Founded in 1895, The South African Breweries (SAB) is South Africa’s premier brewer and an integral part of the social fabric of South Africa.
Over the span of more than 120 years, SAB has flourished and was the historical birthplace of the global entity, SABMiller. Today SAB is the South African business of AB InBev following the combination between SABMiller and AB InBev in 2016. SAB is known as a corporate trailblazer. Having adopted its first employment equity policy as early as 1971, SAB has been a pioneer for change in South Africa. In 2009, SAB tabled its broad-based black economic empowerment transaction, SAB Zenzele. Through its various corporate social responsibility programmes, SAB actively invests in community partnerships and works to promote socioeconomic and enterprise development to build a better and stronger South Africa.
Each year, the AB InBev leadership team from each country attend an SLC Conference, for the presentation of the upcoming year’s business and marketing strategy, including results targets.
The arrival of Covid-19 and the subsequent travel restrictions faced around the globe, it was an immediate requirement that each country had a suitable auditorium with 4K capability, high-end audio, and seamless content share across various outputs, including video conferencing. It was imperative that this functionality was available through minimal input and without the need for an onsite technical resource to manage the environment. It had to be a single touch for operation, including lighting and blind control.
The challenge with this requirement was having to rip and replace their current environment in 4 days, with global testing being scheduled for 18:00 on the upcoming Sunday evening, meaning project creep absolutely not an option.
Strategy & approach
For the video component, it was decided to hang two NEC laser 5200 lumens projectors left and right in the auditorium. Two Sharp 80” screens in the centre of auditorium then show participants when VC is taking place, or additional content.
The brief was also to allow for content and VC to be able to switch to either projectors or screens on the run/while in use. A confidence monitor was installed inside a movable, protective stand to allow for a speaker to present from any point at the front of the auditorium.
An existing Cisco SX80 was integrated into the system for the VC component with two cameras, allowing for presenter and audience video content to be shown simultaneously. A Barco CSE200 Click Share was provided for wireless content share on all four screens (2 x projector; 2 x centre), allowing a presenter to wirelessly present from anywhere in the auditorium from his own device. This includes sharing content through the VC platform to all participants on the VC call. All video signal is distributed using Gefen UHD600-HBTL extenders. These extenders allow for 4K content uncompressed to be distributed through the auditorium.
An addition of ceiling speakers throughout the auditorium to allow for voice lift when a VC is happening while still ensuring that the JBL controls upfront imaged the sound forwards. Shure BLX headset and handhelds were supplied for presentation and audience participation. Control of the entire system and peripheral equipment, such as blinds and lights, is done through Extron DMP 64 HC-403 and IPCP Pro 250.
Extron touch panel and DSP allows for one-touch control and activation of the room, allowing for all audio video lights and blind control, including adjustment. Presets have been programmed for the one-button switch from a VC to a presentation, including the dimming of the lights to match the specific meeting being held.
The solution was divided into three main parts:
- Video and video conferencing