Iceland-based distributor, installer and retailer, ID Electronic ehf, recently upgraded the PA system at the Smáralind Shopping Mall in Kópavogur with an IDX System from Harman Professional.
The mall had been plagued by a subpar public address system since the facility’s doors opened in 2001. The problem, as Ingo Arnarson, president of ID saw it, was that the upgrade plans did not include replacing the loudspeakers.
The solution, however, not only met the STIPA standards but also significantly improved the quality of the old loudspeakers.
This seemingly impossible feat was accomplished by deploying Harman’s IDX system, a hardware-software offering that takes Harman audio components and combines them with the information delivery system.
For configurable signal processing, Arnarson selected Harman’s Soundweb London BLU-800s, all of which are served by the IDX controller.
There are also three DT-715 paging stations and a DCi8|300 network. The IDX 200 server, which is the system’s core component, provides four channels of simultaneous message playback to different zones, is central to all paging commands and hosts the message announcements.
Having worked with Harman for more than a decade, Arnarson said that selecting components offered by a single vendor helps simplify installations, ultimately making them more affordable and user-friendly. “The more simplified, the better it is for everybody,” he said.
Accordingly, Arnarson said that IDX very quickly became the clear choice for the project. Prior to the upgrade, the system was used primarily for courtesy announcements and evacuation directives. The upgrade plans, however, called for more advanced capabilities. With the safety of shoppers in mind, the system needed to support an A/B network with interleaved loudspeaker circuits that ensured the entire system would not be brought down due to a single point of failure.
The goal, according to Arnarson, was to create a system that would, in the case of an emergency, continue to convey critical safety information to people within the facility even if one component failed.
“Obviously there is a ton of choices on the market, but the Harman solution provides a premium paging communications system,” he said. “IDX uses CobraNet, the digital audio distribution protocol. That allows audio to be streamed over Ethernet, which is a key advantage because it makes it possible to connect the paging system to the existing network infrastructure. Also, this is all relatively easy to install.”
Another of the system’s key advantages, Arnarson said, is the level of support provided by Harman.
“Justin Hankey, application engineer for Harman Professional EMEA, flew out and helped us program the IDX system,” he said. “The system was the most competitively priced and the most streamlined. And thanks to Justin, it was the system most supported by the vendor that developed the technology behind it. He took a personal interest in the project’s success, and that’s one of the main reasons we have such an impressive installation.”