Located in the former home of Cox and King’s bank, the grade II listed Sofitel St James is one of London’s most distinctive five star hotels. The 125,000 square foot building has been sympathetically renovated to provide 186 rooms, 10 conferencing suites and an award winning restaurant.
As part of its regular programme of upgrades and refurbishment, St James’ wanted to deliver IPTV services throughout the hotel. Offering 110 television channels, video and music on demand as well as internet over television, this was a service designed to appeal to its visitors.
The existing cabling system was unsuitable so a Brand-Rex Category 6A, 10Gb structured cabling solution was proposed by specialist voice and data cabling experts Electron Technical Services Ltd for the high performance IPTV system. This along with a new fibre optic backbone will deliver the capacity demanded by the application while complying with the space constraints and limitations of a listed building.
“Electron and Brand-Rex proved to be a successful partnership for St James last year when a wireless network was deployed throughout the hotel,” says Mr Max Merten (IT manager). “We were delighted when they won the competitive tender on price and quality.”
Installing a new cable infrastructure into a listed building is always hard, however when the building is occupied with staff and 5-star guests the problems multiply.
To facilitate the work and cause minimum disruption to guests and staff the work was completed in phases. This process had to be heavily managed in order to combine a number of trades’ onsite at the same time and to get the rooms back into service as speedily as possible. However this was not the only hurdle that had to be overcome, old listed buildings have little or no cable routes.
If standard Category 6A cables were to be installed, then there would have to be many large holes drilled through very thick walls, not to mention large sized containment. To overcome these issues Electron selected Brand Rex’s 10Gplus Zone cable, normally designed for ultra-high performance in data centres.
“Our installation was made possible by 10GPlus Zone cable’s smaller diameter and lighter weight. By having a smaller cable diameter meant that we could reduce the size of both containment and the channels we needed to cut into the walls of each bedroom. The smaller profile also allowed us to fit more cables into the existing, already crowded, ceiling trays. With good planning and keeping within the required cable distances (70 metres channel) for the 10GPlus zone system, we have also proven that this system can be installed outside of the data centre environment.
With the client using 10G patch leads from outlet to TV and patch panel to active equipment, the whole system is covered by the Brand-Rex 25 year warranty.”
Electron and Brand-Rex have delivered the Sofitel St James Hotel with over 17 kilometres of high performance and high capacity infrastructure capable of meeting the demanding requirements of broadband and multi-channel casting for successful IPTV delivery throughout the hotel.
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