When Caesars Entertainment, who operate the world-renowned Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, planned their next expansion phase—CAESARS FORUM, a new state-of-the-art conference center—they needed a first-class technical infrastructure for site wide multi-signal transmission over this large facility, and opted for BroaMan, the video and data based sister company to Optocore.
Locally based design and engineering specialists, National Technology Associates (NTA) have a long track record working with the Caesars Entertainment family, including LINQ promenade, the High Roller, and many restaurants and venues. Thus they were again contracted, and as their project manager Shane Snell recognized the building was way too big to run traditional SDI cabling, he instead turned to a BroaMan fiber solution.
BroaMan offers customised fiber solutions as well as standard devices for every application that requires IP/SDI/HD/3G video transport or routing, no matter what the scale or complexity. In the BroaMan environment, all open standards can be integrated — digital video, audio and data — on the same low latency fiber infrastructure.
The Conference Center itself measures a massive 550,000 sq. ft. including more than 300,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space with the two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world at 110,000 square feet each. The facility has direct access to 3 first class hotels with 8,500 Caesars Entertainment hotel rooms and 20,000 more within walking distance.
Shane explained that the original design had “tons of SDI cabling” running to a total of nine IDF distribution frames. “With 400 floor boxes going to nine comms rooms, none of them connected, there was no way to tie them all together and certainly not by using coax point-to-point cabling.
“We needed a way to tie these isolated comms closets together—without a bunch of loose gear, adapters, boxes, or anything that could be less than reliable. It also needed to be easy to use by Encore Productions, the in-house productions team who live in the world of event production where flexibility, speed and ease are key.”
A BroaMan 40 x 40 Route66 video router sits at the hub of the fiber network design, with 32 3G-SDI I/Os freely routed to eight Repeat48 WDM in different locations throughout the facility. These provide electrical to optical, optical to electrical conversion and feature 24 video channels combined over build-in CWDM module, transportable over two duplex fibers.
There are also eight local fiber I/Os on the Route66, which a Repeat48 interface in the hub room converts to SDI. An external WDM frame, connected to the Route66 multiplexes 32 x 32 channels in the central location, combining together the desired video channels and sends the Muxed streams down a singlemode duplex fiber connection to each remote Repeat48 WDM. Between each of the Repeat48 WDMs and the Route66 there are also two generic fiber tunnels that can be used to tunnel an optical data.
Explaining the advantage of this layout, Shane said, “What we have is nearly 400 SDI cables split among nine AV closets, with a 4-input / 4-output node in each closet. This is tied together by a Route66 and WDM frame in the main AV head-end and operated under Crestron control.” All audio and video runs on a hyperconverged AV network using networked audio (a Q-SYS environment) with JBL speakers.
The NTA project manager said the implementation of Optocore control protocol for BroaMan had been straightforward. “We only had to acquire comms with the Route66 and it handles the end points. Once we had all of the patching in place, it took minutes to load that portion of the control.”
Typically, a user will patch a camera or SDI device into a floor box, and this in turn is patched into the node in the associated comms closet, before being routed to another IDF—some over 1200 feet away. “They can then patch out of the closet to anywhere within the facility.
“In total, we created a 40×40 matrix switcher that is decentralized and covers the entire space.” BroaMan distributors, Optocore North America in the shape of Technical Sales Manager Brandon Coons, assisted with the overall system design, using all conventional ‘off-the-shelf’ products, while at the manufacturers’ HQ in Munich, Technical Sales Manager, Maciek Janiszewski, was also on hand to assist with the overall design.
Summing up the installation, and the success of the BroaMan deployment, Shane reflected, “Most of the other SDI over Fiber solutions had felt like a glob of pieces and parts. On the other hand the BroaMan set-up was nice in that it felt like a built-to-fit solution. Instead of having point to point converters and an extra matrix, with all the additional little bits and pieces, we ended up with exactly what we needed as a system, rather than a series of parts. Also, the modular design of the nodes made it easy to get the number of ins and outs we were looking for.”
The rest of the AV integration utilizes Creston IPTV distribution, while NTA also installed a 35ft x 50ft corner hi-res LED wall, with 2mm pixel pitch—the largest of its kind in the country.
Encore Productions also say they are excited about this installation as it will enhance the overall experience for planners and the events that are scheduled.