McCormick Place is committed to accessibility and continues to provide an array of assistive listening technology for visitors throughout its facility. In 2007, when the McCormick Place West expansion closed in on completion (adding 470,000 square feet of exhibition space and 125,000 square feet of meeting room space to the already massive facility), the design team accounted for changing technology and added a more advanced AV system than was originally planned. This technology included the installation of multiple WIR TX90s (SoundPlus® Integrated Two-Channel Infrared Systems) from Williams Sound. These systems continue to be used for meeting hearing assistance, language interpretation and/or audio description needs.
McCormick Place now consists of 173 meeting rooms offering 600,000 square feet of meeting room space, assembly seating for 18,000 people, and a 4,249-seat theater. Ongoing AV challenges include an urban, RF-hostile environment and sound that must frequently be confined to each of multiple, adjacent spaces. More than 100 WIR TX90 transmitters were permanently wired and installed, using Williams Sound BKT 004 mounting brackets. The completed install ensures that each large ballroom has full coverage in its entirety and that multiple rooms can be covered when client events require each ballroom be divided by air walls into multiple, small meeting rooms. The TX90s are controlled for audio feed from one remote, centrally located control room.
The WIR TX90 from Williams Sound is a powerful transmitter that combines modulator and emitter technology into a single operating unit (2.3 / 2.8 / 3.3 / 3.8MHz) — reducing operating costs, eliminating need for rack space and easing set-up. The system features application preset controls for music, voice, or hearing assistance applications; so, no guesswork is required by McCormick Place AV staff during audio configuration. Williams Sound WIR RX22-4 SoundPlus® four-channel selectable infrared receivers (body-pack) are ideal for use with the WIR TX90 and are available upon request, free of charge, to McCormick Place visitors who have difficulty hearing.