An effective visual presentation is critical for maximizing the customer experience in a casino environment. The ubiquitous digital signage provides useful information to customers and offers point-of-sale benefits for the casino. Televisions located throughout the casino broadcast sports programming on a continuous basis for customers when taking a break from gaming activities or when they want to relax and enjoy a meal or beverage while viewing a racing event.
Developing a video and television distribution system that’s capable of managing the wide-ranging video needs of a casino is a challenging task. That’s why John Wise, CEO of Control Point Technology, chose Z-Band to meet his unique video distribution needs. Lebanon, PA-based Control Point Technology was the integrator charged with designing and installing the audio/visual systems for newly constructed Hollywood Casinos, a rapidly growing nationwide gaming brand operated by Penn National Gaming, Inc.
Effective Video Distribution Needed for Three New Hollywood Sites
Wise’s assignment was to select a backbone RF video distribution system compatible with CP’s software solution for installation in three new Hollywood properties located in Toledo, OH, Columbus, OH, and Kansas City, KS. Wise states that the three sites average 300 television drops each as well as a large number of digital signage units. Most of the content broadcasts in High Definition on clear QAM modulation, Twisted-pair (CAT 6) cable was used for the horizontal transmission of the video signals from the data closets to the TVs and display devices.
Prior Experience Led to the Z-Band Selection
Wise remembered Z-Band from a previous system demonstration that made a favorable impression. He used the Z-Band system in a Hollywood Casino located in Grantville, PA, and was pleased with the results. He knew that Z-Band has extensive experience in providing state-of-the-art video distribution systems for the hospitality industry, as its client roster includes a variety of hotels, resorts, casinos, and off-track betting facilities.
“In the past we did traditional or conventional copper backbones,” Wise said. “The need for using RF distribution amplifiers, splitters, taps, and coaxial cable… the Z-Band design eliminates all that. Everything is located in the MDF and a number of IDF closets, which makes the installation much neater. An added benefit of this design prevents the gaming floor from being disturbed for any upgrades or maintenance that may be required.”
“We were also able to piggyback the RF video and the IP-based 10/100 control signal on the same CAT 6 cabling by using different twisted pairs wires within the sheath, so we got two benefits from one cable. This is easily accessed through the AUX port on the Z-band equipment.”
Excellent Long-Term Return on Investment
Wise also indicates that although the material costs of a Z-Band RF distribution system may be somewhat higher than those associated with a traditional coax-based system, the total acquisition and life-cycle costs are lower since the Z-Band system requires much less in the way of installation, maintenance and labor. He says that there have been no performance issues with Z-Band since the opening of the three new Hollywood Casinos.
“We know (the Z-Band) system works,” Wise said. “Its technology supports the systems we use for High Definition and control. Although there may be a more cost-effective way to do it (initially), the ease of coordinating everything and the reliability of it makes up for any additional costs there are. Generally the IT team is tasked with supporting AV networks and their comfort level is much higher in the data structure environment of Z-band.”
Z-Band Used for Multiple Applications
The Z-Band system is used to deliver modulated video content throughout the casino for a number of applications. The list includes dynamic themes for the Hollywood Casino brand, and digital signage including way-finding to help customers navigate the facility with greater ease, as well as food service areas and lobbies. Distribution of HD sports programming signals via DIRECT TV and local cable programming is also provided. The system is also used for denomination signs above the slot machines that provide visual images of the coinage required for operation.
The Z-Band Collaboration Can Benefit All Aspiring Casino Operators
Wise also believes that the experience gained through CP’s collaboration with Z-Band can prove beneficial for any future casino owner or operator seeking to get the most out of a video distribution system. “For delivery of unattended automation of the casino floor AV system, where the distribution and control of content is done in a cooperative fashion, using the Z-Band delivery method and the Control Point software control system works great.” The Control Point/Z-Band collaboration will continue on future Hollywood Casino projects including additional Ohio sites in Dayton and Youngstown. These two casinos are expected to be open to the public by early 2014.
A Mutually Rewarding Relationship for Both Parties
The Control Point/Z-Band relationship has paid dividends for both companies. According to Wise, Control Point has benefitted from the RF system’s ease of installation and use, the significant long-term cost savings, and the consistent television picture quality.
“Based on the large scope of the three consecutive high-visibility projects that we completed, the fact of the reoccurring use of Z-Band product in each project, being designed, I believe speaks for itself in determining the quality and dependability of the Z-Band system.” Wise said.
Dick Snyder, Z-Band’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales, also has high praise for Control Point and its capabilities. “From a Z-Band point of view, the relationship goes both ways. It’s a dynamic, cooperative, open relationship. We’ve learned a lot from John about Control Point and how to utilize its technology to provide the most effective RF video distribution/control systems for the casino industry.”
Contact Z-Band for Your Casino Video Distribution Needs
Whether you’re building a casino from the ground up, or are looking to upgrade the quality of your facility’s existing video distribution system, Z-Band offers an unbeatable combination of cutting-edge technology, superior products, and excellent customer service. Contact Z-Band for your RF video distribution system needs.
“Working with Z-Band’s technical support is second to none. And the customer service—they’re always there when I call.”
-John Wise, Control Point Technology