The Errigle Inn, which first opened its doors in 1935, is an iconic venue packed with history, character, and charm. Much beloved by locals, it is a popular meeting spot for drinks, food, live music, functions, events, and sports viewing.
While certain elements of the décor and the overall spirit of the place have been maintained throughout the years, the inn has also undergone changes, expansions, and refurbishments to meet evolving tastes and needs. With the latest major changes, the inn also got a more modern AV system.
In March 2020, just before COVID hit, plans for a full building upgrade were finalized, including a new roof garden, new decor throughout, and an AV upgrade.
According to Phil McGurran, owner of The Errigle Inn, the old Kramer system was still working with good results but “it was slow and difficult to manage, and it limited us in what we could do.” For example, adding more screens or displays was becoming problematic.
“We needed flexibility and reliability for a centrally distributed system for AV. Our end goal was to have a slick digital interface to allow our staff to simply select the source, change the channel, and send it to a particular display.” And it was important that audio be controlled simply through the same customized touch panel.
“Setting up the network was the main challenge that we came across,” says Roger McMullan, Projects Manager, at Rea Sound, the system integrator for the project. “This is a relatively large venue with 30 displays across five rooms and four levels, and an outdoor space. The complexity meant the wiring needed to be carefully thought out and planned.”
Kramer’s KDS-6 solution was recommended by Rea Sound because of its flexibility and reliability.
There are eleven sources ranging from Sky boxes, two media players, and local laptop inputs. Because of the flexibility of the system, the venue is able to have digital advertising running during the day and then switch to sports later in the day. The system is designed across two network switches with fiber links between them, so that most of the equipment is contained in the master communications room and a smaller secondary communications cabinet.
“We provided 11 encoders and 30 decoders to correspond with the number of inputs and outputs, Roger explains. “Working closely with the design team at Kramer we also opted for a BRAINware system. Spending time to create the correct user interface on Kramer Control was a must. We actually split the custom control program into two areas, the first being graphic design and the interface the client would see, and then the technical programming side. With the additional FC-26 units we were able to use IR codes to take full control of all satellite boxes. The audio control system was upgraded within the venue using an Allen & Heath AHM64 digital matrix. Then because the client had their own iPads, we simply downloaded the application and implemented our program.”
Roger recommended the Kramer solution because of past positive experiences. “We know the reliability of Kramer products and the venue knows the reliability of Kramer products. The Kramer team also answered our presale questions easily and provided a video reassurance to our client for a specific query about the IR control of the satellite boxes.”
Rea Sound worked with The Errigle Inn for approximately one year to get the right design (with COVID in the middle). Once they received word to proceed with the installation in June 2021, it took just two months until the system was up and running.
The Errigle Inn is seeing significant time savings as well as financial benefits from the AV system. “The new system makes it much easier for our staff to set up in the mornings and amend for the big matches or change individual screens as and when required – no more calling a manager to switch a Sky box channel,” says Phil. “This has saved us many hours and allows our managers to concentrate on other tasks and not the AV.”
It also allows Errigle Inn staff to do things that weren’t possible before. “For example, we are able to take any source and send it to any screen in the whole venue.”
The feedback from Errigle Inn’s customers has been positive. As Phil says, “our customers are pleased that we are able to offer a range of football matches or rugby matches or sporting events easily and quickly.”
Since the big upgrade, The Errigle Inn has become a bit of a destination for other entertainment venue operators who thinking about their own AV systems. Phil explains: “we have had a number of visitors to the venue looking at the system, and we always say the same thing – that the investment is definitely worth it when you deal with companies like Rea Sound and Kramer.”