The Queen Elizabeth II Centre is the largest dedicated conference, events and exhibition space in central London. Located in Westminster, it hosts more than 400 high-profile conferences, conventions, exhibitions, awards ceremonies and corporate events each year.
Early in 2019, the centre recognised a need for an updated mobile recording rack. The current system was becoming less reliable as it aged so Bruno Siu, Head of Data & Video, QEII Live at theQueen Elizabeth II Centre, set about building a new system from the ground up. After coming up with a couple of designs it
became clear that this was not the best way to go due to concerns over the long-term viability of the system and whether it would become outdated too quickly.It was at this point that Bruno turnedto StriveAV, particularly service delivery manager Spiros Andreou who worked diligently to deliver the solution required by the QE11 Centre. As Bruno explains: “I did drawings of what I wanted and pushed them back to Spiros who would then share his suggestions. We spent some time going backwards and forwards with Spiros working around what I wanted to deliver the ideal solution.
The turning point came when Spiros managed to get a demo unit for Bruno and the centre, something that enabled them to really pin down what they wanted and what the system was capable of. The decision was taken to build a mobile recording
rack capable of 8 channels of simultaneous full HD recording, monitoring, independent audio I/O and provide feeds for live broadcast/webcast, featuring the Ki Pro Ultra Plus multi-channel HD Recorder4K/UltraHD/2K/HD recorder and playerfrom AJA.As Bruno explains, being able to get hands on with a demo unit made a huge difference to the project: “Before I was able to demo the unit I thought the designs were complete, but getting the demo unit was absolutely vital. It provided answers for some questions we had and let us see how the unit would respond on the fly. We did a lot of testing.”.
According to Bruno, challenges frequently cropped up during the project: “Every time we thought we were near the finish line, something would crop up. However, StriveAV were always quick to respond to queries and were very helpful throughout.”
‘I’m very happy with the work of StriveAV; they were always really quick to respond, even when things were taking longer than expected. I particularly have to mention Spiros who was fantastic throughout and spent a great deal of time working with me on the designs.”
Bruno Siu, Head of Data & Video, QEII Live, QEII Centre
As the university had carried out research into the needs of users now and in the future and created a design based on this, there were few changes needed when StriveAV came on board. As Harvey explains: “We had done a lot of the groundwork for the project, but it’s always good for the integrator to have a sense check to make sure we have the right design.
Happily, there were no installation implications with what we’d suggested so site visits were done with the site manager and the installation team to pick up any local issues. There were a few things we had to change but nothing significant.” One major issue which StriveAV helped to overcome was the need for on-site rack builds due to access issues at the site. Harvey adds: “We like to have our racks and lecterns fully built and tested offsite so they’re tested as fully working, wrapped up and delivered. Unfortunately, due to access issues in the building, we had to deliver everything in boxes and build on site. On site rack builds are never ideal but the StriveAV team and Hewshott worked very well together allowing us to minimise what could potentially have been a lot of complications with that building. It was very, very well managed between the two of them.” Timescale was also a challenge. Although the upgrade was carried out over the summer when the teaching schedule is limited, the rooms are frequently used for external events. For example, the biggest conference room included in the refurb had multiple events in over the summer so installations had to be dovetailed in between one finishing and the next one starting. In one case a conference ended the day with the old kit, StriveAV came in and completed the install ready for the next day with user training carried out in the morning. d cabling solution supporting the LAN, EPOC, CCTV, WiFi and video displays throughout the centre.
The rack has already been used on events at the centre and has worked as expected since project completion. According
Since opening its doors in December 2019, the House of Photography has received unanimously positive reviews, with the Fujifilm team praising the rich and immersive audio experience throughout the experience centre, as well as the clarity, power and coverage of the system.