Snap One Streamlines AV System at Sports Bar into a One-Touch Operation

Control4 makes it easy for every employee to operate the 26 4K TVs, 44 speakers across five audio zones, a massive videowall, and more, giving the restaurant owner more time to grow the business and improve the customer experience.

Patrons of upstate New York’s popular dining establishment, Bar-Bill Tavern, might come for the chicken wings and traditional beef on weck, but they stay for the incredible AV experience. The family-owned business is the place to meet with friends and catch the latest sports matchup. It’s no wonder. Seemingly every inch of wall space is occupied by a sizable TV, and there’s no shortage of speakers, either. Obviously, technology is integral to the atmosphere and success of this crowd-pleasing stomping ground.

 Yet, there was one crucial element missing from the mix – a system to easily control all the technology. Managing the AV across 10,000 square feet inside and 2,000 square feet outside via rudimentary handheld remotes was like performing a juggling act, a trick “only the owner of the restaurant had mastered,” says Leah Shul, Account Manager of systems integration firm Park Place Installations, Inc. The staff could never really get the hang of it, which left the music and video unattended and underutilized. Time and again, the owner was called to assist, racing between the three Bar-Bill Tavern locations at all hours to get the AV to cooperate.

For sanity’s sake, it was high time to simplify the system. The Park Place team tackled the AV issues at the Bar-Bill pubs in Clarence and East Aurora, N.Y., first, where they united control of multiple TVs and an audio system under the Control4 platform. The staff mastered the operation in no time, which made the sports viewing experience dramatically better for guests.

The next and last stop on Park Place’s tech-improvement tour was Bar-Bill’s Rochester location. It would be the most extensive upgrade of the three. The owner liked the Control4 solution so much, Park Place would follow through with another Control4 solution, integrating even more products than they had on the previous projects.

“The Bar-Bill owner was ready to push the envelope a bit,” says Leah. After pre-wiring and swapping old TVs for new 4K models from SunBrite and Samsung, and consumer-grade speakers for high-performance alternatives from LAR and Episode, Park Place started the integration process. These 26 TVs, plus a massive 110in videowall, five zones of audio, Triad amps, Binary 4K Media over IP (MoIP) distribution system, and Hikivision surveillance cameras would all be seamlessly managed by the Control4 system. Commands issued by the staff via three Control4 touch-panels and data accessed by staff and guests via Wi-Fi travel quickly, reliably and securely over a new hardwired and wireless Araknis network.

Control4

Bar-Bill keeps long hours, so there’s no time for downtime. Park Place included a WattBox IP-controlled surge protector to mitigate system snafus. “Plus, via the Control4 system, the owner and our own AV experts can manage and monitor everything connected to the Control4 processor remotely. It’s the extra assurance a busy restaurant needs to stay fully operational at all times,” Leah says.

Protection against human error was also guaranteed, per the Park Place plan and the seamless interoperability of the project’s many Snap One products. “This was huge for the owner, who was still a little skeptical about handing over complete control of the AV to his employees, based on past experiences,” Leah explains.

Rather than leave things to chance, Park Place programmed the Control4 system to activate the AV systems automatically every business day at 10:50 a.m. From there, the staff can visit a Control4 touchpanel to select from one of several customized presets; for example, tapping Bills to play the Buffalo Bills game on every TV inside and outside on the patio. Via other presets users can control specific zones individually, like choosing to play music in the lobby and dining areas, while the patio and bar get game commentary. 

This simple, largely hands-off process of managing the environment at the three New York-based Bar-Bill taverns has freed up the owner’s time so much, he’s looking to expand into Florida. Will Park Place and Control4 be part of the business plan? “Given our success here, we’re certainly eager and well-prepped to deliver the same convenient management style,” says Shul.

According to Snap One Commercial Market Sr. Director, Scott Normand, “Control4 is well positioned to be used in a wide variety of commercial applications. Over the last few years as a result of direct feedback from integrators and Partners, we’ve been intentional about releasing software features, such as MultiDisplay Manager, to enable more business applications. We’re continuing to develop more enhancements for the commercial market and are excited to share new developments down the road.”

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