Ashly Simplifies Audio Sources at Pennsylvania Funeral Home

Stephens_Funeral_Home_InteriorStanley S. Stephens founded The Stephens Funeral Home in 1941, and its ownership has passed from him to his son and from his son to his grandson. It is an institution in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but visitors to its former downtown location became increasingly frustrated by its traffic and parking situation – seemingly mundane issues for sure, but a source of stress at what is often a challenging time emotionally. Thus, the family built a new funeral home just north of the city that’s free of those issues.

They hired Allentown-based A/V technology firm Communication Systems Inc. (CSi) to equip the new space with state-of-the-art audio and video technology, including a Pema™ 8250.70. The Pema 8250.70 combines an 8-in x 8-out Protea™ digital matrix processor with an eight-channel 250W network power amplifier. The Ashly control system features a combination of wall-mounted decora remotes supplemented with wireless control from the Ashly Remote App for the iPad.

“We wanted to give the staff easy, intuitive control over the new A/V system,” said Wayne Becker, vice president of business development at CSi. “We’ve had great experiences with Ashly systems because, in addition to being incredibly reliable, consistent, and flexible, Ashly gives our end users great control options.

We gave the staff at Stephens Funeral Home an Ashly WR-5 wall-mounted remote control in each room. They can select appropriate audio sources and control their volumes very simply. In addition, we configured Ashly’s free Remote App for iPad so that the staff can easily select sources and volumes for the entire facility. That’s the fastest way for them to set up everything to match the schedule of events for a particular day.”

The zones in Stephens Funeral Home consist of a main assembly room, two arrangement rooms, selection and children’s rooms, a lounge, and a garden/gazebo. Input sources for the system include HDMI, VGA, and audio jacks in the assembly room and the first floor secretary’s office, a CD player, a wireless microphone, and individual DVD players and Apple TV for each of the main rooms. Two 60-inch LED HDTVs and a handful of 39-inch LED HDTVs provide viewing options throughout the facility, and high-fidelity JBL ceiling loudspeakers deliver the sound output. The two-rack-space Ashly Pema 8250.70 accepts all of the audio inputs, handles all of the signal processing, routes all sources according to the user’s selections, and separately amplifies all of the individual zones. Finally, an HD camera in the main assembly room allows Stephens Funeral Home to stream services to the Internet.