FEX Global, Australia

Hurrairah bin Sohail speaks with Pro AV Solutions about the technology deployment at FEX Global where AV made an impact not only in terms of helping the space function but also on the client’s bottom line.

FEX Global is an organisation that enables the optimisation of hedging and risk management for market participants by providing futures and options for both commodity and energy markets, as well as emerging renewable energy and environmental markets.

FEX Global undertook a project to completely overhaul the audio and video systems at its facility and Pro AV Solutions served as the integrator.

Marc Silver from Pro AV Solutions talks about the project: “We were informed about the project through a contact of mine and then we went through the process of winning it. The project centres around one premium space, that is primarily used for company announcements as well as the display of information. It is also visible from the street, so the display serves as branding as well. The space was to be a part of FEX Global’s publicity efforts, social media announcements, and marketing efforts. Essentially, the function that the technology had to perform was to be a showcase.”

When discussions with Pro AV Solutions began, the FEX Global team’s vision was to retire their dated legacy video display wall and implement a visually impactful LED videowall that aligned with their requirements for digital signage and events, whilst showcasing their brand in an innovative fashion at one of Sydney’s busiest locations. To leverage this prime location, the client wanted to ensure optimal visibility for passing foot traffic from the street. The primary focus point for the client was to create a unique, immersive visual experience that would give the space an awe-inspiring edge.

Silver elaborates: “The team at FEX Global was technologically savvy and we just had to guide them through the process. They had already looked into The Wall from Samsung and knew what size they wanted. They had chosen The Wall so for us it was a matter of replacing the old LCD flat panel videowall with The Wall. We went through the process of removal and then ensuring that the new LED videowall was perfect.”

The pandemic and the industry chip shortage threw an interesting curveball as they impacted LED manufacturing in general. The LED videowall at FEX Global is custom-built and with lockdowns for manufacturing coupled with the chip shortage, the ability to get the LED into Australia was almost impossible.

To overcome this challenge and still deliver a great experience for the FEX Global team at their office while the Samsung LED was in transit, the team at Pro AV Solutions worked with Samsung to install and integrate a two by two 85-in display wall as an interim solution.

The end result however is a Samsung The Wall videowall using 1.6mm pixel pitch tiles. The videowall measures 8m in length and 2.3m in height.

Interestingly the aspect ratio of the LED videowall is 32:9. Silver details: “With the 32:9 aspect ratio FEX Global is able to do dual 16:9 displays if they need to, which allows them to showcase different content streams on the same videowall. They also have the ability to use it as a single, large, showpiece display if needed.”

A Coriomaster processor is used on the backend to power the LED videowall. Silver says: “Samsung does not have its own processors, so we looked into the Coriomaster so that we would have the best possible option to power the LED videowall. It provides us the capability to make the most of the display by breaking it down into sections as required.”

Silver continues: “There were also a number of sources that needed to be managed. There is a 4K HDMI source, a Foxtel box, in-house trading PCs, a Blu-ray player, and SDI sources as well. The Coriomaster provides the video management to seamlessly bring all these sources in and display them on the LED videowall.”

Crestron processor and touch panels provide control on the backend.

Audio at FEX Global is provided by Bose Panaray line array speakers together with Crown amplifiers and Biamp DSP.

Silver says: “FEX Global liked the aesthetics of having a front of house line array speaker system and from a functional standpoint they also wanted to have the sound come from the screen. We decided to go with the Bose line array. We then integrated the audio system with the amplifiers and the DSP based on the audio requirements of the space.”

Regarding the challenges faced during the course of the project, Silver says: “The lead times around the delivery of the LED were long and we had to manage those together with Samsung. It was a matter of making sure we were communicating with the client and keeping them up to date with the developments as they unfolded. It is also a big LED videowall, so we had to have special bracketry made and deal with the physical aspect of getting the videowall in place. We finished the videowall off with customised, aesthetic drapery to make sure that the final look was clean and made an impact.”

An interesting aspect of the project was the fact that the AV component was delivered as a service. To fix the cost of ownership for FEX Global, Pro AV Solutions worked with its partner SmartEase to provide the solution within an OpEx construct. This allowed FEX Global to achieve both the technical and commercial outcomes required for the project, with a monthly fee and options to buy out or return the hardware at the end of the contract.

All of the hardware and professional services provided by Pro AV Solutions were covered in this package so no upfront costs were due for FEX Global. This payment plan allowed Pro AV Solutions to work and deliver the solutions to budget while minimising impact to capital budgets without compromising on quality or functionality.

With the project operational, Silver concludes: “We look at this project as a great success and the client is very happy. The space has been used openly and publicly, making many appearances on the FEX Global social media platforms. With regards to the purpose and implementation of technology, it has been an extremely good rollout for Pro AV Solutions as we went above and beyond for the client.”

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