news EMNOTWENI UPGRADES ELECTRONIC SIGNAGE On Friday 6 December Emnotweni Casino in Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) celebrated a grand re-launch after the completion of an extensive expansion programme that included enlarging the casino area, as well as adding a conference venue and multi-purpose arena. Mbombela is located in the heart of the Lowveld, and is a key point along the Maputo Corridor. It is a growing and vibrant city, and with the expansion of the Emnotweni Casino & Entertainment Complex is set to become the region’s preferred conference and events destination. Owned by Tsogo Sun, the largest hospitality and gaming group in Southern Africa, the Emnotweni Complex provides professional conferencing, banqueting and events facilities; quality accommodation at two Emnotweni Hotels, and access to a range of dining and entertainment experiences at one convenient location. The re-launch - at the exquisite new Emnotweni Arena - featured a music spectacular headlined by international singing sensation, Lira. The celebrations were tinged with sadness as the news of Nelson Mandela’s death the previous evening lay heavy on everyone. Emnotweni’s Director of Operations and Complex General Manager, Ig Olivier, said: “We dedicated our launch concert to Madiba, as a celebration of his life. We also thank everyone who joined us in celebrating our re-launch and tribute to Madiba.” When Tsogo Sun embarked on the expansion of Emnotweni they also decided to expand the electronic signage system to include the new areas. The original analogue system had been installed in 2005 and consisted of a combination of Sierra Matrixes and Kramer Transmitters, Receivers, DAs and scalers. When Tsogo Sun, the parent company, approached Mtshali-Moss Projects Africa (MMPA) to design and project manage the upgrade of the system it was decided to switch over from analogue to digital and to replace the old Emnotweni system with a new full HD Digital System. MMPA in turn contacted Orlando da Silva to do the installation. Orlando as a trusted supplier of Tsogo Sun, has been involved in installations and continuous upgrades at a number of their casinos. MMPA researched various options and came to the conclusion that of all the available digital systems Kramer offered the most costeffective and reliable solution. The following products were installed: a Kramer 32 x 32 Digital Matrix switcher; 16 HDMI input cards; 24 x Fibre outputs; 22 x Fibre Receivers; VP729 Scalers; Kramer HDMI Fibre TX and RX units; HDBaseT TX and RX units; Kramer DVI cables x20; a Crestron CP-3 Control Processor; and 2 x Crestron Touch Panels. The Kramer Card based Routers (Kramer CORE system) function well in every installation they have been thrown into. They remain very stable while being very cost effective against all competitors. Kramer continues to develop new cards for these units allowing them to cater for many types of Pro AV solutions. However, the installation was not without its challenges. Due to the size of the property MMPA decided to use a complete fibre solution, with fibre running to all the screens. “There was some nervousness as it was our first Fibre solution,” said MMPA’s Djalita von Mollendorf “but Kramer Israel was very helpful. Jason Johnstone at Electrosonic SA was never more than a phone call away if we needed any help. The installation went smoothly with no hitches.” This was mainly because Orlando did a pre-installation mock-up of the system in Johannesburg, so as to avoid any surprises during the actual installation in Emnotweni Casino. “There were some concerns around the HDMI/DVI-D EDID limitations, so the mockup was an invaluable exercise that certainly helped the project run so smoothly,” says Orlando. Part of the job was to mount all the ELECTROSONIC SA HONOURED AT ISE In February Electrosonic SA received Crestron’s Exceptional Distributor of the Year Award at ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) 2014, which was held in Amsterdam. Every year at ISE Crestron hosts a sub-conference for its distributors. Delegates get the opportunity to learn about organisational changes, get sneak previews of products in the pipeline, and to network with international colleagues. Crestron also uses the event to reward distributors for their commitment in various sectors of the industry. Electrosonic SA received the award for “Exceptional Distributor Commitment”, as recognition for their investment and commitment in establishing Crestron House, in Johannesburg.