The NEXSYS System
AV Power Needs Have Never Looked Better
Establishing excellence through Visual Brand Language
Think about the last time you attended a game in a professional stadium. Imagine the sounds of the crowd, cheering as the hometown quarterback deftly dodges a sack or jeers as the opposing team’s defensive line stops what should have been a touchdown run. Think about the JumboTron, showing highlights of the game’s best plays or displaying messaging to encourage crowd participation and interaction. Kiss Cams and Halftime Shows. Televisions near the concessions, so you watch the game while you wait in line for a hotdog or nachos. A lot went into this experience, and much of it comes from an ecosystem of technology working together so that you get the most out of the game.
The NEXSYS System from Middle Atlantic Products (Middle Atlantic), a brand of Legrand, is such a system — a high-end audio-visual product platform combining power distribution and power backup to protect sensitive AV equipment and prevent settings or data loss in the event of sudden voltage drops or power outages. At the center of the NEXSYS portfolio are the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) — devices that serve as a battery backup and allow for just enough power for hardware to shut down properly during an outage — and Power Distribution Unit (PDU), which provides electrical protection and distributes power to hardware within a rack.
Middle Atlantic recognized the need for an integrated and connected power system that includes PDUs and UPSs that monitor environmental variables, including input voltage, load current, temperature, and other performance data, to alert managers of any irregularities that need attention.
Previously, these UPSs and PDUs were undervalued, often used as separate functions, and typically seen as reactive solutions to power fluctuations rather than proactive ones. Middle Atlantic approached IN2 to help in the development of the NEXSYS System and to bring a competent, cohesive, and consistent Visual Brand Language (VBL) to the program.
For those who are unfamiliar, VBL is a strategy companies employ to create a consistent visual representation of the brand within its product lines. VBL should represent the brand values and develop an emotional connection to users while differentiating the product from others on the market.
Through unified VBL, the NEXSYS System created an improved overall experience that builds trust with its users — whether they are AV technicians working behind the scenes to ensure business operations are running smoothly or home theater enthusiasts who want to protect their investments. These units blend in with any residential or commercial system with their wide range of features, technologies, and form factors. They elevate any system they are placed in without overshadowing other high-end hardware, such as McIntosh receivers, while still being an appropriate and trusted piece of equipment. NEXSYS is one system designed to work with many.
The Show Must Go On
AV technicians are true masters of their craft and understand that sudden power fluctuations can be detrimental to delicate AV equipment and, in some cases, render an entire system inoperable. As a result, they take every precaution available to ensure their gear is working properly. An effective systems approach to power helps to ensure end-to-end success for the technician and the company.
Research occurred in high-end AV stores, showrooms, and law offices. These visits consisted of several supplier, technician, installer, builder, and end-user interviews. Ultimately, the research showed that each AV application is a unique ecosystem with differing needs with power requirements, which meant a “one size fits all” solution wasn’t available.
For example, the research included a trip to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, where the New York Jets and New York Giants play. Here, PDU and UPS systems play a huge role in blending the physical and digital worlds, where the ‘true’ user experience exists.
If there is an outage during the game and the digital screen is interrupted, some spectators may turn to their phones to find updated stats or see a replay to check stats, taking them out of the game. Additionally, this equipment is used to broadcast sporting events and television shows directly into viewers’ homes so they can watch game-winnings plays live or gather the family around for the latest episode of their favorite show.
These units are the last line of defense for AV professionals, and racks are often messy and disorganized, especially in large settings, with multiple brands and blinking lights. A unified design language organizes the chaotic racks and allows AV technicians to quickly scan and assess data that promotes readability at a glance and can be customized to any application.
Custom-Crafted Products That Fit Any Environment
Because each AV application has specialized needs, there is no standard installation. Instead, every rack is customized and contains several different hardware types and brands with individual power requirements.
Ensuring an AV solution for any environment meant creating a consistent and scalable visual architecture for all the components within the rack; the NEXSYS System has three foundational sections centered around a ‘floating core’ design element.
The first is a ‘Structured’ section which secures key elements, such as branding components, in a fixed location depending on product size. The second is the ‘Customized’ section, which accommodates LEDs, buttons, and text for current and future products. Finally, a’ Semi-Structured’ section is included for details such as product name and certain fixed elements, yet also allows for nomenclature changes.
Because so much variation occurs between Customizable and Semi-Structured sections of the units, the design elements were strategically placed to accommodate more than 25 different component configurations.
Everything within the rack has to speak the same language, so the design builds a cohesive Visual Brand Language (VBL), which leads to brand recognition and loyalty with the customer. In addition, all the system’s features, functionality, and design elements fit into place to elevate the entire product portfolio.
Defining the ‘Functional’ Language
VBL elements include a perforated brick pattern inset that adds visual texture and established structure. In addition, the power switch was placed in a recessed area called “The Cove,” along with an LED light that provides a wash of light across the device, useful for AV racks located in dimly lit areas. The illuminated front panel indicators assure visibility and the ability to cycle through critical information and update settings.
Additionally, the PDUs’ rotated power outlets ensure all plugs are usable, and technicians can plug any needed equipment into the rack. The units are thin and slim, with pre-installed mounting kits to integrate easily into custom and standard racks and cabinets.
While the appearance of these units is important, the VBL elements also have functional purposes. For instance, the power switch was placed in The Cove to protect it from accidentally being pushed on or off when interacting with the equipment. In addition, the brick perforation patterns are designed to stand out from competitors and allow critical airflow that prevents units from overheating.
The cabinet doors were also redesigned with a flat front surface punctuated with an asymmetrical pocket and a central perforated panel incorporated from the rack mounts to establish cohesion between the cabinets and PDU and UPS units.
The NEXSYS System is designed, engineered, and manufactured for the high-end AV world, combining power distribution and power backup into a comprehensive and cohesive product platform united by a custom-crafted Visual Brand Language. The NEXSYS System offers PDU and UPS products with a consistent look and feel for all AV applications — from residential to commercial usage.
Additionally, these systems work behind the scenes to provide the crucial infrastructure that keeps businesses operating smoothly. These systems play pivotal roles in powering some of the largest entertainment venues worldwide, bringing captivating performances to life, and uniting fans across the globe. By enabling seamless and reliable connectivity, PDU and UPS systems contribute to the immersive and transformative experience that brings people together.