When facilities want to inspire and engage audiences, they often turn to video with LED screens and interactive displays. However, this can be complex with many moving parts. Finding the right products and equipment that work together is quite the undertaking. The Epic––a 120,000-square-foot recreation center in Grand Prairie, TX––was facing such challenges. The center wanted to deploy a system that would allow for easy, mass communication. To implement a solution, they sought out the help of Pro AV experts to create a video distribution system that could overcome the challenges relating to delivering video across long distances to various displays.

About The Epic
At Epic Central, a 172-acre park, several amenities exist, including The Epic rec and community center, the Epic Waters waterpark, The Summit, and the city’s public safety building. The site features five lakes, an amphitheater, boardwalk, grassy areas, and more. The Epic combines a municipal recreation area and fitness space to bring resources and programs to the citizens of Grand Prairie. With an impressive list of services and features, this center was built to be, well, epic.

Challenges with Video Distribution
One of the central aspects of The Epic is the use of video throughout inside and outside of the massive facility. The biggest challenge was coordinating between all the rooms. Amanda Alms, General Manager of Epic Recreation Center said, “We want people to be wowed when they come into our space. We are attempting to engage the community and change lives. Technology helps us get that information out to them. That was important to us, that we had the technology to accomplish our goals.”

Working with Infinity Sound, a professional AV integrator, allowed The Epic to meet its communication and engagement goals. Infinity Sound, also located in Grand Prairie, worked with the construction team as The Epic was being built and brought a level of trust and service to the project that Amanda and her team greatly appreciated. Having a professional AV consultant made the project much easier – proactively designing systems and using their expertise and experience to anticipate and solve problems.

Jerry Tidwell, Project Manager for Infinity Sound, was part of the project and saw the need for more efficiency with video distribution. He said, “We see this huge wish list to provide our customers the end use they’re going to need. Contemporary Research has been great – the gear they offer, backed with customer service. The only way we can do any of this is with partnerships and relationships, and Contemporary Research has helped provide that.“

What Jerry found with Contemporary Research was a solution to the problem, allowing display control over the same RF coax as the video channels. “The main product we used was an Ethernet Head End Controller. It allowed us to control all the facility displays remotely from the main touch panel control system. We were able to consolidate the video distribution and the control distribution into one single platform, one cable, one piece of hardware living behind a display. It really made things a lot easier. When the end user can forget about the technology, that’s the mark of a great system, and Contemporary Research achieved that with their systems at the Epic,” Jerry shared.

With a quick timeframe and lots of competing priorities, the Contemporary Research products made all the difference for seamless video distribution control. Infinity Sound was also glad to work with a local, Dallas-based manufacturer that supplied products made in the USA. With CR’s proven customer service, Infinity Sound knew help was just a quick call away.

Products Used in the Project
With such a massive project and facility, many different Contemporary Research products were used, including:

  • 72 Contemporary Research ICC1-232 RS 232 Display Controllers: This compact device allows for display control functionality of most RS-232 controllable TVs, allowing 1-way control through the same RF cable that carries the TV channels, creating networked operation of distributed media systems without adding control wiring. The display controllers mount easily behind each display and define the network address of the TV, allowing for management of operation from a command set stored in memory, updatable over the RF system.
  • 1 Contemporary Research QMOD-HDMI 2 HDTV Modulator-IPTV Encoder: The QMOD-HDMI 2 is a professional dual-channel frequency-agile RF Modulator / Encoder for distributing HD video content over CATV systems to an unlimited number of televisions or standalone HDTV Tuners. The unit is ideal for distributing live video from satellite receivers or cable boxes, or digital signage content from media players or PCs. Dual-channel operation is standard, creating two virtual programs on one physical RF channel and can also output the content as a MPEG2 or H.264 IPTV stream.
  • 1 Contemporary Research ICE-HE Ethernet Headend: The ICE-HE Ethernet Headend and currently shipping ICE-HE-DXL Display Control Center is an intelligent solution for “over-the-coax” RF display control to any combination of ICC1-IRX Controllers, ICC1-232 Controllers, and ICC2-ATSC4S Tuner/Controllers. Control commands are sent over RF by inserting a micro data channel in the gap between channels 4 and 5. In addition, its flexibility allows it to communicate with individual displays, groups, zones, or all displays using any one of three software options: the onboard DX Lite web page, Display Express Software from Contemporary Research, or third-party control systems.
  • 1 Contemporary Research QDA4-45 Distribution Amp Combiner: This amplified RF combiner can switch between one or four inputs, with adjustable amplification up to 32 dB of gain.
  • 2 Contemporary Research 232-ATSC 4 HDTV Tuners: An integrator-friendly HDTV tuner, the 232-ATSC 4 can receive both analog and digital MPEG-2/H.264 channels, in ATSC, NTSC, and clear QAM formats. The currently shipping 232-ATSC 4K HDTV Tuner offers the same great features as the previous version with the added ability of video output scaling up to 4K.
  • 2 Contemporary Research ASTC-SDI 4 HDTV Tuners: The ATSC-SDI series of HDTV tuners are the first to feature a native SDI port, as well as MPEG2 and H.264 decoding. The currently shipping ATSC-SDI 4i adds IPTV streaming output via the Ethernet port to the units impressive list of features.

Contemporary Research was proud to be part of such an amazing project that will impact the community in so many positive ways. Being able to deliver technically effective products so that operations run smoothly is a central part of the Contemporary Research philosophy. Learn more about the solutions offered by Contemporary Research today.