The new $285M Hilton Americas-Houston, which opened its doors inDecember of last year and served as the host hotel for Super BowlXXXVIII, ranks as one of the most technologically sophisticated hotelsin the world. Partially backing up that claim is that fact thatit’s also one of the largest Soundweb installations on record,making use of 68 BSS 9088ii DSP devices all on a single network.
HFP Acoustical Consultants Inc. of Houston provided the audio-visualand acoustical design specifications for the new 1200-room, 24-storyHilton Americas-Houston, which is connected via a double deck skyway tothe George R. Brown Convention Center. Ford Audio-Video Systems Inc.,under the direction of Project Manger Kevin Compo, served as thesystems integrator, with Gary Ewald from Ford’s Austin officeprimarily responsible for the project’s Soundweb programming.
HFP Senior Design Consultant Bill Schuermann comments, “With22 miles of conduit running throughout the hotel and 187 miles of fiberjust to support audio-visual alone, this was by all rights an enormousproject. Consequently, I knew we needed a DSP and routing solution thatwould sound good, be extremely reliable, and be backed by a highlyexperienced support team that had dealt with many other large-scaleinstallations. Soundweb was that solution. And this was nearly threeyears ago when I initially specified the products. Soundweb has onlygotten better since then.
“We’re using the BSS 9088s to provide delay, EQ,comp/limiting, leveling, TOC, room combining…pretty mucheverything you’d expect. They really offer an excellent soundingDSP, which can sometimes be a bit of an oxymoron in this business. Infact, when Ford first fired up the system in the Hilton’s GrandBallroom, which is just under an acre in size, even un-tuned, it wasthe best sounding ballroom system in a hotel that any of us had everheard.”
Aside from the 68 BSS 9088ii devices, the Hilton Americas-Houstonalso employs a myriad BSS 9000 network hubs and 9014 fiber-opticinterfaces, as the entire system is distributed via fiber lines.“By using the 9014s and going with an all-fiber backbone, wedramatically reduced the traditional copper infrastructure andeliminated the potential for ground loops,” he adds.
Setup and master control for the audio system is provided via aresident PC in the control room running Soundweb Designer, while usercontrol is accomplished via nearly 60 Crestron TPS-3000 touch screenslocated throughout the facility. Schuermann points out that theintegration between Soundweb and Crestron has been “absolutelyinvisible.”
Schuermann sums the project up by adding, “Soundweb deliveredeverything that BSS said it would on this install. I can’t eventell you how happy I am with the decision I made.”
For more information about BSS Audio/Harman, go to www.bss.co.uk.