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|Restaurants/Bars/Clubs | Retail | Sports Venues | Theatre | Worship | Other Installs|
Self-Powered Systems Take to the Ceiling at New Hilton
The new Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas, offers meeting spaces with state of the art audio-video systems featuring digital fiber optic signal distribution, touch-screen controllers, and over 300 powerful ceiling loudspeakers. But don't look for a room filled with racks of signal processors and power amplifiers to drive all those loudspeakers, because it doesn't exist.
That's because all the amplifiers and processors are up in the ceilings, built right into the loudspeakers. This hotel boasts what may be the world's largest distributed plenum loudspeaker system using self-powered devices – more than 300 of Meyer Sound's UPM-1P ultra-compact wide coverage loudspeakers – for sound reinforcement in nearly all larger high-ceiling spaces. In some rooms, deep bass was augmented by M1D-Sub ultra-compact subwoofers, with a total of 30 installed. The total loudspeaker count is probably the largest of any Meyer Sound installation in the United States, and is amongst the most sizable worldwide.
Schuermann's use of the UPM-1P in this fashion is an innovative one that was not in the minds of the designers when the product was created. "I call it a reapplication of product," says Bill Schuermann of HFP Acoustical, principal designer of the system. "If you're going to put everything else on fiber optic lines, it doesn't make sense to run all those 70-volt speaker lines as well. Using the self-powered Meyer Sound systems greatly simplified everything, both conceptually and logistically."
Schuermann also pointed out that the powerful UPM-1Ps could easily cover twice the area of the best conventional 70-volt loudspeakers, allowing him to specify half the speaker locations. Fewer loudspeakers meant lower installation costs, as well as fewer logistical problems with working around HVAC systems. Elimination of amplifier racks also saved considerable space, returning it to the hotel operator for revenue-producing activities.
Though highly compact and lightweight, the self-powered UPM-1P is capable of peak SPL of 123 dB (at 1 meter) from 60 Hz to 16 kHz, with a wide 100-degree symmetrical coverage pattern. The M1D-Sub subwoofer produces similar output levels in the 35 to 150 Hz range.
Completed late in 2003, the Hilton Americas is a 1,200-room downtown hotel located adjacent to Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center. The hotel offers 91,500 square feet of total meeting space, including the 40,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom and the 26,000-square-foot Ballroom of the Americas. Both feature "smart walls" with built-in presentation screens, professional show-power lighting, and audio connections controlled by LCD panels. All meeting spaces offer Ethernet connections for high-speed Internet access as well as motorized presentation screens.