AUTHOR: Inavate

Litexpo, Lithuania’s national exhibition and conference centre has undergone a significant modernisation and upgrade programme over the past year.

A separate conference suite has been formed on the existing site, including a brand new 250 seat conference hall. In addition all the existing conference spaces have been upgraded to included the latest in audio visual, presentation, sound reinforcement technology and interpretation facilities.
In a depressed market, the public tender process was always going to be hotly contested, with five companies vying for the EU funded project in a competition that went on for over a year. This was not helped by the fact that six months into the process a new consultant was appointed, who made significant changes to the original specification.
The eventual winner was Kaunas-based integrator and distributor Audiotonas, under the leadership of co-owner Algirdas (Algis) Sidiskis.
The outcome is a facility packed with some top quality technology, ready to cater for exhibitions and conference in the county’s capital for years to come.
Of the new facilities, the most note worthy is the brand new 250-seat auditorium and conference room, imaginatively named hall 1.1. In here Audiotonas installed two separate AV systems.
The first is a well appointed digital projection and cinema solution designed for 7.1 surround movie play back. It includes a Digital Projection Titan 1080p-500 projector, with content scaling and processing via a Kramer VP-729 presentation switcher.
The projection screen is a specially manufactured Tuechler Whitescreen, made of micro-perforated material allowing loudspeakers to be mounted behind it.
In this case those speakers are part of a Martin Audio cinema system. Behind the screen are three screen 2P units, accompanied by six Effect 5 THX and two Screen Sub 1A THX cabinets. 7.1 Surround sound processing comes from a Crestron C2N-DAP8 processor.
HD video is served up via a Pioneer BDP-51FD blu-ray disk player.
Amplification is delivered by Phonic XP2000 and XP3000 units, not everyone’s first thought but Algis explained: “We were under some price pressure due to the high specification of the rest of the audio system, needing to save some money we went for a more cost effective amplification solution. They still sound excellent and we find them good value.”

“Needing to save some money we went for a more cost effective amplification solution.” – Algirdas Sidiskis.

The alternate sound system is a more traditional sound reinforcement solution based around Martin Audio’s Omniline system. There is a hang of four on either side of the stage, paired up with two AQ112 subwoofers.
The conference system itself is a combination of equipment from DIS and Taiden. Audiotonas integrated DIS CS 6032 in-chair selectors into each delegate seat, and DIS discussion microphones are shared one between each pair of seats.
There is a also a portable Taiden HCS-5300 IR discussion system comprising a further 60 delegate units for even large discussions.  A Biamp Nexia MP  was installed to provide basic microphone mixing functionality.
The site also boasts a number of open plan exhibition  / conference spaces, which were upgraded. Hall 1.2 is a small committee room, with projection from an NEC NP1250 mounted an Audipack in-ceiling lift and Pioneer DVD player providing content. It fires onto a Projecta motorised screen, and scaling and source switching is supplied by Kramer VP series equipment.
Sound reproduction is provided by an AMC MA120 mixing amplifier driving AMC PC8T ceiling speakers.
The similarly equipped hall 3.1 features the same setup, but with the addition of a Smart 680i board. The room is slighly smaller and the audio is therefore reproduced using a pair of wall mounted AMC iPlay 6T monitor units.
At the larger end of the scale is the 5.1 conference hall, large enough for 300 people.
This is equipped with an NEC NP4000 projector, firing onto a large Adeo screen. More Kramer VP equipment is used for video source scaling and switching, as well as the audio channels, and a portable IR translation system from DIS (a 6000 series solution) is also supplied. Video and lighting control comes from Crestron, and at one end of the hall, a lighting truss is fitted for small staging applications.
A second, and brand new 300 seat space is hall 5.5 This has amore stage-like set up, and more considerable sound reinforcement solution.
Martin Audio Omniline units are again paired with AQ112 subwoofers and driven by Phonic XP3000 amplifiers in a stereo configuration. Sources include microphones from Audix and Sennheiser, as well as a Taiden HCS-5300 wireless conference system (59 units). Audio processing is carried out by Biamp Nexia PM and SP units.
In addition, this conference centre can be used for video conferencing events, and is equipped with a Polycom HDX7001 codec, and a pair of Sony EVI-D100P PTZ cameras for audience capture.
The projector in this case is an Eiki LC-X80 (75.k lumens) model, mounted on a Chief SL236I ceiling lift. It is projecting onto a fixed Adeo 4x3m screen. A further DIS 6000 series interpretation system is also supplied.
Providing overall media and lighting control is a Crestron MC2E controller, paired with a TPMC-8X touch screen panel.
The largest space of all is Hall 3, a conference and exhibition hall of around 2600 square metres. This is equipped with two Eiki projectors, at 15,000 lumens each, firing onto Projecta 8m wide screens in 16:9 format. These are driven by Kramer video distribution and processing equipment from the VP range as well as Crestron.
The sound system is also upgraded, featuring two hangs of Martin W8LM mini-line arrays, six per side. These are powered by more Phonix amplifiers. More powerful DSP was also required and this need is fulfilled via Biamp AudiaFLEX racks, with Cobranet cards.
Fully completed in March 2010, the new installations bring Vinius’s conference facilities firmly into the 21st  century. Litexpo now boasts over 15,100 square metres of indoor exhibition space all equipped with top of the range audio visual facilities.