transducers and three 1-inch compression drivers per module. Vertical opening angles can be defined for up to eight steerable beams, which can be individually aimed in software. Vertical pattern control can be steered up or down from -30˚ to +30˚, with beam control effective down to 400Hz. Horizontal dispersion is 150° up to 3kHz and 120° above 3kHz.

The ability to steer custom-shaped beams enables the PayPal system to provide even coverage across the entire community space while minimising reflections and interference with nearby work areas. ‘That’s where the Renkus-Heinz IC Live arrays really excelled,’ Keller reports. ‘Beam steering gave us the focus that we needed in critical areas and still achieved the coverage and punch. We especially used it to keep the reflections off the surrounding buildings and allow intelligibility to be as high as it could be with the volume as low as it could be. In addition, with multiple beams, we could get a long throw to reach the people in back without blasting the people in front.’

Keller had considered his options, and decided that ‘big box’ line arrays weren’t a good fit: ‘We wanted to find something smaller and less obtrusive that had an outdoor rating and could be run over the network,’ he says. ‘That narrowed the field considerably. Based on our relationship with our rep and with Renkus-Heinz, and the good support we’ve had in the past, we chose Renkus-Heinz. I’ve been using Renkus-Heinz for about 15 years, and I’m a really big fan of the IC Lives.’

The new A/V system is a central hub for PayPal; since it is implemented over an IP network, everything can be transmitted anywhere in the campus. A Biamp Tesira Server-IO AVB configurable audio DSP with a four-channel SIC-4 input card, SOC-4 four channel output card, and DAN-1 Dante card manages the system, while Crestron touch screens provide user control. Digital traffic is handled by a Cisco 48-port gigabit PoE managed switch. For larger productions, a Midas M32-R digital mixer with Dante expansion module can be rolled out and easily patched into the network.

The system is now up and running: ‘Our representative came in and commissioned the system quickly,’ Keller says. ‘Everyone is pleased with the sound and capabilities of the new meeting area at PayPal.’

More: www.renkus-heinz.com

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