Leeds University Upgrades Popular Terrace Bar


Solotech has completed an audio and AV upgrade as part of a complete refurbishment of Leeds University Union’s Terrace Bar.

With a student roll of over 37,000 Leeds University is the eleventh largest university in the United Kingdom. At the heart of the Leeds city centre campus is Leeds University Union, a social centre for students with bars, theatres, shops, and leisure space.

The University Union has an ongoing schedule of upgrades and renovation across the site, with Solotech completing audio and AV installation projects for the union at its Old Bar, Pyramids and Riley Smith Theatre venues.

In 2022 LUU began their latest project, a complete refit of the popular Terrace Bar and Solotech were once again commissioned to supply and install the audio and AV systems throughout the venue.

Central to the Solotech solution is a QSC Q-Sys 110f core, providing networked distribution and control of audio and video throughout the venue. A total of seven LG screens have been installed, with signal distribution provided by video over ip distribution.

Audio is from Bose Professional RMU 208, 108 and SMS118 loudspeakers powered by QSC amplifiers. System control comes via custom designed GUI touch screens. The touch screens have been programmed so that non-technical staff can select input sources, choose screens and control volume.

Technical Manager Dave Olson explained the system design brief, “Terrace Bar is a multi purpose space; as well as being a place where students can eat and drink, it can be used for seminars, host parties and DJ events as well as show live sport. The system needed to be both flexible, yet simple to use.”

“If we use the screens around the venue as an example. Each screen receives its own signal, so in theory we could have different content on every unit. There are four behind the bar which are primarily used as rolling menus and advertising, while we show broadcast content on the others. However, at peak times, such as when showing major sporting fixtures, we can repurpose them to show the satellite feed.”

“Cost was critical to the project, a factor Solotech were sympathetic to. With much of the audio and video distribution running over Ethernet, we were able to utilise the standard structured cabling of the building. We’ve even been able to take the satellite feed from our Old Bar Venue, split the HDMI output and send the signal to the Terrace Bar using video over ip distribution. This is a big saving as we only require one subscription with Sky.”

“Terrace bar can be used for anything from a DJ night to hosting a seminar, so Solotech have provided local audio and video inputs throughout. There’s an 86” screen behind the DJ booth that is ideal for presentations and lectures. There are also analogue audio inputs so DJ decks can be plugged into the house audio system, these can all be controlled from the GUI screens.”

Solotech Head of Project Management Mark Hatfield commented, “This was one project in a rolling schedule of works at LUU. The plan is to further integrate all the audio and video resource across all the venues. The Q-Sys core has the capacity to manage the audio and video throughout the entire union. Each venue will be a separate zone and you will be able to matrix any input source to any output with local as well as master control of the system.”

“It was a pleasure to once again work with the team at Leeds and we look forward to collaborating with them on their next venture.”