Case Study: William Inglis & Son’s Riverside Stables Complex, Australia
William Inglis & Son’s Riverside Stables Complex at Warwick Farm, comprises a 144 room five-star hotel, more than 800 stables, a conference centre, and extensive hospitality suites and services. The P.A. People was called upon to design and install networked video, audio and control systems across the Complex, enabling auctioneers, buyers, sellers, guests and service providers to access sound and vision from any part of the site.
As part of their brief, The P.A. People were also tasked with equipping the Sales Arena with theatrical-grade PA and lighting systems, giving the facility the flexibility to host entertainment and major events.
Regarding the expected operation of the AV systems, Arthur Inglis, deputy chairman at William Inglis & Son, said: “We’re selling high-end goods, and it’s got to run smoothly. The site-wide AV system is integral to that operation. The P.A. People were proactive in ensuring we got the best possible results in what is a very large facility, and it’s been dealt with very well.”
The P.A. People also had to keep in mind the flexible usage of multi-purpose venues such as the Riverside Stables Complex which can be employed for conferences, weddings, entertainment and more.
Dmitry Istomin, programmer and commissioning engineer for The P.A. People, commented: “I spent a month pre-programming, creating interfaces and building the logic that makes the Riverside Complex understandable. On an everyday basis, the client does not need the system’s operation to change that much; the biggest challenge was to create a user-friendly, easily understandable graphic interface that enabled staff to do everything they need simply and automatically.”
The Riverside Complex AV system includes LG screens fed signal by Exterity IPTV endpoints, distributing video from live cameras and PCs during auctions, while JBL speakers around the facility and a Bose ShowMatch PA system in the sales arena are connected over Ethernet with sources available from 210 inputs, including Shure radio microphones that can be mixed and routed automatically by the end-user.
Guests in the hospitality suites, corporate boxes, and meeting rooms can send their device’s outputs to their own screens, take feeds from the auction areas, and control their own audio. All of these functions are controlled simply and intuitively via installed touch panels.
The AV systems were essential to how the venue operates and Inglis said: “When conducting an auction, it’s vitally important that people can see and bid on the product, while being able to easily follow and understand the progress of the bidding. This is why it was so important to us to ensure that the live video and audio from our auctions is available throughout the facility and the adjoining hotel.”
Mark Webster, managing director at William Inglis & Son, said: “The AV technology on-site keeps our clients connected to our sales, no matter where they are on the grounds. They can move around, socialise, inspect horses, and still stay connected to what’s happening in the sale ring. The technology provides an enhanced auction experience; when a horse enters the sale ring, bidders not only see the horse in the flesh, they also watch a promotional video package on the big screens that includes footage of the horse galloping on the track. Potential buyers can now assess the athletic qualities of the horse, rather than just seeing it standing on stage, which gives them more confidence.”
The key to the operational simplicity and efficiency of Riverside’s vast AV system is convergence; running all audio, video and control equipment on the site’s Ethernet network, administered by the William Inglis & Son’s IT department.
Deane Jacobs, CIO of William Inglis & Son, said: “This is the first time we have implemented a converged network at Inglis, but it’s something we needed in terms of flexibility that it offers. The modular capabilities made it an easy choice, along with the fact that The P.A. People have so much experience delivering projects of this nature. Their insight meant that they anticipated many requirements that we wouldn’t have considered, and in hindsight, they all made perfect sense.”
With the Sales Arena functioning as a multi-purpose venue, its stage was treated to a lighting and sound system capable of hosting everything from Inglis’s auctions to a touring band. The Bose ShowMatch line array PA system provides enough power for any live act, while the industry standard Robe, ETC, and PR Lighting fixtures controlled by an LSC Clarity lighting desk enable the venue to create the ambience for a banquet dinner or an eye-popping variety performance.
The venue is designed to run in two modes; simple automatic mode, in which auctioneers can use both lectern and radio microphones, adjusting volumes via a simple graphic interface on a touch screen; and full production mode, in which the venue’s installed concert-sized Yamaha CL5 digital mixer and remote Dante stage boxes can be used by technicians for full control of large shows.
Two large VuePix LED screens measuring 4.5m wide and 2.5m high flank the entrances to the Parade Ring in the Sales Arena, with a third at 2.5m wide by 1.5m installed above the auctioneer’s desk in the middle of the ring. Their sheer size meant The P.A. People had to collaborate closely with the architect and builder to ensure the correct supporting and rigging infrastructure was put in place.