Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Thailand

The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand has been upgraded with central distribution for audio, video and control making it a modern, forward-thinking venue for events and exhibitions. Hurrairah bin Sohail reports.

The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center has been upgraded to become the destination for events and exhibitions to be staged in Bangkok, Thailand.

Spanning 300,000 sq m and comprising eight exhibition halls, a ballroom and plenary hall, and approximately 50 meeting rooms and VIP rooms, and other spaces, the completely revamped Queen Sirikit National Convention Center offers modern facilities and complete functionality for the MICE and events market in the city and region.

Fraser Property was the developer and Atkrist served as the consultant for the project. Mahajak Development was appointed as the system integrator after an open bidding process.

Director of professional product and solution at Mahajak Development, Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, talks about how the integrator came onboard for the project: “We received a very comprehensive design and technical specifications for the solutions required by the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. It was a very forward-thinking design and requirements such as central distribution through AV over IP for the audio, video and control signal transmission were made clear from the start. The field was then open to us to recommend products that fit the design and specifications and our recommendations went through a rigorous testing and POC process before being selected for the project.”

The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center features eight exhibition halls which can accommodate up to 1,000 people each. Halls 1, 2, 3 and 4 can be combined and used as one space and the same holds true for halls 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Supasek Sanmano, integrated solutions manager at Mahajak Development, details how the integrator approached the technology for the exhibition halls: “Central distribution for AV signals and control was the key here because the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center wanted to be able to stream content from any location to any location. They wanted to be able to send a signal back and forth in any direction from hall to hall, room to room or hall to room. So, we proposed an AV-over-IP solution using Just Add Power encoders and decoders and leveraging the IT infrastructure.”

The selection of Just Add Power for AV-over-IP transmission was made to help Mahajak Development surmount challenges and meet the technology requirements of the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

Kanchanachayphoom elaborates: “The project was being executed during the supply chain crisis and there were product shortages. Thankfully, we have a great relationship with Just Add Power and when we requested the products for the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center project, they were able to give us the confidence that they will deliver the products to us on time. We also knew that this was going to be a technically challenging project due to the size and scale of the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center and being familiar with Just Add Power encoders and having worked with their support team meant that we felt confident to take on the challenge.”

Sanmano adds: “With the Just Add Power encoders and decoders the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center has the capabilities to transmit 4K30 video signals across the whole space. But depending on the needs and requirements of the space, the display end points have different resolutions. We have full HD projectors, 4K and full HD displays across the many different spaces. The Just Add Power products have a built-in scaler which allowed us to make sure the content would be fit for all these display types without having to add another device to the AV system.”

Aruba network switches are being used in conjunction with the Just Add Power encoders and decoders and this combination posed an interesting technical challenge. Sanmano details: “This was the first time we were integrating Aruba switchers and Just Add Power. Add to that the size of the deployment and we had our work cut out for us. We assigned an engineer dedicated to ensuring that the AV-over-IP system worked flawlessly, and we also sought the expertise of Aruba and Just Add Power to help us troubleshoot when required. I think the end result that has been achieved by Mahajak, Aruba and Just Add Power is something special.”

Panasonic projectors are used as end points in the exhibition halls and Kanchanachayphoom talks about the choice: “When it comes to projectors Panasonic is an extremely reputable brand. They had models that met the brightness requirements and also had a very attractive price per lumens. We knew that the projectors at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center would be used heavily so we went with laser projectors. And we found that the DLP performance of the Panasonic projectors was better than the competition. Also, Panasonic’s software platform for management and monitoring was a deciding factor as this is a very large space and we had to consider how the AV technology would be operated and maintained after deployment.”

Sanmano adds: “Due to the size of the exhibition halls, the mounting location of the Panasonic projectors was very high, and this meant that the projected image was distorted. We used our expertise and the Panasonic software to ensure that the projected image was corrected and had no faults.”

Hikvision LED videowalls comprising 2.5mm pixel pitch tiles with processors can be found outside the exhibition halls to greet the visitors and perform signage duties. Due to the centralised distribution, content from inside the halls can also be livestreamed to the LED videowall.

AMX NX-4200 processors are used to provide controls for the exhibition halls and enable the spaces to function in standalone or in-tandem mode. Sanmano says: “Control was a really important part of the project and given the complexity of the project we dedicated a programmer to ensuring that the final result was perfect. We went through many different iterations with the customer to make sure that we understood their needs and designed our solution accordingly.”

Audio in the exhibition halls is provided by JBL speakers powered by Crown amplifiers and BSS Blu DSPs. Audio signal transmission is done via Dante. Kanchanachayphoom says regarding the audio system: “Our main aim was to ensure that there was enough coverage for the exhibition halls for the background music. To do this we used JBL ceiling speakers and we even created custom enclosure so that the audio requirements of the exhibition hall could be met.”

The AV-over-IP system puts the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in good stead to meet the technology requirements of any event or exhibition. Sanmano says: “AV over IP allows for equipment to be brought in without any problems. Having a single network for AV, control, and lighting means that if you want to bring any additional equipment all you have to do is just plug it in and you can stream content to any location in the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. We have provided baseband HDMI links and if you are using SDI, you just need to convert it to HDMI, to access the network.”

Moving to the ballroom, the basis of the AV systems remains the same. AV over IP is used for signal transmission. However, the end points have been adjusted in accordance with the needs and requirements of the spaces.

JBL Control 300 series speakers can be found in the ballroom while Panasonic projection is used for display. Shure microphones have also been used for audio input. For the meeting rooms and VIP rooms, projection or LG flat panel displays are used based on the size and requirements of the space. Avonic cameras and AKG delegate systems have also been deployed where needed.

Interestingly, Kramer HDBasetT switchers can also be found in addition to the AV-over-IP systems in specific VIP rooms. Sanmano details: “We have in-room HDBaseT switching because there were privacy and security requirements especially for the VIP rooms. The users of these VIP rooms might have requirements for no link to the network or to the cloud to ensure that the discussion remains completely private which is why we chose to have in-room switching which could work even if we sever the link to the AV-over-IP system.”

Regarding the challenges Mahajak Development faced during the course of the project, Kanchanachayphoom says: “This was a long project and that meant that we worked on it during a period that was disrupted by the pandemic. There was a lockdown in Bangkok which we had to navigate. And then there was the supply chain crisis which led to product shortages. On our end, we were very aware of the issues these could cause and Mahajak was committed to ensuring that the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center project was a success. We used our relationship with product vendors and clients to make sure we had the products available and in some cases we even upgraded the products without any additional cost to the customer which resulted in the final AV system being better than the original solution we had proposed.”

Kanchanachayphoom continues: “In parallel to these challenges we also had a very strict deadline because the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center had a fixed date it had to be open to host events in late 2022, starting with The APEC 2022 in November 2022. Rather than having waterfall or cascading timelines, there was a fixed deadline that all the contractors were working towards. So, all the contractors were working at the same time which meant that we had to schedule our works and deal with any schedule challenges as they arose. This meant that we would have very tight deadlines to finish a particular room or space and juggle that with the needs and the requirements of all the other contractors.”

Kanchanachayphoom concludes: “This is one of the largest projects Mahajak has done with central signal distribution and centralised control. I think we were able to meet the requirements of Queen Sirikit and ensure that all the spaces could function in standalone mode and in tandem as well. Queen Sirikit is truly a modern convention centre and events space.”

Article Categories

Most Viewed