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Icom Provides IP Radio Communications for the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Icom Provides IP Radio Communications for the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Toronto’s iconic Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, a 3000-seat theatre, has become the latest organisation to adopt Icom’s revolutionary IP Advanced Radio System to assist the management of this prestigious venue.

Credited as the city’s first performing arts centre, the Sony Centre has a rich cultural history that spans more than 60 years and has become an international venue for concerts, musical theatre, dance, comedy and family entertainment. The centre underwent a renovation from 2008-2010 which included implementation of a facility-wide Wi-Fi infrastructure. Four years after the centre reopened its doors with a new layout, it became apparent that the theatres’ existing radios would need to be replaced. The centre required a radio system that could provide reliable coverage throughout its 250,000 square-foot facility with durability that could withstand typical wear and tear.

Various alternatives were tried, but failed. VHF and UHF radios (simplex and with repeaters) were unsuccessful. 900MHz radios did not provide adequate coverage or reliability. A badge-like mobile device was implemented, but proved too difficult to configure and offered little flexibility or functionality. A software application for smart-phones was considered, but ultimately rejected due to the tedious configuration of each unit and theft concerns. After learning about Icom’s IP100H wireless LAN radio the Sony Centre approached Icom dealer Lakeshore Communications for a demonstration. After initial trials it was found that the IP100H’s functionality complemented the theatres’ existing Wi-Fi infrastructure — approximately 74 wireless access points in a mesh system. The radio also met the Centre’s physical requirements with rugged IPX7 waterproof ratings.

There was a seamless installation of Icom IP100H radios and IP1000C controller. Access points to extend coverage were easily added and/or relocated as required. Icom Canada Systems Technician Ron LeBlanc said, ‘Installation of this IP solution at the Sony Centre was done quickly and successfully, primarily due to the knowledgeable IT department of the Sony Centre. Little help was needed for installation from either the dealer or Icom Canada.’

In total, the Sony Centre defined 7 talk groups: Food & Beverage, Maintenance, Operations, Front of House, Production, Security, and Box Office. The IP100H features such as over-the-air programming and individual/group calling promoted simple configuration and general ease of use. The Sony Centre IT staff recommended a feature update that would improve talk group functionality for their use and Icom was able to update the firmware to provide this enhancement. Icom’s IP Advanced Radio System resolved communications issues experienced by the theatres’ previous VHF/UHF and 900 MHz radios. Users have praised the IP100H’s rugged, compact and ergonomic body as well as its manageable learning curve for operation.

Murray Lycan said, ‘Stable in-building coverage, flexible configuration and programming, and ease of use all contributed to the Sony Centre’s decision to choose Icom. Similar organizations can also streamline their operations with Icom’s IP Advanced Radio System.’

To download a PDF of this case study, click on the PDF link on the side of this page.

For more information or to find your nearest Icom IP Advanced Radio System specialist contact sales on 01227 741741 or via email at the email address below.

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