New QSC, Shure equipment for Phillips auction house

UK AV equipment supply and integration company SSE recently completed an audio and visual installation project for the renowned auction house Phillips, at its new European HQ in London’s Berkeley Square.

As part of the construction of the new six-floor complex, which incorporates auction rooms, client presentation and hospitality areas and offices, SSE installed a QSC Q-Sys audio routing and management system, based around a Core 250i processor, to distribute and control networked audio and video throughout the building.

Several channels of Shure’s ULX-D wireless microphone systems have also been installed; these can be linked into the SSE-installed building-wide Layer 3 audio network. The Shure and QSC equipment was supplied by Shure Distribution UK.

The Berkeley Square building had been Enron’s London headquarters, but it was completely gutted and reconstructed when Phillips took it over, creating multi-purpose exhibition galleries, auction spaces, and VIP rooms, which are used for private client presentations, dinners and other events. These rooms required sound reinforcement throughout, and the Q-Sys system not only routes and controls the audio systems at the new HQ, it also controls the video via the RS232 protocol and a Kramer video switcher. Control over the AV via Q-Sys is maintained via QSC TSC touchscreen control panels situated throughout the building.

“With the flexibility Q-Sys offers, Phillips are now able to set up a wide range of activities in their public spaces with a few minutes’ work at one of the touchscreens,” explains Emma Bigg, SSE Installations director. “You can make a speech or give a presentation by simply plugging in a laptop and a microphone into the network and selecting that option on a touchscreen, or plug in a console at one end of a room with a stage box at the other for a large event like a broadcast auction or client event. We had anticipated having to handle a lot of I/O locally in the original design, so the fact that you could just provide network connection points throughout the building and network the Q-Sys I/O Frames was quite appealing, too.”

The choice of Q-Sys to manage the AV systems at Phillips was decided quite early on in SSE’s design process. “We started talking about this project at the beginning of 2014, and Q-Sys was in our plans right from the start; we knew that it would give us the flexibility we needed,” revealed Bigg. “Generally, there is a move to systems like Q-Sys underway in our industry, and Q-Sys is top of our list. It has been on our radar for several years, but when it first came out it hard to justify the cost on the projects we were involved with. Now we’ve got the smaller Cores, the 250s and the 500s, the situation has totally changed – in projects involving high numbers of inputs and outputs, Q-Sys wins hands-down over its competitors in terms of cost-effectiveness."