Boundary Changes

Nothing stays the same very long in the hospitality sector. The Boundary Hotel’s AV has flex in the flux.


8 November 2019

Text:/ Derek Powell

One of the keys to success in the hospitality business is to be responsive to your customers’ needs – even when that means making changes to brand new systems. Fortunately, at the Boundary Hotel, the foresight of the integrator and the flexibility of Yamaha commercial audio systems meant the new system could grow and adapt to suit changing client demands. 

Located in Brisbane’s trendy West End, the historic Boundary Hotel has undergone a complete transformation under its new owners. Now with five bars, a restaurant, pizzeria, gaming area and function rooms, the hotel is winning a brand new clientele. 


Brisbane integrator SDC Solutions was part of the journey from the moment the new owners took over – first sorting out the chaos that was the existing AV, security and network systems in the building. Then the real work started as the owners, along with KP Architects, planned an extensive rebuild and refit of the building – parts of which dated back to 1864. Having worked with the owners previously, SDC Director Gavin Sayers was keenly aware the AV design would need to be flexible, with the possibility of upgrades considered from the very start.

Working closely with local Yamaha distributors AVA Distribution, Gavin pitched a full Yamaha sound system based around the MTX-5 matrix processor and paired this with a Kramer 32 x 32 video matrix, a Kramer control solution and TCL video display panels. The MTX5, together with the EXi8 i/o expander had plenty of horsepower to handle the 28 audio inputs and 14 different audio zones required in the property. The outputs from the MTX were routed over Yamaha’s proprietary YDIF network with all channels carried on a single Cat5 cable looping through the various Yamaha power amplifiers that power each zone.


Integrator: Gavin Sayers, SDC Solutions
Architect: Sian Farrell, KP Architects
Programmer: David Bowdler, Smart Home Programming
Network Design: Nicholas Wilson, YourIoT.com.au
Equipment: Chris Harding, AVA Distribution Pty Ltd 
Client: Grant Morgan, Manager Boundary Hotel


During the build, Gavin kept future expansion front of mind, running spare cabling and placing extra conduits in the slabs and behind walls while they were accessible. It wasn’t long before upgrade requests came along. As patronage built, areas that were initially conceived with low level ambient music systems now needed to convert into venues for live music.

“That’s the beauty of the Yamaha system,” explained Chris Harding from AVA Distribution. “We started off running the amps in some channels as 100V with five or six speakers on a single channel. When the client wanted to really pump it up, we could make the move to low impedance just by flipping some DIP switches on the back of the amps and switching the speaker taps over to low impedance.”

“We converted one area by simply adding a few subs and amps, switching the existing speakers and amps to low impedance, and making a few wiring changes,” Gavin recalled. “At just a small cost, we were able to increase SPL to what the customer needed without having to redesign it all. We always had that in mind that we need to be flexible and the Yamaha system allowed for that.”


Adaptability and cost effectiveness were also watchwords on the video side of the installation. Programmer David Bowdler from Smart Home Programming successfully developed an IP control solution using the Kramer SL-280 that resulted in a very cost effective control system, managing all of the TCL panels, the Kramer video matrix switcher and the complete audio system via the MTX-5. The few non-IP controllable sources, such as the Foxtel boxes, were managed via IR. The crucial user interface is via strategically located seven-inch Kramer touch panels and a portable KT-107 tablet running across the wi-fi network.

With a lot of forethought and careful planning, this iconic, 155-year-old hotel from colonial times now has the infrastructure to well and truly equip it for the 21st century.


Background Music System

Yamaha MTX 5-D, 34 x 16 Matrix Mixer
Yamaha EXi8 8-Channel Mic / Line Input Expansion

Yamaha VXC4 In-Ceiling 4-inch Full-range
Yamaha VXC6 In-Ceiling 6.5-inch 2-way, 
Yamaha VXC8 In-Ceiling 8-inch 2-way
Yamaha VXS5 Surface Mount 5.25-inch 2-way
Yamaha VXS10S Surface Mount 10-inch Passive Subwoofer

Yamaha XMV8140 & PA2120

Control System:
Kramer SL-280 32-Port Master Room Controller
Kramer KT-107 7-inch Multi-Touch Touch Panel 

Video Switcher:
Kramer VS3232DN-EM Modular Multi–Format Managed Digital Matrix Switcher

Input Plates:
Kramer WP-211T HDMI Wall–Plate Auto Switcher


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