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Processor options for bar audio

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Scott Carneval:

--- Quote from: Brian Jojade on May 21, 2021, 06:27:00 PM ---Working with a bar to get their audio systems cleaned up.

It's a larger venue. Video comes from 12 Direct TV receivers, each hard wired to each TV via component cable back to a central room.  While having 11 separate receivers is probably overkill in subscriptions, that's not really my problem at this point - although cutting that down could save them money to spend on a different system.

Their current main processor is an Elan Z630, which is a 3 zone controller that allows for 6 audio inputs.  An interesting feature of this unit is that it does have IR outputs and the crappy little touch screen can be used to change the TV channels on the DirectTV receivers. (well, 6 of them anyway) They can control ALL of the DirectTV receivers using the Direct TV app, so control via this box is nice, but not absolutely necessary.

The problem is, that it's only 6 inputs, so it can control some of the TVs, but not all.  Additionally, it's only 3 zones, and they would like to have 4.  Also, to make life miserable, a Jukebox is thrown into the mix, and they've got another convoluted mess of gear installed by the Jukebox company to get that into the system.  Of course, the juke box company only cares about themselves, so their gear in the path causes problems with sound quality, and if someone puts money in the Jukebox, it overrides everything else.  Not so nice in a busy sports bar when there's a sporting event going on!

My initial thoughts are to leave the video alone and just have them use the DirectTV app to control the channels they want to see.  Not perfect, but it's a start.

For the audio, I was thinking the DBX Zone Pro 1260.  Here I could pick a couple TVs in each zone that they could pick from, or the channel dedicated to music.  I could route the Jukebox through the system as well and set it so that if they picked a TV as the source, the jukebox can't override.  A simple 4 position knob behind the bar let you decide what you're listening to in the room.  Easy enough to train anyone how to work.

Hardware cost for this with controllers would be somewhere in the $1500 range.

BUT, of course, I'm guessing there are better solutions out there that could integrate the world together.  I'm envisioning a system that you could plug in a few receivers, then each TV you could pick which receiver you want to watch. This might let them cut down the number they have to pay for. Eg, if they only ever watch 4 different programs at once, they could just have 4 units. (I don't know the legality of that, but again, that's not my department)  Additionally, if one control center could be used to control everything - audio, video source, jukebox override - that would be awesome

It would need to have a relatively easy to use interface.  And as an added bonus, having different audio inputs options, such as if someone wanted to patch in their phone to play music, etc.

Searching on this topic brings up a plethora of options, ranging from consumer grade stuff to out of this world priced products that do everything under the sun and more.

What I'm looking for is any suggestions on quality, reasonably priced solutions that might fit the bill for this sort of thing.

--- End quote ---

I've used the Ashly and QSC MP-M options pretty extensively, but recently (initially due to backorders, and then because I liked it so much) I've been using the Allen & Heath AHM64. It's leaps and bounds better than either of the aforementioned options. It does 12x12 out of the box, which is already bigger than the other two, plus you can expand it with any of A&H's stage boxes or you can add a Dante card for an additional 64x64 channels. I've used Q-SYS quite a bit, and while the A&H is not on par with Q-SYS it's a good compromise between full blown Q-SYS and the smaller QSC mixer/processor.


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