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Electrosonic ramps up AV for Franklin D. Roosevelt attraction

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, has reopened after a three-year refurbishment project, which included an extensive Electrosonic AV fit-out.

Working under exhibit fabricator Explus, the new system is designed to support the museum’s narrative and helps visitors interpret a large array of exhibits. The installation includes audio, video and multimedia programmes, plus interactive touchscreen exhibits. A large portrait of FDR, hung between a pair of 55in Samsung LCD screens showing film footage of the president, dominates the entrance to the museum. The first galleries set the scene of his presidency with an exhibit on the Great Depression and a theater presentation, “The World in Crisis.”

A theater space within the venue is surrounded by a jagged collage of graphic images depicting the sufferings of the early 1930s. The content is displayed on a large screen by a projectiondesign F32 video projector and accompanied by 5.1 surround sound. Nearby, the “Promise of Change” exhibit includes an interactive display about the causes of the Depression; “Foundations of a Public Life,” features personal mementos and an interactive table based on a 46in Primeview Quad Touch monitor, which operates as a giant scrapbook. A 55in Samsung LCD with stereo audio describes the turning point in FDR’s life in the “Polio Theater”.

A major exhibit on the New Deal and FDR’s second term is followed by a view of the president’s private study and a gallery devoted to World War II. The wartime exhibit includes “FDR’s Secret Map Room” with image projections on the wall from a projectiondesign F22 video projector, plus three multi-user map tables each equipped with a Primeview multi-touch touchscreen showing maps and two 1940s telephones.. The “Legacy Theater” presents an assessment of FDR’s achievements. Additional theaters, which feature 55in or 70in Samsung LCD screens or projectiondesign F22 and F32 projection systems, are scattered throughout the museum and address “The Enduring New Deal,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Newsreel” topics.

Elsewhere, a control room in the basement behind the theater houses source equipment for the exhibits. All linear video is run at 1080p from BrightSign HD1020 players. Displays are largely fed using CAT-6 cables and Extron DTP DVI 301 extenders. Totevision 15in and 19in LCDs are featured in the exhibits; many 22in touchscreens are all-in-one Elo E531206 units with built-in computers. All show audio is processed through a Peavey MediaMatrix DSP system and Crown 8-channel amplifiers, and shared across exhibits as appropriate; smaller exhibits have their own amps. Ambient audio-only exhibits feature Technovision TecMP3 audio servers as sources.The Fireside Chats exhibits, meanwhile, use Gilderfluke Sd-50/8 industrial MP3 players.

Electrosonic selected loudspeakers mainly from the JBL Control range; several exhibits use NXT flat-panel technology based on Dayton Audio DAEXSFH exciters. Two theaters feature Dakota focused arrays to confine the sound to the listening area.

Lynn Bassanese, Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, commented, “The audio, video and multimedia programs and the innovative interactives in the new FDR Museum give our visitors a fresh insight into the lives and careers of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. They truly help us bring the new deal to a new generation.” All exhibit AV equipment is centrally controlled with Medialon Manager. Theater shows are started by proximity sensors, and docents can select individual exhibits via Apple’s iPad.