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Harman Leads the Way at O2 Arena

Harman Pro Group has provided systems designer and integrator AEG with a HiQnet networked audio system for the O2 Arena and adjacent Indigo Club in London. Formerly the Millennium Dome, the facility was gutted and re-outfitted by AEG for its use as the main attraction in London’s sports and concert arenas and its prominent future use as an Olympic venue in 2012.

ID Networks in the UK was chosen to program the HiQnet system and ensure that the pieces all fit together. ID Networks’ Martin Barbour accomplished the programming of both the system in the 23,000-seat arena and the 3,000-capacity club.

The main arena system features HiQnet products including an AKG HUB 4000 Q, 31 BSS Audio Soundweb London processors and 180 Crown amplifiers comprising 2-channel and 8-channel CTs and I-Tech models, the latter devices powering four JBL VerTec VT4889 line array hangs.

ID Networks set the system up so that Harman Pro Group’s HiQnet System Architect and London Architect software provide the control and monitoring user interfaces, allowing all routing and paging to be handled through two 24-inch touchscreen monitors. The Soundweb London devices, using the power of the built-in logic processing, monitor all devices in the audio chain from microphone to loudspeaker, including every component in between such as processors, network switches and amplifiers. Should any component indicate a fault, either System Architect or London Architect help diagnose and repair the problem. All audio distribution between Soundweb London devices and to the CTs amplifiers is via CobraNet, with analog outputs being used to feed the I-Tech amplifiers. The arena system is a P.A. and voice alarm system, meeting all current UK and European life safety standards.

“The capabilities of the two HiQnet software applications allowed us to use Soundweb London as a single point of control for the entire audio network, with in-depth amplifier monitoring and control using System Architect,” Barbour says. “The power of System Architect and London Architect with the unified HiQnet protocol providing the underlying link between all components made integrating this system far simpler than it could have been using products from other manufacturers.

“The goal in the Indigo night club,” he continues, “was to create a state-of-the-art concert venue using tour sound products equipped to deal with any type of show, negating the need for production companies to hire and set up their own dedicated P.A. system. Harman Pro group HiQnet products were chosen because, with System Architect, it was simple to integrate all audio components in to a single, reconfigurable and fully monitored audio system.”

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