Monday, April 6, 2020
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 A Wine Bar, Par Excellence 

Dudley Rees and his team at the U.K.-based installation firm Chelsea Connected Ltd. were brought in by owners of a wine bar in London’s Canary Wharf district called The Humble Grape who wished to automate a space they were newly renovating for the business with a full distributed audio/visual solution. The owner was familiar with Chelsea’s IT expertise and was confident in their ability to transform the site – their fourth such location – with an easy-to-learn system that the bar’s staff, including any new hires that might not be tech-savvy, would be able to master in short order.

“They knew that they wanted a big screen in the main bar area and a TV in the private dining room,” explained Rees. “They also wanted to have music that could be split into zones. The key message was to avoid making the venue look like a sports bar.

“Beyond that, they left us to spec everything up, as we have built up a pretty good trust. Although we had done similar installations for them before, and were conscious that their staff sometimes moves between branches, familiarity of equipment was a bonus.”

The system features an Epson projector and a Projecta drop-down screen as well as Sonos for music, with Kinetik speakers. Denon powered the projector A/V and Roku was selected, said Rees, “for its simple-to-use streaming service – as well as its fabulous two-way integration with URC.” Also included in the gear list was a 55-inch Sony Bravia OLED display in the private dining room, Definitive Audio in-wall speakers, and Monitor Audio power amps.

All was designed to blend in neatly with the wine bar and is controlled using URC Total Control TKP-7600 in-wall touch screens connected to a URC MRX-15 processor. Chelsea also customized the touchscreens’ user interface using custom graphics with Humble Grape’s brand identity. The staff has the added option of readily controlling the system with the URC Total Control app on their smartphones.

One of the challenges of installing a system into this location was having to integrate with the building’s alarm systems, explained Rees. “If the building alarms or tannoys are triggered, all our A/V equipment had to shut down immediately. We used the URC sensors to detect the alarm outputs and send IP and relay commands to our TV, projector, Sonos and amps to cut them off.

“The good news is that the URC system passed the building control test first time with flying colors.”