Big Al's, a bowling and entertainment venue located in Vancouver, WA, wanted to expand into neighboring Beaverton, OR, with a new state-of-the-art bowling, arcade, and sports bar and grill. The company opened its first entertainment center in 2006, equipping it with numerous different brands of displays and projectors to entertain customers and display bowling scores. The popularity of the first center gave the company more design flexibility, and the growing affordability of HD technology allowed it to pursue the installation of Full HD professional projectors and displays. Big Al's enlisted reseller CompView, a leading audio video consulting, design and installation firm also based in Beaverton, OR, to lead the design and installation of a new AV system that would impress customers but also be simple for employees to operate.
CompView evaluated numerous brands of AV solutions and ultimately decided on equipping the Beaverton location with only Panasonic professional displays and projectors to ease system integration. The reseller went with Panasonic products because of their superior high-definition picture quality, reliability, generous warranty and the company's brand recognition.
Big Al's had numerous installation requirements due to the multitude of uses and locations. These included video projection over each lane, displays to show bowling scores, flat panels and projectors to show multiple sporting events in the bar area and in each conference room, as well as the video game arcade.
Big Al's wanted flat panels large enough and bright enough so players of all ages could easily read their bowling scores, which are tabulated and displayed via the Brunswick Bowling System. With that in mind, CompView installed one Panasonic 37" LRU20 LCD display above each of the facility's 42 bowling lanes. Additionally, these LCD scoreboard displays can serve as digital signage for the venue, with messaging that promotes food and drink specials, upcoming events at the bowling venue and corporate party options.
For the projection of streaming music videos above the bowling lanes, three Panasonic PT-DW6300US projectors were selected and installed. These 6,000 lumen projectors were selected for their brightness, lens options and picture quality, which allow the image to reach a size of 600" without distortion. Additionally, the built-in Auto Cleaning Filter can be used for approximately 10,000 hours before needing replacement. The long filter life minimized maintenance needs and expense, which was appealing due to the projectors' location on the ceiling.
Similar to the bowling area, the sports bar and arcade designs also combined the use of Panasonic projectors and displays. Three Panasonic PT-DZ6700U projectors were installed to create a 55-foot-wide video wall. The video wall allows the venue to show three large events or nine smaller images across each projector surface. The PT-DZ6700U was selected for its Full HD native resolution, allowing the system to maintain true HD projection in split image mode or large Full HD projection in single image mode, without distortion. Additionally, CompView placed six 42" TH-42PH20U Panasonic plasma displays under the projection wall and five 50" TH-50PH20U plasma displays fill the back wall of the sports bar. All of these devices receive entertainment from 12 DirecTV receivers and two Comcast Cable receivers. Additional plasma displays and projectors were also installed in the venue's conference areas, which are used for various purposes, including college alumni looking for a place to watch the big game and corporate parties. Big Al's arcade is also equipped with five 42" Panasonic TH-42PH20U plasma displays throughout, showing the latest music videos.
The entire AV system is managed via AMX, a leading provider of unified control and automation solutions. With such a large number of inputs in a large venue, a lot of flexibility was built into the system, making it easy to update and operate. It was important that system controls be as simple as possible to use due to the fact that most employees do not have an IT background.
Upon completing the AV installation, a quick tour of the facility and a short training session about the system's user interface was all that was required to get personnel up to speed and ready to use the system. Integration of products was also made easier as only one vendor, Panasonic, was used. This will ease support issues because Big Al's will only have to work with one vendor should any issues arise in the future with the installation.
After opening in August 2010, Big Al's received tremendous feedback from its patrons.
"We're tremendously satisfied with the results, and so are the customers," said Daniel Kirkwood, owner of Big Al's. "Our customers feel like they are at a sports book in Las Vegas. The clarity and size of our video installations are truly impressive. Our Panasonic projectors and plasma displays have become an integral part of our business and allow us to provide our customers with state-of-the-art entertainment whether they are here to watch a game, play pool or bowl. With the help of CompView, we have a system that is reliable and easy to operate and maintain."