Audio visual firm AV Candy has developed an entirely new arm to its business thanks to an unlikely project—fitting a 69-foot canal boat with a state-of-the-art broadband, satellite television and audio system.
The steel boat was built in Lincolnshire, and when the owners experienced difficulty finding someone that could meet their audio visual needs, they called on the Kenilworth company to install a system that would not only deliver a high standard of visual and audio entertainment, but would also fit into the limited space afforded by the vessel.
The boat’s owners requested a home cinema system in the main saloon, with five zones of audio and an additional video zone in the bedroom. Because of the restricted space, the package needed to make the most of the storage and living space on board, while remaining accessible and easy to use.
The larger components such as the TVs, antenna mounts, in-motion satellite tracking system and the woodwork around the rack holding the control center, were all fitted while the boat was in dry dock, while the rack equipment, including the Sky+HD, PlayStation and Blu-Ray, as well as a Naim music server and Apple-based organ simulator were all installed while the boat was moored along the Grand Union Canal.
AV Candy supplied a full specification and wiring schematic so the work could be carried out and several designs were required to ensure the equipment rack could slot into the space available, which proved to be the biggest challenge.
Following the completion of the project, AV Candy, which normally provides cinema and audio systems for private homes, has since begun developing more robust AV systems that will allow people to live aboard boats and in mobile residences and still enjoy the latest technology and home comforts.
Company director Simon Redfearn explained why the project was a significant one for the business. “We’re used to dealing with complex projects and delivering bespoke, high-quality AV systems, but we would usually work in domestic settings, installing home cinema and surround-sound packages,” said Redfearn.
“Fitting a 69-foot canal boat with all of the cabling, controls, speakers and hubs needed to create a comprehensive, high-performance AV system was a huge task; not least because the space was so limited.”
“We really had to find our ‘sea legs’ for this job,” Simon continued. “The space available to us to work meant that only one person could work one the vessel at any one time. We also had to park our vehicles several hundred metres away from the mooring which meant there was also lots of lifting and carrying involved in the job and our levels of fitness increased dramatically.
“However, although the job was a challenge, it was a hugely enjoyable experience and we learnt an awful lot. Not least that people who live in, or on, mobile vehicles have very specific requirements, not only in terms of reduced space, but also because the very act of moving can adversely affect Internet connection.
“As a result of this project we embarked on an intensive programme of research and development to create ways to connect to the Internet that aren’t compromised by the movement of vehicles and the process of traveling. Since this first job we’ve worked on a number of other canal boat projects, and along with motor homes and caravans, it’s now a sector we’re targeting more seriously.”
AV Candy designs, supplies and installs bespoke home cinema and multi-room audio video systems. Ease- of-use and technical excellence are the main focus of the business. The company maintains its standards with continuous training and has recently completed further THX and supplier courses. AV Candy undertakes work in a wide variety of settings including residential homes, caravans and motor homes, buses, inland waterway and blue water vessels. The company also specializes in high-speed internet connections and receiving Sky TV whilst on the move.