How to design an audiovisual system installation for a small pub, or restaurant.

In the highly competitive independent bar, pub and restaurant sector, the ability to diversify and offer customers a wide range of innovative services has become key to running a successful operation.

For smaller bars, pub and restaurants, the provision of audio visual (AV) services can be a great way to generate new clients, provide value add to existing customers and also increase the time existing customers spend in your location, which ultimately translates into increased food and beverage sales.

For this overview Craig West, our senior audio visual installation engineer, will discuss a range of cost effective television and projector based audio visual installation solutions, as well as overviewing, how some of our clients have creatively utilised their AV tools to; host corporate presentations, develop cinema clubs, market events, promote special offers and add visual ambienceto their venue’s with moving graphical art.

Craig has personally installed in excess of 500 digital audio visual systems throughout the UK and Europe. For the purposes of this overview Craig will discuss the key points you must consider prior to installing a multi-functional, audio visual system for a small bar, pub or restaurant.

Audio visual (AV) is electronic media possessing both a sound and a visual component, such as projection presentations, films, television, corporate conferencing, or the presentation of visual music and art.

Audio visual (AV) is electronic media possessing both a sound and a visual component, such as projection presentations, films, television, corporate conferencing, or the presentation of visual music and art.

Sports

Watching football and major international sporting events is probably the most widely utilisedaudio visual installation at pub and bars.

The most common questions we are asked is whether to opt for one or two, or multiple TVs and ultimately where they will be positioned. This primarily comes down to size and shape of the venue. If space permits we would always advise at least a two screen AV installation, to ensure that two separate sports events can be viewed at the same time.

For a single screen solution the most simplistic installation format is to create a direct feed from the Sky box into the TV. The television and SKY will be hardwired into the house sound system, ensuring that the match commentary will be heard over the ambient customer noise. If the bar or restaurant has only one sound zone, the audio will be heard on every speaker in the venue. If the bar has two sound zones, you can have football playing on selected speakers, whilst playing background music in another area of the bar.

If you want to play through the house sound system with a two screen set up, you will always require a second sound zone in the bar. The key advantage is that you can have two separate football matches running at the same time, each sharing the house sound system with independentsound and volume control for each of the TVs.

Technology Requirements

  • Single TV Setup: TV Screen, wall mount bracket, HDMI input point. Source: Sky box
  • Dual TV Setup: 2 x TV Screen, 1 x HDMI splitter, 2 x wall mount bracket, and HDMI input point. Source: Sky box

Business Meetings

By simply offering a WIFI connection, a free flask of coffee and the relevant AV technology to enable on screen presentations, a revenue stream can be created by hosting local small business breakfast meetings at your bar, pub or restaurant.

The most common audio visual installation format for business presentations is a projector and screen. The client brings their presentation on a laptop computer, the laptop plugs into a wall mounted HMDI socket, positioned close to the screen. The signal from the laptop is then sent to the ceiling mounted projector and then to the screen. If there is audio on the laptop presentation, this audio is sent via the projectors audio output to the amplifiers, which then sent to the house sound system.

For television screen presentations, the laptop is plugged into the HDMI socket, the signal is sent directly to the installed TV screen and the sound is sent via the TVs audio output to the amplifiers, which is then delivered to the house sound system.

Technology Requirements

  • Via TV: TV Screen, wall mountable TV bracket, HDMI input point. Source: Laptop.
  • Via Projector: 6000 lumen projector, ceiling or wall mountable projector bracket, 6 x 8ft projector screen, HDMI input point. Source: Laptop.

In House Marketing

For bars, pubs& restaurants that have a strong brand identity, or regularly promote in house events, competitions and or special offers, a media server is an audio visual installation system that may be of particular interest.

The media server is quite simply a dedicated computer that stores a variety of promotional related information in video and still format. The media server is installed with software that manages the content and is programmed to deliver that content on to a TV screen at specific times of the day and of days of week.

Technology Requirements

  • Media server computer, media serving software & content TV Screen. Source: Computer

Film Clubs

Most people would agree that there is something rather romantic about projectors and old movies. One of our clients recently created an innovative revenue stream, by hosting a weekly classic cinema club in his bar. By simply connecting a laptop through a HMDI socket into the projector, he was able to attract 50 loyal customers every Wednesday night to watch re-runs of old musicals, and all it took was seating, dimming of the lights and a combination of popcorn, cheesy nachos and good beer.

Technology Requirements

  • Via Projector: 6000 lumen projector, ceiling or wall mountable projector bracket, 6 x 8ft projector screen, HDMI input point. Source: Laptop.

Moving Graphics

Installed projectors can also be used to create quirky, artistic and visually stimulating graphical installations within pubs bars and restaurants. Whether it is, silent black and white movies, pop art photography, projection mapping, or hippy style lava lamp image bubbles projected onto large walls. This innovative use of projection can become a great talking point for customers and can also go a long way to help new bars and restaurants create a cool brand identity.

Technology Requirements

  • Via Projector: 6000 lumen projector, ceiling or wall mountable projector bracket, HDMI input point. Source: Laptop.

Professional Advice

Prior to any audio visual installation, serious planning must be undertaken and a professional audio visual engineer should be consulted.

Line of Sight

Particular attention should be paid to the positioning of TV screens to ensure that customers are able to view from multiple seated positions. Focus should be paid to any obstacles, corners or partitions that may obscure or hinder viewing.

Zoning

If your audio visual installation demands a dual screen set up, zoning may be needed. This will require the addition of zone control hardware and possibly extra speakers to bolster the existing house sound system.

Projectors

Installed projectors are ceiling mounted. If your bar, pub or restaurant has a false ceiling additional work and ultimately costs may be incurred to affix to the original ceiling. Though 6000 lumen digital projectors are effective in most environments, natural lighting from sunlight can drastically reduce the quality of the projected images. When considering an audio visual projection installation, the positioning of the screen is of utmost importance. If the venue for example is prone to ambient sunlight and has no window coverings, this could make it very difficult to offer the service during the mornings when most businesses would require usage for meetings and presentations.

Projector Screens

Standard projections screens are 8ft x 6ft. Dependent on the available space, the screen can be wall or ceiling mounted. If the venue has a false ceiling again additional work and ultimately costs may be incurred to affix to the original ceiling.

HDMI Connectivity

For corporate presentations where a laptop will be plugged in to a hardwired HDMI plug socket, it is important that there are ample electrical socket points in the zone where presentations will take place, to eliminate the need for extension cables, which can ultimately create trip hazards.

Cabling

Professional cables should always be used on all commercial audio visual installations. For HDMI cabling a CAT5 converter should be used for any cable runs over 20 metres. All cabling should be on a clean feed and should avoid electrical cabling.

As always a professional engineer should be consulted and used in regards to any project that involves close contact with electricity.