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3D History: AV installation at the Historic Philadelphia Center, Part 1

Feb 7, 2011 10:46 AM, With Bennett Liles

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OK so you don’t have to call in a bunch of technical Einsteins to figure out what kind of problem you’re having and fix it. It sounds like everything’s fairly redundant and pretty quick to just plug in something else and keep going since you don’t have a lot of time between shows on this.
Yeah, yeah and there is no real technical person on site all the time. [Timestamp: 7:12]

And you were using 7th Sense Delta Media Servers. Those are pretty beefy systems, very high capacity and I think each one can handle up to something like half a dozen video channels.
Yeah, I guess so, yes. [Timestamp: 7:23]

And so why were they chosen to do this?
They were essentially selected for their superior video quality in the sense that there are many products on the market that you can control the right way, the video content its self is just leaner so there are no real interactivity in between. The video play back is very simple so it was a really video quality choice. [Timestamp: 7:47]

These things are used for planetariums and all sorts of big shows with big crowds and fairly high stakes stuff as well so it’s got to be dependable as well.
Yes, yes and then they have redundant of power supply, that kind of stuff so… [Timestamp: 8]

And they’re controlled to a significant degree by sensors automatically detecting the presence of the audience. How are the Barco NW-12 projectors all connected to the control system? Are those serial or does it run networked on Ethernet?
They’re controlled through Ethernet and as they were quite new product at this time we worked closely with Barco to make sure the protocol will allow us to access all the features that we needed but yes they were controlled through Ethernet as most of the equipment in this installation. [Timestamp: 8:3]

Barco is known for their big powerful projectors and these are powerful machines and they must have a pretty strong cooling system going on. How loud is the fan noise there from all of these projectors?
There is actually a second a ceiling in the theater so it actually kept the noise far away and you have a constant background music as well so you don’t really hear them and the air conditioning is actually getting into the theater from this ceiling so it goes through the projector first which is cool for the heat. [Timestamp: 9:05]

Yeah I would think that heat would be a big factor since you have all these big projectors running in a group enclosed in a pretty small space.
Yeah, it’s a very small space but it’s a very intimate one as well so it’s really nice. [Timestamp: 9:17]

Well Smart Monkeys does a lot of this type of show control project, what would you say is the…say the typically biggest challenge in building a complex show control system like this and making it work?
All in all the control part is somehow simple I would say on the projects. The real challenge was that this show is the first 3D 360 show of its kind and it has to work from day one without a hitch so in that specific case we focused on simplicity and reliability before anything else. We performed a lot more tests off site than we usually do and we had a chance to actually work with David we'd make sure to have all the equipment in his studio in New York City so we could mock up the entire system. It’s not really a complex system apart from the capturing, the image capturing system itself. But it was relief to have it easy to operate and it’s very reliable and that’s…that was the real challenge here. [Timestamp: 10:22]

Well it seems as though the shows been a big hit and I want to thank you for taking time to tell us about it. Stephan Villet from Smart Monkey’s in Miami Beach, thanks for being here for Part One and in Part Two we’ll get into the Medialon Show Master Pro and how that works and we’ll see ya then.

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