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Native AV Installation at National Museum of the American Indian, Part 1

May 24, 2011 11:32 AM, With Bennett Liles

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OK, so those are already pretty well tested and proven in an environment that's pretty similar to the one you're working in here.
Absolutely, yep.

Yeah I did a little reading on the Alcorn McBride Binloop media players and reliability really seems to be the name of the game with those.
Yes and they're easy to program. They each have an SD card so it just makes the whole thing pretty easy. [Timestamp: 5:12]

You've got renovated but basically older architecture and with this of course there's the visiting public and there's always going to be some aesthetic considerations. You've got central storage and there have to be some substantial cable runs. So were there any issues as far as getting cabling run or places that you couldn't go with it?
Yeah I don't know if you've been to the Alexander Hamilton US Customs House but 80 percent of all customs stuff used to come through this building—it's an amazing…just all this marble. It's an amazing building but Peter Brill and his team at the museum did a great job in getting the facility ready for us. Working in an historic building like this, not designed for modern AV equipment, it often makes the cable runs longer because you have to run the cable wherever you can find some kind of unobtrusive path. We had to use different cable routes for each half of the gallery so even though some displays are only a few feet apart, the cable runs can differ by a hundred feet. But it was definitely a lot of work but the end product is very clean, so that's what we were shooting for. [Timestamp: 6:13]

OK, now what kind of cabling and what format on the video signals are we talking about on this?
Its Cat-5 cable and the video signals are VGA. We used extenders to do that. [Timestamps: 6:23]

OK, well that sounds like it's not a problematic thing on cost at all. I would think that's a very economical way to go on cable.
Yes, the extenders can be costly depending on what you use, but yes, the cable was pretty inexpensive. [Timestamp: 6:35]

And fairly easy to work with in tight places. So we're going analog on Cat-5 with the video and that's not a real cutting edge thing—it's pretty well proven. Tell me about the ELO 22in. touch screens in there.
Yes the interactive workstations, those have…each have an ELO so there's ten of the ELO 22in. touchscreens and those were programmed by Potion Design in New York. [Timestamp: 6:57]

Now that's interesting as far as the programming on those things. If you've got a museum already set up with these things I would think that would give you a good guide but you've got all kinds of people coming in there and it's got to be at a good basic level where anybody can operate it. So was there any kind of extensive, say, testing of these stations with real people before you turned them loose on the public?
Yeah, absolutely. They developed it and we installed some stuff and worked on it and the screens are mounted in a portrait orientation and there's actually a bar across the bottom of the screen that allows you to scroll through the different content. And once again, these are the displays that are right next to the actual object. So you scroll…you can scroll by swiping horizontally anywhere on the screen—just like an iPhone—then you can touch different pictures and the picture will zoom in and out and then other pictures actually start video content playing. [Timestamp: 7:48]

I would think, for the younger crowd in particular, all the motion graphics would be a real draw for that.
Yeah absolutely, it definitely adds to the galleria. [Timestamp: 7:55]

And in Part 2, we're going to be getting into how all of this is centrally controlled and fed out to all the workstations. Randy, it's been great having you here, thanks for stopping by.

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