Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux Adds a Just Add Power Powerplay

IntegratorBill Whittenberger, Senior Account Engineer at Technologic Systems took up the call of deliver a home run of an install at this popular sports based watering hole.

The Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux franchise is on a mission to make their sports bar a home away from home for patrons. Beyond the culinary delights, craft beers, and cocktails, it brings the entertainment for sports fans with wall-to-wall TVs. At its newest location in Webster, Texas, integration firm Technologic relied on the franchise’s tried-and-true solution for enabling a flexible, high-quality video over IP distribution system for its displays — Just Add Power.

There’s no lack of entertainment at Walk-On’s. Displays are everywhere so that guests feel immersed in the action. The Webster, Texas, location included more than 84 Samsung displays ranging from 55in to 70in throughout the bar, banquet room and outdoor patio. The centerpiece is a video wall that surrounds the bar on all four sides, mimicking the design of a scoreboard. It is comprised of a 2×3 matrix on two sides and a 2×5 matrix on the longer sides.

The sports bar needed to be able to distribute 16 sources — 10 DirecTV boxes, two cable boxes, an Apple TV, CHIVE TV, and an auxiliary port to allow guests using the banquet room to bring their own content — in ultra-low-latency, ensuring gametime action didn’t lag behind from source to screen and would be synchronised from screen to screen. The system also needed to be flexible, allowing any source to be sent to any screen in Walk-On’s, even if the number of sources or displays grew in the future.

In addition, the video wall had its own requirements. One request in its design is that the display logo wouldn’t end up in the middle of the wall since Walk-On’s uses affordable prosumer displays. This could be solved by flipping the upper displays and installing them upside down. However, the source image would need to be flipped as well. They also wanted the flexibility to change the video wall set up. For example, having one game fill the entire screen or choose different sources per screen. These capabilities traditionally would require a video wall processor, which would add expense and make the system more expensive and more complex to control. Walk-On’s wanted the system to be super easy for any staff member to control and operate without adding complicated video wall equipment. Finally, the system needed to be ready for heavy use and proven reliability, since the sports bar is open more than 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing action-packed entertainment to guests.

Solution

Just Add Power has been a chosen solution for other Walk-On’s locations, providing Technologic with all the reassurance they needed of Just Add Power’s flexibility, high-performance, and scalability. At this location, Technologic installed 84 3G Ultra VBS-HDIP-508POE 4K receivers at every display and 14 VBS-HDIP-707POE transmitters with network support delivered by TPLink switches.

The 707POE transmitter distributes video resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD with ultra-low latency over a single Cat-5e cable. The unit supports HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0, HDR, HDR10, and all lossless audio formats, including Dolby Atmos. The platform enables seamless switching between any resolution HDMI source as well as uncompressed lossless multichannel audio formats including Dolby Atmos support. What’s more, video wall capabilities are built-in for displays installed in portrait and flipped configurations as well as image push, pull, and pop features. An integrated scaler on the receiver automatically adjusts the picture to fit the screen. This eliminates additional video well hardware from the system. It also supports control inputs with RS-232, CEC, and IR. As with all models in the Just Add Power lineup, it integrates seamlessly with any generation of the company’s products. This allows integrators to select the Just add Power solution that best fits the job, providing an evolutionary, scalable, systems-approach to 4K video signal distribution — even as the system grows. The integrator simply adds another receiver or transmitter for additional displays or sources.

For the Webster location, control of each display and the video wall is done using GameView on an iPad. The audio is zoned out, so they can control the volume for the displays inside, on the patio, and in the banquet room.

“Just Add Power is low maintenance, so as an integrator, we have stability in a project that we don’t have to provide constant support to,” says Bill Whittenberger, Senior Account Engineer, Technologic. “On top of the performance, you get the ease of video wall configuration and management without a separate video wall processor and controller. It eliminates those extra pieces of equipment as points of failure.”

Results

The Just Add Power AV-over-IP system speaks for itself, says the maker. Used in several Walk-On’s Sport Bistreaux locations across the nation, the new Webster, Texas, location is a home away from home. The video distribution system delivers everything the restaurant needs — performance, flexibility, and ease of operation without additional equipment.

“We can expand their system for any changes in the future,” Bill says. “If they wanted to add another 20 TVs or another source, it’s not a hassle. Plus, their products are backward compatible, so you wouldn’t have to replace the whole system.”

The sports bar has already put the system’s flexibility and modularity to the test. Bill explains, “With the specific broadcast companies having exclusive rights to sport events, owners are having to sign up for those additional streaming services. With Just Add Power, that’s super easy. It’s just another transmitter, so all we have to do is plug it into the switch.”

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