How does Allonis' control system capabilities stack up to alternatives?
See for yourself:
|Feature||Allonis myServer||Video Matrix built in||DirecTV App||GameView||DTVGame|
|Control Video Matrix||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Control Non Video Matrix||Yes||No||Yes||?||Yes|
|Video Wall Control||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Dedicated Controller Processor (instead of an "iPad App")||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Control via iPad Tablet(s)||Yes - 5 at a time standard||Yes||Yes||Yes||1 - more Xtra $|
|Control via Android Tablet(s)||Yes||Yes||Yes?||No||No|
|Browser based (no app required)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|System Presets for easy daily setup||Yes||No||No||Beta||?|
|Control via Smart Phone(s)||Optional||Yes||No||Beta||Beta|
|Control via PC||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Accessible via Internet||Yes||No||No||Beta||No|
|Phone ear bud audio streaming of any HDMI source||Optional||No||No||No||No|
|Manages the Control Network devices for easy install||Optional||No||No||No||No|
|Number of possible control devices||Unlimited (5 standard)||1||1||Beta||1|
|DirecTV Channel control||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Custom intuitive floorplan||Yes||No||No||Yes||Beta|
|Bar/Restaurant custom logo||Yes||No||No||Optional||Small, Lrg Xtra|
|Integrated Digital Signage||Optional||No||No||Basic||No|
|IP TV On/Off Control||Yes||No||No||Yes||Some|
|IR TV On/Off Control||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|RS232 TV On/Off Control||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Streaming TV App Control||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Projector On/Off Control||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|All On/Off button||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Cable TV Guide on Tablet||Optional||No||No||Yes||Beta|
|DirecTV Guide on Tablet||Optional||No||Yes||Yes||Basic|
|Schedule TV Show viewing on Tablet||Optional||No||No||Yes||Beta|
|Web UI from any Browser||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Multi Zone Audio Matrix Control||Yes||No||No||Yes||Beta|
|Play Audio file on "Panic" button press (sports)||Optional||No||No||No||No|
|HEOS Audio Control||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Sonos Audio Control||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Apple TV Control||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Live HDMI Preview on Tablet||Optional||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Lighting automation (many types)||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|DMX Lighting Control||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Blind and Shade Control||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Security camera view||Yes||No||No||NVR only||No|
|Customizable User Interface and Rules||Completely||No||No||No||No|
|Password customization of rules||Yes||No||No||Yes||Beta|
|Private room Zone control||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Monthly DirecTV Cost||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Monthly support fees||No||No||No||?||Yes|
|DIY / Dealer / OEM installation options||DIY / Dealer / OEM assisted||DIY/ Dealer||DIY / Dealer||Dealer||Dealer|
|Easy reachable Phone support||Yes||Yes||No||?|
|Upgradeable via Internet||Yes||No||Yes||?||?|
|Cost||One time $||Free with Matrix||DTV Quote||Subscription|
Allonis' myServer 6 Sports Bar/Restaurant control system is the most capable system in the industry - at any price. While our system is not the least expensive, it is by far one of the easiest to use. Once up and running it usually takes less than five minutes to get comfortable using the system. We provide professionally built custom user interfaces designed for the specifics of the project.
Our sports bar control system is built on the powerful myServer automation platform that brings extensibility and functionality beyond what typical video control systems can offer. For example: If your hometown team scores, push the "Big Red Button" and myServer plays your favorite team cheer to enliven the bar.
Add the optional "myStreamer" hardware that allows your bar patrons to scan a QR code (like on your menu) that opens a webpage of your floorplan on their iPhone. They click on the TV they are watching, and are then able to listen to that broadcast on their phone's ear bud speakers. This makes YOUR bar the go to place to watch any game (not just the big game).
You can also control your lighting, climate, live IP cameras (for security), security systems, and much more. Allonis' myServer control system powers it all.
myServer 6 can run on:
- Raspberry OS on Pi4 (4 gig or more)
We highly recommend Raspberry OS on a Pi4 / 4 or 8 gig. This is what we use for most all of our commercial projects. We have not exceeded the hardware performance for any installation to date. Highly reliable. Most all features were built for and work on Raspberry OS.
Windows: Many of our myServer 5 customers might want to run myServer 6 on the same hardware. The good news is most features work very nicely on Windows. Exceptions that don't work on Windows include:
- Video Capture (used with Allonis's myCapture6 product)
- RTSP for IP Cameras
- Generic GPIO driver (can turn GPIO pins on / off on a Pi4)
- GPS (USB connected Global Position tracking)
- ZWave MQTT
Our real issue with Windows is that Windows forces software updates that can break the system and surely causes reliability issues. If you are a DIY'r that is always messing with your system, then maybe Updates won't bother you to keep up on. But we don't recommend Windows for "install, run and forget" type of installations like our commercial projects.
The Windows compile today isn't quite as complete as RaspberryOS. These functions will soon be updated to prepare for more Windows DIY'r customers.
Linux: Many flavors of Linux are supported including Ubuntu. Most features work. Has most of the benefits of RaspberryOS with the added benefit of being able to run on Intel based CPUs for higher performance and possibly storage capability.
MacOS: myServer 6 is capable of being compiled for MacOS and we have done limited testing to see that it does work. But we don't have any clients requiring MacOS today so this is not fully supported. Many drivers are not being compiled for MacOS as today, no one is using it. If you require MacOS and the above OSs won't work for you, contact Allonis with your project details.
Controlling Sports Bar Audio / Video systems
myServer 6 makes it easy to control sophisticated electronics in the equipment rack. Here is how it works:
The Allonis myServer 6 automation server is typically a 1U rack mounted computer device that is connected to the ethernet "Control" network.
myServer is the "brains" of the system.
All of the devices to be controlled (like the Video Matrix Switch, the Audio Matrix Switch, etc.) are also connected to the Control Network.
The Allonis Sports Bar system is highly customizable. Here is the most common system design:
Most all Sports Bars use a Video Matrix Switch that routes video (and optionally audio) from the Video Sources (like DirecTV or Cable Boxes or Streaming Boxes) to the selected TV(s).
Audio is routed similarly but through an Audio Matrix Switch. Audio sources connect to the Input of the Audio Matrix, then the Outputs go to "dumb" amplifiers. The amplifiers are then connected to speakers (commercial projects typically use 70Volt amps and speakers). With a Video Matrix, you don't need a video source (a leased DirecTV receiver as example) for each TV which saves significant $'s across time.
If TVs are to be controlled (typically just for On / Off but sometimes changing Inputs and Volume is also needed) then most modern TVs are also controlled via the ethernet Control Network. This is why Allonis suggests three CAT-6 cables from equipment rack to TVs (1 for Video, the second for controlling the TV, and the third is a spare). If it is impossible to run more than one, then use that CAT-6 for video and connect the TVs to a GOOD WiFi network (business WiFi, not the Guest WiFi).
Usage of the Allonis Sports Bar System
It's Easy: Select what you want to watch on the left side of the screen. Select "DirecTV1" or "Cable1". Then click on the floorplan view on the TV(s) you want to watch that source on. myServer then "tell" the Video Matrix switch which Inputs go to which Outputs.
If you want to change the channel on the DirecTV / Cable box, just select which source you want to change channel on, and either select the Remote Control icon on the bottom of the page, or on the TVGuide choice (TV icon).
If you selected the Remote Control, then type in the channel you want to go to and then the "Enter" button.
If you selected the TVGuide, you will see today's program names on the channels your subscription supports. Clicking on a channel goes immediately to the channel. myServer "tells" the CableBox1 to go to the channel. Selecting a program that starts in two hours gives you the option to Schedule to change to that channel at the appropriate time.
To control the audio system:
Click on Audio Icon at the bottom of the screen. Click on what you want to listen to on the Left. Click on the Zone where you want the audio to go to. Change the volume slider to the level you want.
It is also possible to view live video sources on the myServer user interface. We call that myPreview.
Video Matrix Choices:
The Video Matrix can be HDMI (least expensive but supports very short cable lengths - typically not used in commercial projects), or HDBaseT Chassis (most common) or Video Over IP (most flexible and extendable and newest and getting similar priced as HDBaseT). Contact Allonis for insights into which system type best matches your project needs. The Use of these systems is same.
Video Matrix sizes are "8x16" or up to 8 inputs (video sources) and 16 outputs (TVs) Most any scale is possible. Certainly the larger, the more expensive. Video walls like a "2x2" can easily be supported if the Video Matrix technology supports sending 1 video source to all 4 outputs (each showing a corner of the content). Just click on the "1x1" icon to put the 4 TVs into 1x1 mode (one big screen). Click on the "2x2" icon to select four video sources (left side of the touchscreen) to then go to the 4 independent TVs (click on each corner). Super easy.
Audio Matrix Choices:
The traditional method is the Audio Sources (like DirecTV, Cable Box, Streaming Box) would have and audio output (RCA jacks, Phoenix or Toslink connector). These then get plugged into the Input of the Audio Matrix. If you have more video sources than Matrix Inputs (very common), the myServer system has the flexibility to support a new way to connect devices:
It's a little more complicated to wire:
DirecTV HDMI output > Video Matrix input > Video Matrix optional Audio Card > Audio Matrix input > Audio Matrix Output > Zone 1 Amplifier channel > Zone 1 speakers
So, the user selects which video source they want to listen to, select which Sound card (if more than 1), which Zone that want to listen to (Main Bar), and select the volume (move the touchscreen volume slider). If more than one sound card is installed in the video matrix, then you can choose that many concurrent video sources to play to different zones.
Most sports bars use the standard system described above. Sometimes a Microphone is needed. In this case, the Microphone (can be wired or wireless) is directly plugged into an unused audio matrix Input. Within the Audio Matrix configuration, "Ducking" is enabled. This is a setting that lets the audio matrix "hear" that the microphone is being actively used, and raises the volume of the microphone source, while lowering the volume of the "music" or "video source" input. After the microphone is turned off, then the audio matrix smoothly brings the normal audio source volume up to resume listening.
Audio matrices are scaled like video: a "4x4" is typically the smallest (4 Inputs and 4 Outputs (zones)). After 8x8 sizes, the matrixes get much more expensive but also customizable. They can be complex to program.
Most important is to NOT purchase any hardware for the system unless Allonis advises that it is compatible with the myServer 6 control system. It is true that Allonis can be commisioned to write a software "Driver" for most devices, but it can take several to MANY hours to research, code, and test. These costs can exceed the cost of the hardware. We can provide an estimate, but until the project has started, the estimate can grow significantly if: Allonis doesn't have hardware to test, if the documentation is not available or inaccurate (not uncommon) or if testing can only occur during non working hours (the bar is open for business). Note that most of the currently supported devices were built to someone's previous order. But now, there are many thousands of devices to choose from. Contact Allonis for the most efficient path forward.
The descriptions above are just examples of the most common needs and system designs we have found in our thousands of Sports Bar projects. Partner with Allonis's experience to engineer, hardware inventory and relationships, industry unique programming services to get a super easy to use system that is cost effective and reliable and supportable for future servicing and expansion.