Direct from your hotel room to your private cinema lounge

Cinema 8 offers an exceptional high-tech world of entertainment.

Behind your hotel bed, you look deep into the eyes of Captain Jack Sparrow, while on the other side a discreet door leads directly to the private lounge of a cinema – whether you are a real film buff or just enjoy a good movie, Cinema 8 makes dreams come true. This entertainment complex in Schöftland in the Aargau region of Switzerland combines the luxury of a comfortable hotel with state-of-the-art cinema technology, a variety of restaurants and diverse leisure activities under one roof.

A reliable and stable network ensures perfect interaction between all components and offers Wi-Fi Internet access for up to 2,500 guests at peak times. The whole network was planned and realised by experts from Netree AG with high-performance D-Link equipment.

A creative and successful concept

A cinema, a hefty dose of enthusiasm and lots of creative ideas formed the basis for one of Switzerland's most innovative cinema complexes. Cinema 8 AG, founded in 1998 as a private initiative, initially operated as a cinema and bar. Building work on a complete entertainment centre started in 2012. As well as five cinemas with 3D sound experience, an open air cinema on the roof and a 7D cinema, guests can enjoy a huge restaurant area with imaginatively designed bars, various themed restaurants and the centre's own brewery.

If you're looking for something more active, you can rent one of the eight bowling alleys, but the real icing on the cake is a stay in the integrated Cinema 8 theme hotel. Since the complex was opened in November 2014, expectations have been exceeded every quarter, thanks in no small measure to the creative ideas of the Cinema 8 team and the high quality of service.

"We were hugely fortunate that Netree was so flexible and able to supply us with comprehensive network architecture and premium equipment at such short notice. The D-Link products impressed us from the outset."

- Rolf Häfeli, Managing Director of Cinema 8 AG

The importance of the network

The planning team had put in a lot of work in the run-up to the opening in 2014. Many hurdles had to be overcome and quick decisions made. While the fabric of the building was under construction, it became apparent that the network infrastructure had not been sufficiently taken into account.

An expert service provider and high-quality network technology which could meet the requirements needed to be found rapidly. Looking back, Rolf Häfeli, Managing Director of Cinema 8 AG, says: "We were hugely fortunate that Netree was so flexible and able to supply us with comprehensive network architecture and premium components at such short notice. The D-Link products impressed us from the outset."

The network infrastructure is a crucial aspect of the Cinema 8 concept, because very little would function without it, including in the restaurant and event area.

Orders are taken at the table directly via tablet by the guests or by the staff and sent straight to the bar. Cashless payment with mobile credit card readers is being used increasingly and this requires special software solutions for planning and control.

The same applies in the cinema area of Cinema 8, which is equipped with the latest projection technology, and for the associated hotel operation.

Netree planned and segmented the network into four key categories:

  1. A standardised internal network for telephony, advertising and information systems (digital signage), restaurant and cinema operation
  2. Wi-Fi for pay desks and payment terminals
  3. Wi-Fi for cinema visitors and guests in the restaurant area
  4. Wi-Fi for hotel guests

D-Link components are used throughout the network. A total of eleven stackable, managed DGS-3120 Layer 2 switches are distributed across various server rooms. They each have 48 ports with Power-over-Ethernet functionality and four combo 1000Base-T/ SFP-Ports. Connected to these, with optical fibres, are three DWC-1000 Wireless Controllers. These function as the central Wi-Fi management systems for the three different task areas: pay desks and payment terminals, event locations and hotel guests. Users access the respective Wi-Fi networks via nearly 40 Dual-Band Access Points installed throughout the whole complex. Due to the solid walls in certain parts of the building, Netree installed a comparatively large number of Access Points to achieve full coverage. A range of security functions ensure continuous availability of the Wi-Fi network and protect it from unauthorised access.

Practical, virtual, secure

Transforming itself from a one-man business to such a large operation was a big challenge for Cinema 8. For this reason in particular, it was important for the management team to have an expert partner by their side that could provide a complete service. The service provider's tasks ranged from setting up virtual servers and virtual LANs to initialising and prioritising the Wi-Fi networks.

The entertainment complex was designed to look like an airport, and the whole operation needed to function with the same high efficiency. The D-Link equipment has stood the test time since they were installed. The earlier network for the card terminals, which was initially maintained as a backup, 
has now also been removed. Rolf Häfeli is impressed: "We can really count on Netree as our service provider and on the D-Link equipment. They will continue to support us with our planned expansion of Cinema 8."

Dagmar Ecker Industrial Engineering Graduate (University of Applied Science)

Designed and realised by Netree AG, Däniken, Switzerland