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Northeast Integrator Partners with Snap One to Modernize One of the City’s Most Iconic Sports Bars

The owners of Scores sports bar in downtown Boston had some big shoes to fill when they purchased what was formerly The Fours Restaurant & Sports Bar. Since 1976, the establishment has been THE place for diehard Bruins, Celtics, Sox and Patriots fans to gather on game days. At Scores, the 6,300-square-foot, bi-level stomping grounds still cater to these core customers, as well as the next generation of patrons, thanks to the addition of several smart systems from Rexx Home Systems and Snap One during a massive cosmetic and technological renovation.

“Sports always will be a huge part of our identity and as diehard fans, we would never want to change that,” says Scores general manager Tyler Smith. “We want to be top-of-mind to everyone from our fellow Boston sports fanatics to groups looking for something fun to do on a Tuesday night.” A thoughtful 21st century approach to the addition of technology would help the Scores management team achieve this goal while keeping the establishment’s original championship DNA intact.

Perhaps the most noticeable and appreciated update are the 32 digital displays occupying nearly every square inch of wall space. Carefully integrated into the building’s original exposed brick walls and millwork, and without detracting too much from priceless collections of sports memorabilia, the commercial-grade displays are arguably the biggest draw of the new business.

“There isn’t a bad seat in the house,” says Jason Record, owner of Rexx Home Systems, the tech integration firm hired for the transformation. “No matter where you sit, you can see multiple games.” The sheer number of displays alone ensures a good view from anywhere. Generous screen sizes from 55 to 98 inches and the tilt mechanisms of the Strong mounts from Snap One enhance that view. Rexx Home Systems made sure patrons would never struggle to hear the gameday commentary, either. Fifty commercial-grade speakers and subwoofers installed inconspicuously within the ceiling blanket the bar with crisp, crystal-clear audio.

Stretching across immense square footage and multiple levels, Scores would require an equally expansive AV distribution system, as well as a simple way to manage and control it. Rexx Home Systems charged Snap One’s Control4 automation platform, along with its Binary MoIP (Media over IP) system, Triad electronics and Control4 entertainment and automation controllers, among other technologies, with these critical tasks. Highly customizable and interoperable, this suite of high-performance products professionally installed by Rexx Home Systems distributes multiple streams of high-resolution audio and video from a wide array of sources to whichever TVs and speakers the on-duty Scores manager chooses.

The system can be controlled via a Control4 smartphone app or a 10-inch Control4 wall-mounted touchscreen. Rexx Home Systems layered in Control4’s MultiDisplay Manager software to streamline the navigation process. Instead of scrolling through options, users refer to and select from a virtual layout of Scores’ AV sources, TVs and speakers. “It’s so much more efficient than walking throughout the bar with an armload of remote controls,” says Smith. “We can get everything up and running just the way we like it in seconds.” Equally important, this mode of control lets Scores finetune the AV distribution to the needs of its diverse customer base. “If someone is renting a section of Scores for a private party, for example, music and a slideshow on the 98-inch screen can play there while the rest of the facility stays engrossed in the sports action,” Record explains.

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Automated lighting scenes enhance the ambiance. Again, the Control4 user interface makes adjusting countless fixtures across the enormous space quick and easy. Integrating Score’s lighting into the Control4 platform proved relatively straightforward, as well, accomplished by swapping the building’s existing wall switches for smart dimmers and switches from Control4 and some programming work. From the same app or touchscreen that directs the flow of AV signals, as well as custom Control4 keypads, Scores managers can dim and brighten lights perfectly for any occasion, time of day, or customer preference. The same app or touchscreen provides single button control for lighting scenes, or whole scene execution for AV and lights.

Reliable, stable Wi-Fi access is another important component of customer satisfaction at Scores. Rexx Home Systems delivered it via the installation of multiple Araknis Wi-Fi access points and connecting them to a Pakedge networking system from Snap One. “No ordinary networking solution would be able to handle the heavy bandwidth demands of the many connected systems and support simultaneous Wi-Fi users,” Record explains. “The robustness of Snap One’s suite of products and the technical expertise of their service and support team ensured the proper transmission throughput, speed, and coverage was achieved.”

The expertly configured networking system also enabled the creation of several independent VLans, one of which was assigned exclusively to the new batch of surveillance cameras and network video recorder (NVR) installed. Twenty-five Clare Controls surveillance cameras keep a vigil on the property, inside and out, their footage recorded to a ClareVision NVR. “Assigning cameras their own slice of the network helps maintain image clarity and doesn’t impact the clarity or reliability of the AV systems, control and lighting systems,” Record says.

To maintain the comfort of the bar, for both customers and employees, Scores HVAC air conditioning and heating system is integrated within the system. With six thermostats, the entire HVAC system can be controlled via Control4 remote or app, meaning year-round convenient comfort.

As the legacy of the beloved 48-year-old The Fours Restaurant & Sports Bar lives on, the employees and patrons of Scores are experiencing a whole new level of comradery and entertainment enabled by carefully curated, designed, and installed tech solutions from Rexx Home Systems and the Snap One vast family of products. The tech update was substantial and the results speak for themselves. “Regulars and newcomers alike love what we’ve done with the space,” Smith remarks. “It’s been an overnight success and a real boon to business.”

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