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5th Annual Pro AV Spotlight Awards Best Museum AV Installation: National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia

Jul 18, 2012 2:36 PM

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Judges’ Award

Electrosonic, Burbank, Calif.

For the new 100,000-square-foot building on Independence Mall in Philadelphia—The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH)—Electrosonic integrated a $2 million audiovisual system to help exhibit and interpret the American Jewish experience. This is the only museum specifically dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Jewish participation in the development of the United States.

Visitors start their tour on the fourth floor of the atrium-style building where Foundations of Freedom details the earliest Jewish communities in America and their everyday life from colonial times through the late 1800s. The Foundations of Freedom Theater is an open space with two perpendicular walls that serve as projection surfaces. Five projectors are used to create one continuous image or a mosaic of images across the screens.

In this same area, the Innovation and Expansion gallery features an interactive “map table” on which animated sequences selected by visitors on an adjacent touchscreen are displayed via two projectors. The Establishing Communities gallery uses Dakota Audio FA-501 directional loudspeaker arrays for localized sound; “The Revolution and the Constitution” presentation is shown on a 46in. Samsung LCD panel; and the Purim Ball gallery showcases projection within the architectural elements of a 19th century ballroom setting.

For the NMAJH’s large projection screens that required edge blending, Electrosonic integrated Christie DS+750 projectors; smaller screens use projectiondesign F22SX, F12SX, and F32-1080 projectors. Flatpanel displays include 46in. Samsung LCDs and 19in. Dell LCDs. Touchscreens include Elo 19in. touch LCD, Dynamic Displays 12in. LCD with Dawar overlay, and Primeview 24in. touch LCD.

Adtec Signedge players were used for shows requiring simple single and multi-screen HD playback; complex multi-projector shows use Dataton WATCHOUT running on PCs.

Electrosonic sourced most audio from the associated video source, whether from the HD player or WATCHOUT; where exhibits require audio only, the sound is delivered via a Medialon audio server. Audio EQ is handled by BSS Soundweb London Blu equipment. Tannoy IW6, DI-6, and DI-8 loudspeakers predominate. Medialon furnishes overall system control with a wireless control panel, allowing museum service staff to monitor and control individual exhibits from anywhere within the building.

Electrosonic was challenged to deliver AV systems that met the needs of media and AV consultant RomeAntics and Local Projects, the exhibit AV and interactive content providers, while using a consistent approach throughout the museum and a minimum of different equipment types.

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