CHARLOTTE, NC—At Texas’ newest indoor waterpark, The Cove at The Lakefront, thrilling water attractions are combined with a retractable roof and high-tech audiovisual solutions to create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere throughout another indoor water park in the country.
Audio and video for the entire park is managed through a Control4 automation system, featuring a giant 30ft wide DVLED display, giving staff full control and flexibility to meet customer demands while ensuring that important messages are delivered to the right areas. Control4 is Snap One’s premier brand for automation and control.
According to custom integrator Steve Withey, President and CEO of Elite AV Innovations, The Cove’s technology allows different TV shows and music to play across 18 separate video screens and 11 audio zones, while booths private and party rooms for rent give customers direct control of local content.
“With the ability to easily adjust music and TV content throughout the park, plus a sound system that can quickly override audio in specific areas, The Cove has total wireless control of the customer experience,” he said. “I know of no other attraction where a family can relax in a private cabana with user-controlled TV and audio while watching real-time video of guests surfing in a FlowRider surf pool projected onto a DVLED screen of 30 feet wide. It’s one of a kind.
The DVLED screen was designed to span the width of the surf pool, and it’s the first thing people see when they walk inside. Using the Control4 app on iPad or mobile, park staff can use the display as one large screen or split it to show two separate video streams. One of the most popular uses of the screen is to highlight people having fun in the park through the use of two interior-facing PTZ surveillance cameras that can focus on various areas, including the surf pool itself.
The PA system includes several microphones conveniently located throughout the building, as well as a wireless unit that can be carried around the park. When staff need to make an announcement, they use a custom-programmed Control4 six-button configurable keypad to turn on the microphone, mute the music in the desired audio zones, and then play microphone audio only in those zones.
Guests who rent private party rooms for birthdays and other occasions can use wall-mounted six-button keypads to select and control music and TV and can even play their own content using an HDMI connection convenient. Private staterooms offer groups a convenient place to relax and socialize with comfortable sofas, mini-fridges and individually controlled televisions.
Knowing that user-operated remotes in a water park are a recipe for wet remotes, Elite AV Innovations chose not to use expensive touchscreen models in every cabana. Instead, they built a video distribution system with custom channels that allow normal TV remotes to be used. Using nine cable boxes each tuned to a different channel, the system allows The Cove to tag all nine streams with unique names, then allow guests to choose a stream with the remote, just like a normal TV channel. This allows users to control local media without requiring direct access to the Control4 system.
Withey has also simplified the opening and closing of the park for staff by programming a button in the Control4 interface that automatically turns on or off each television and speaker.
With so much technology involved in customer experience and day-to-day park operations, Withey needed a convenient way to address minor issues such as periodic resetting of equipment. Using a WattBox power conditioner with OvrC capabilities, he can receive push alerts for any issues and initiate power cycles from his office, home, or anywhere he is without the need to go to the park. It is part of the main equipment rack, made by Strong, which is located in a closet on the mezzanine level where it is protected from moisture and chlorine. The rack also includes a 10-inch Control4 touchscreen that provides full system access.
“Making sure the technology is always working is as critical to the park as making sure there’s always water in the pools,” Withey said. “Thanks to OvrC, I am able to immediately detect and solve a number of common problems, wherever I am. Without this solution, we would have had to send a technician for something as simple as resetting a TV or a router, resulting in unnecessary costs for us and the park. I love not having to jump in a truck at 7am on a Saturday and drive 30 minutes to do two minutes of work.
In addition to indoor cameras, the property offers nearly two dozen outdoor models that provide comprehensive surveillance coverage that can be viewed through any Control4 interface or the mobile app, giving owners greater peace of mind. , wherever they are.
Photo credit: Chad M. Davis, AIA