Wired for News
Jun 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Cynthia Wisehart
Onsite for the opening of the Newseum.
NBC NEWS INTERACTIVE NEWSROOM AND THE ETHICS CENTER
The interactive galleries were among the most popular at the original Newseum location. The spirit of those exhibits remains, but technology has come a long way in the 12 years since the first Newseum opened. For example, a popular exhibit that allowed visitors to stand in front of greenscreen, read the news, and get a copy of their newscast has become eight “Be a TV Reporter” stations that take advantage of Reflecmedia's LiteRing technology to enable inexpensive, effective blue/greenscreen (without the blue/green) in a challenging lighting environment. Advances in software and Electrosonic's custom programming based on its ESCAN control platform all up the sophistication of this exhibit.
The interactive newsroom also expands upon the original touchscreen ethics stations and adds a unique 7ft. Ethics Table that responds to gesture and touch, providing an interactive game environment to tackle ethical questions. The table was conceived by Appelbaum, and the Newseum's internal staff collaborated with New Jersey-based Kinecity — a company that specialized in unique interactive exhibits that combine company expertise in software, architecture, and art — to bring it to life.
COMCAST 9/11 GALLERY
A study in powerful simplicity, the central artifact of this gallery is the upper section of the 360ft. antenna mast from the World Trade Center North Tower. As the highest point in the city (1700ft.), it served most of the city's TV and radio stations, and in its fall to Earth, it became a poignant, twisted sculpture. The gallery also includes one of the Newseum's most straightforward and popular video presentations (part of 5 hours of video content created for the museum), played from a Christie Digital HD projector.
HEARST CORPORATION ORIENTATION THEATERS
These three theaters provide a starting point for visitors, showing three award-winning documentaries on news, sports, and documentaries. Electrosonic designed the rack rooms that serve these theaters and the control interfaces within each theater to allow the Newseum's video content elements to be programmed to any of the three theaters. This flexibility of sourcing is a key aspect of the Newseum systems design, for both video and audio sources.
NEWS HISTORY GALLERY
The largest gallery is built around a spine of historic newspaper front pages, newsbooks, plates, and magazines from throughout news history. In addition, eight large display cases display an array of artifacts, surmounted by a frieze created by 20 SD Christie projectors displaying a collage of video images. Five more Christie projectors highlight artifacts within the glass cases. Along the side of the narrow gallery, five small HD theaters (also equipped with Christie projectors) tell stories from five centuries of news reporting; a series of 47in. Toshiba LCD interactive touchscreens complete the gallery. On the same floor, the Pulliam Family Great Books Gallery features an edge-blended HD show run by a Dataton Watchout.
ROBERT H. AND CLARICE SMITH
BIG SCREEN THEATER
In addition to doing all the broadcast systems integration for the Newseum's two Knight broadcast studios and master control, CEI did systems integration and installation for another dramatic Newseum update. The original video news wall was a signature element of the first Newseum. Here, it expands to 90ft., with 8 minutes of dramatic news stories from the past quarter of a century. As with the original, the new screen can also carry live news feeds from Newseum master control, where broadcasts are coming in from all over the world, 24 hours a day.
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