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Feature: Fitting the budget

Feature: Fitting the budget

Feature: Fitting the budget

Richard Lawn visits two Jakarta hotels where systems integrators have managed a clever juggling act, installing facilities that rival their upmarket neighbours

For every five-star hotel that glistens within one of Jakarta’s premium malls, there is a wide selection of three- and four-star properties elsewhere attracting quite a different visitor profile. This includes business travellers and event organisers drawn by a hotel’s ability to host weddings, exhibitions, conferences and meetings within a budget and specific timeframe. Somewhat handicapped by a creaking road network, Jakarta is on the verge of taking the wraps off a new light rail system. No surprise then that a host of new hotels have sprung up in and around the new stations connecting them to the city and the airport.

Located in the very north of the city in the Dutch colonial heritage area, the Mercure Jakarta Batavia, part of the Accor Hotels chain, no doubt appeals to leisure visitors. However, upon closer inspection, the area is also near the business district, government offices, JI Expo, international port and the terminal for the new 46-minute rail service to Soekarno International Airport.

In addition to a main downstairs restaurant, bars, swimming pool and fitness centre, the 376-room Mercure Jakarta Batavia is furnished with 13 meeting rooms that promote commerce, training and team building. PT Ideal Systems Indonesia was called on to install an extensive AV background that enables its guests to simply conduct business effortlessly. Working closely with independent consultant Dani M Alafah, the SI was allowed to modify the plans and specifications as the project matured towards fruition.

All the hotel's meeting and conferencing rooms are equipped with Epson EB-G7905G  projectors
All the hotel's meeting and conferencing rooms are equipped with Epson EB-G7905G projectors

Indonesian systems integrators who serve the country’s hospitality sector are long accustomed to cash flow problems, construction delays and tight deadlines. Balancing limited budgets while providing an exceptional level of performance has become a common trait among successful SIs in the metropolis. Respected for years as a leading regional broadcast SI specialist, PT Ideal Systems relocated to a new office in late 2019, and is lending its expertise to the international hotel chains.

‘This next tier of hotels is increasingly demanding higher-quality AV systems in order for them to better compete and differentiate themselves in the market,’ comments PT Ideal Systems CEO for SEA, Fintan Mc Kiernan. ‘To fulfil the tenders, we have to deliver five-star service functionality and value on a three-star budget.’

On entering the lower ground floor, the challenges for the Ideal Systems team are evident, as sales director and project manager Indra Syahputra explains. ‘No two hotels are the same and, as this one is a refurbished development, it inherits problems such as low ceiling heights and challenging acoustics. In addition, delays with the hotel’s documentation meant we were called four months later when we were allowed to start laying down the cabling infrastructure on the first three levels.’

The Ideal Systems team – Suteja, Fintan Mc Kiernan and Indra Syahputra
The Ideal Systems team – Suteja, Fintan Mc Kiernan and Indra Syahputra

The new Ideal Systems office is furnished with a staging area where racks can be built prior to installation. The relatively simple plans for this pro-ject required racks to be built for the meeting rooms, restaurant, gym and other public zones, which operate as individual entities without the need for central networking. Despite this saving in time and cost, cable routing on all three levels connects the public corridors to a ground-level operations room where a rack of QSC CXD8.3Qn amplifiers power the Bose FreeSpace DS 16F and Acoustimass sub ceiling speakers.

‘We were allowed to swap most equipment or make modifications should we need to, but the owner was insistent on using Bose speakers throughout,’ furthers Syahputra. ‘While it was easy to install speakers into the 2m ceiling in the ground-floor Melaka restaurant and some of the meeting rooms, getting coverage is tricky. We set the speaker tappings for the 70V line system in these zones at 7.5W.’ Connected to a QSC Q-Sys Core 100f processor, a wall-mounted QSC TSC47 touchscreen provides the facility manager instant access to a host of audio parameters beyond volume and source if required.

Unlike most modern ballrooms, the 800m2 Nusantara on the second level can’t be divided into smaller units. With the ability to cater for up to 500 guests in a theatre-style setting, intelligible speech and BGM within the 4m-high room is provided by 36 FreeSpace DS 40F ceiling speakers powered by a single QSC 8.4Qn amplifier. ‘Should a wedding function require a live band to perform, they can either hire their own PA or use the hotel’s Yamaha DB112/DSR118 portable system by patching into one of the several facility panels we have installed,’ explains Syahputra.

The standalone meeting rooms are all locally served by Bose FreeSpeak amps and processors
The standalone meeting rooms are all locally served by Bose FreeSpeak amps and processors

As on the ground floor, touchscreen control has been provided courtesy of several Q-Sys TSC47W wall-mounted interfaces connected to the same Core 110f processor. To enhance room flexibility, added inputs were required and these have been provided by adding two further I/O-8 Flex frames. Audio inputs comprise CD players, Clockaudio C801 podium mics and CW7000 wireless mics including handheld and headworn transmitters. ‘We’ve been working with Clockaudio for five years now,’ comments Ideal Systems’ after-sales engineer, Suteja. ‘Their wireless models are afforda-ble, totally reliable and easy to use, while their wired inventory combines functionality with style.’

To execute all the visual requirements for the hotel, Ideal Systems stuck to a combination of Epson projectors and Grandview screens. For Nusan-tara, an EB-G7905U 8,000-lumens projector and 6m x 4m 16:10m CB-MI200 screen handles the multiple requirements of this versatile space. Extron DTP HDMI transmitters and receivers ensure image clarity from the visual sources to the main screen, together with five 55-inch Philips digital sign-age displays in the pre-function area. While lacking the dual screens and PTZ camera system often found in a larger, divisible room, Nusantara fulfils all the requirements expected of such a hotel space.

Also on the second level can be found nine of the meeting rooms, including four that are divisible by acoustic partitions. In terms of audio fulfil-ment, each of the four combined spaces is equipped with a shared Yamaha MG16XU mixer, while the individual rooms require dedicated Yamaha MG06 mixers. These receive several inputs including dual Clockaudio D700S tabletop mics and localised VGA, USB and HDMI sources via wall-mounted panels.

The first-floor Peony Ballroom is equpped with VXC8 speakers
The first-floor Peony Ballroom is equpped with VXC8 speakers

A wall-mounted Bose CC-1 control panel provides user volume control to the Bose FreeSpace DS 16F and DS 40SE ceiling speakers powered by ei-ther IZA 2120 or IZA 190 amplifiers. Clients can enhance their meetings and conferences by displaying content onto a Grandview 150-inch portable screen from Epson EB2140W 3,000 ANSI lumens projectors.

Located on the third level, both the gym and outdoor pool areas required higher SPL solutions. Spotify-sourced music emanates from FreeSpace DS 100SE wall-mounted speakers and discreet MB4 subwoofers powered by QSC CXD4.3Q amplifiers, providing a background for those working out, swimming or enjoying a cocktail. The audiovisual setup in the three meetings rooms along the same corridor mirrors that on the level below. Con-nected to a DLink Hub, a network of Philips BDL4835QL 50-inch displays receives programmed content from a PC in the control room.

Across the city in Cibubur, at the southern extreme of the Jakarta metropolitan area, the Avenzel Hotel and Convention is the latest addition to the growing Topotels portfolio. In close proximity to the Trans Studio Mall and indoor theme park, the newly constructed, four-star property is set to benefit from connection to the city via the long-awaited Jakarta light rail transit. The 249-guestroom hotel almost mirrors the Batavia in its attempt to appeal to tourists and business travellers alike with its two ballrooms, 14 meeting rooms, lounge restaurant, pool and gym.

Avenzel Hotel's GM Andy Djaswandi and PT Electro Audio Engineerings' Williesatya
Avenzel Hotel's GM Andy Djaswandi and PT Electro Audio Engineerings' Williesatya

Long-term Yamaha dealer PT Electro Audio Engineering was awarded the contract to design, supply and install the audio systems into the hotel’s function rooms and public areas. ‘We had to adapt the right ambience to precisely match the various rooms throughout the hotel,’ explains sales and technical manager, Williesatya. ‘Of course, we had to adhere to a budget, although the owner was happy to increase it if such an investment could be justified. Luckily, we can adopt a wide range of Yamaha and Nexo solutions for any space in the hospitality sector.’

On entering the hotel lobby, the visitor is greeted by BGM from Yamaha VXC6 ceiling speakers powered by a PA2120 amplifier and mixed from an MA2120 mixer amplifier. The open-plan restaurant lounge directly above the lobby is served by the same sources and is similarly equipped with VXC6 speakers. Zone control can be applied to differentiate the audio content should it be required. The vibe of the Crema Café and Patisserie is altogether different, and, to create this distinctive ambience, Williesatya and his team adopted a minimalist design from the Yamaha prosumer cat-alogue. ‘The divide between commercial and residential applications is a fine line in such a setting,’ he says.

From early morning brews to the last drop of espresso on the late-night shift, unobtrusive yet powerful BGM emanates from 12 Yamaha VXS3FT 3.5-inch rotatable ceiling-installed speakers combined with four discreetly placed VXS10ST subwoofers. Tapped at 7.5W, the 100V line application is extended to an outdoor area, with all outputs connected to Spotify via a combination of an XMV4140 four-channel amplifier, WCX50 pre-amplifier and MTX3 matrix processor.

Nexo ID24 speakers are augmented by floor-standing ID S110t subs in the Sky Bar
Nexo ID24 speakers are augmented by floor-standing ID S110t subs in the Sky Bar

A wall-mounted DCP1V4S controller provides source and volume control for the VXC6 speaker serving a pre-function zone outside the junior Aster ballroom on the ground level. The 24m x 32m divisible ballroom can accommodate 200 seated guests when combined. A total of 24 VXC8 8-inch ceiling speakers powered by a single XMV4280 amplifier have been preconfigured with combined room and standalone settings via an MTX3 matrix processor. The 8Ω system receives its mix from a Yamaha TF1 digital console, with inputs including Shure SLX wireless mics.

Designed for accommodating up to 500 guests in banquet mode, the first-floor Peony Ballroom is a larger, non-divisible space. This venue is merely equipped with 12 VXC8 ceiling speakers to enhance speech intelligibility, although live music can be provided using a portable PA system via local wall inputs. ‘Following simulations created in Yamaha’s CISSCA software, we erected a scaffold tower to install the 8-inch speakers into the 8m-high ceiling,’ explains Williesatya. Once again, an MTX3 matrix mixer provides DSP functionality, while three XMV4280 four-channel amplifiers supply the watts to Peony and its pre-function area. Mixing duties are delegated to a Yamaha TF3 console, with Shure SLX wireless mics serving as the main inputs.

Six of the 11 meeting rooms are equipped with a blend of dual VXS5 wall-mounted speakers and four VXC6 ceiling speakers, all managed via DCP1V4S controllers, while the five smaller rooms did not require surface-mount models. Powered by MA2120 mixer amplifiers, the audio inputs include Shure SVX wireless mics. Optoma projectors provide visuals for presentations. The Yamaha touch is extended to the gym, where adrenalin surges are maintained by VXS5 speakers and a VXS10ST subwoofer. The massage, spa and sauna rooms are catered for by a VXC6 ceiling speaker solution.

Four discreetly placed Yamaha VXS10ST subwoofers provide the bass in Crema Patisserie
Four discreetly placed Yamaha VXS10ST subwoofers provide the bass in Crema Patisserie

Enticing those with a thirst for pre-dinner drinks or late-night cocktails, the Sky Bar hosts a DJ and live performers from sunset. The mood is created by four ceiling-mounted Nexo ID24 dual 4-inch speakers augmented by four floor-standing ID S110T 10-inch subwoofers. Powered by a Nexo four-channel DTDAMP 4X0.7 and Yamaha XMV4280 amplifier, live mixes are carried out on a Yamaha TF1 console. Finally, the outdoor balcony receives the same source via four Bose FreeSpace 51 IP-rated speakers.

‘We’ve been working with Yamaha for two decades and have gained a lot of experience in a variety of market sectors,’ says Williesatya. ‘We have earned a reputation in the hospitality sector for providing price performance benefits with Yamaha when applied to anything from meeting rooms to coffee shops to auditoriums. However, you need to gain the trust of your clients and so after-sales service is vital. Relationships can be just as important as technological benefits.’

Compromising standards while maintaining deadlines on budget is a skilled high-wire act. Serial ballroom and meeting room attendees may notice an absence of distracting LED walls, motorised screens and high-volume audio systems at these properties. However, the combination of HD video content and intelligible, even audio dispersion has not been sacrificed. Just as reliability and ease of use are top of the list for the facility manager, manufacturers are mindful that ease of installation and aesthetics are paramount factors for their technologies to be considered fit for purpose. 

This feature can be found in the May-June 2020 edition of Pro AVL Asia. Subscribe at

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