Gary Wilson

The Team
AV Integrator:  CompView
Architect:  Jon R. Jurgens & Associates At Big Al’s Bowling, Sports Bar & Arcade, guests can watch one of 110 high-definition TVs, linked by cost-effective unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cabling and fed by more than 60 Magenta Research receivers and a 64-port switcher, or they can simply take in a game at the bar (or 12 games, thanks to 12 different AV receivers) on a 55-foot-wide, 16:9 aspect ratio Da-Lite screen. As its name suggests, the latest Big Al’s—in Beaverton, Ore., (the original resides in Vancouver, Wash.)—includes bowling alleys, a 7,000 square-foot arcade, restaurant, bar, billiards area, and party rooms. Spotlight Award–winner CompView was tasked with integrating all the systems without breaking the bank.

Among the smart AV design decisions: using economical UTP to wire the AV audiovisual equipment; working with Big Al’s IT staff to run CobraNet audio and AV control on the same network as the point-of-sale, networked arcade, and other non-AV systems; and opting for serial command routing to displays instead of specifying displays with individual serial ports. CompView estimates that the last decision saved the client $30,000 without sacrificing control over each display.

To its credit, CompView worked early and often with the building’s architect. When it became clear that the client wanted several large (20-foot-wide) projection screens at the end of the bowling alleys, support beams had to be relocated to handle the weight distribution. And locating projectors required collaboration early in the design process when ceilings for Big Al’s various entertainment areas were being sketched out. The icing on the cake is a simple, elegant AMX touch-panel interface that a bartender or front-of-house employee can use to route video to any screen in the place. That’s hospitality.