Sarnsara Learning Centre, Muang Thai Life Assurance, Thailand

The victory parade of Inavate APAC Awards 2021 winners continues as we explore the Sarnsara Learning Centre in Thailand delivered by Mahajak. Hurrairah bin Sohail reports.

Learning and development has become a focus of enterprises as a tool to attract and retain talent. After all, workers today want a career where they can develop and grow.

With that in mind, Muang Thai Life Assurance decided to invest in spaces and technology that would form the core of its education and corporate L&D initiatives.

PIA Interior was the interior decorator and Consulting and Management 49 [CM49] was the consultant for the project. Mahajak was appointed as the system integrator.

Kanokwan Suksak from Mahajak details: “We worked with a consultant and designer. For this project, the customer actually gave us the requirements for the systems, and it was our job to meet the requirements with products and solutions.”

Mahajak aimed to deliver on the customer’s requirements and needs with technology systems and Suksak details: “The main requirement from the client was ‘user friendliness’, they wanted the people in the room to be able to easily understand how to control and operate the space. No matter how complicated the AV systems might be, they wanted to be able to easily and simply control them.”

Suksak continues: “The reason for this requirement was that the spaces are meant to be used by a wide variety of people and departments. This meant that they could not always be sure about the level of proficiency with technology of the users or even how the spaces might be used. They wanted to avoid any issues by ensuring that the system was intuitive and user friendly.”

AMX control systems are employed across the Muang Thai Life Assurance facilities and Suksak details: “We customised the entire control system and programmed it to deliver the user friendliness that the client required. The control system is scaled up and scaled down according to the needs of the rooms and the spaces as well.”

Another key objective for Muang Thai Life Assurance was differentiation. Learning spaces have become a popular addition to corporate facilities and the customer was keen to ensure that its initiatives would stand out. Suksak says: “The client really wanted to differentiate their learning centre from the other competitors in the market. The way to achieve this differentiation was through technology. The main spaces for this project were the auditorium and the training centre and Mahajak had to supply products for both spaces.”

Premium visuals

Right off the bat, what sets the learning spaces at Muang Thai Life Assurance apart is the selection of Uniview LED tiles for two spectacular LED videowalls. These measure 19m wide and 5m high with 3.9mm pixel pitch LED tiles and 8m wide and 2.7m high with 1.9mm pixel pitch LED tiles being used.

Suksak details: “LED delivers premium visuals and picture quality, but we all know that LED and its installation can be expensive. But the customer was willing to devote the budget to an LED videowall in Sarnsara learning centre. They understood the quality and premium nature of the display and found that it fit their requirements.”

Suksak goes into how and why the client was willing to invest in premium displays: “The LED videowall was our biggest challenge because it represented a significant investment on the part of the client due to the fact that quality LED tiles are expensive. We had to properly walk the client through the benefits of LED, how LED fares versus LCD screens and talk with them about managing the budget as well. We did a lot of proof-of-concept work and let them compare the different outcomes. I can proudly say that after the installation the management has been very happy with the LED screen, so I think it is safe to say LED was the right decision.”

Arrays for audio

To match the premium display, Sarnsara Learning Centre required quality audio. Suksak details: “The audio for the auditorium space was challenging. We could have used ceiling speakers but instead we decided to go with the JBL Intellivox array speakers. Much like the LED videowall, there were budgetary concerns and we had to once again use proof of concept to showcase the difference between the array speakers, ceiling speakers and other speakers.”

However, it became obvious very quickly that Intellivox speakers were the best option. Suksak says: “The interior design trend in Thailand right now is to have the room be as ‘clean’ and seamless as possible. They don’t want to see speakers or projectors and the technology has to be hidden. So, if you want a beautiful, clean room the array speakers are great because they are inconspicuous and can be hidden. But at the same time, you don’t compromise on the quality. With the Intellivox, we could cover the entire auditorium with quality sound and that is a benefit for the client.”

Crown amplifiers and BSS DSPs complete the audio system. BSS Blu-link is used for audio signal transmission.

Shure microphones are used for audio input while a Soundcraft mixer is used for management.

To meet

In addition to the training centres and auditorium, there are meeting spaces that are also worth exploring.

Suksak says: “There was no requirement for VC support from our end and the client chose Barco Clickshare wireless presentation and connectivity so that users can use their own devices for VC. But VC platforms are in high demand right now and our team has designed the infrastructure in such a manner that should the client want to pursue more VC options we can assist them in that matter.”

Samsung flat panels of differing sizes serve as the displays for the meeting spaces.

It is also interesting to note the mode of video signal transmission chosen. Suksak details: “We’ve gone with two different types of video transmission infrastructure. For smaller sized rooms, we are using Kanex Pro HDBaseT and for the larger spaces we are using Just Add Power AV-over-IP encoders and decoders. Size was used to make the decision between the two options, but it was not the only reason. There was a requirement to make sure content could be shown across spaces, so AV over IP was a great solution.”

With the project successfully completed and in operation, Suksak concludes: “The biggest challenge for this project was the preconceived perceptions of the customer based on their past experience with technology. While the customer was more than willing to invest in technology, even though this project was executed during the Covid-19 pandemic when people were not willing to invest. But they wanted to make sure that the technology would deliver. This is why we did a lot of proof-of-concept work, for the LED and for the Intellivox speakers, so that the benefits of the audio and video solutions would become obvious.”

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