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Electrosonic upgrades interactive technologies at WWI museum

Electrosonic has upgraded the AV technology at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. Electrosonic designed and installed the original AV system in the museum and nine years later the company has returned to carry out the upgrade replacing all the museum’s displays and head-end drive equipment.

“Equipment has really advanced in the ten years since our initial install,” said Electrosonic project manager John Meyer. “While the upgrade was seamless to visitors, we were able to reduce the number of components in the system by a huge amount. At least 30% of the behind-the-scenes hardware has been eliminated. That means fewer points of failure and greater streamlining for the museum’s technical staff.”

The museum features a life-sized diorama and 100ft-wide panoramic screen located in the Horizon Theater. A video presentation explains to visitors about the events leading to America’s entry into the war while the No Man’s Land diorama in front of the screen depicts a British patrol across a barren landscape littered with objects from the conflict.

To deliver the video, six 5,700 ANSI lumen projectors are edge blended to fill the screen with images. Previously, the projectors were fed and synchronised by individual players, which went through a warp and blend machine. “Now, video playback and edge blending are done in Dataton’s WATCHOUT video server. We’ve replaced eight pieces of hardware with one unit,” noted Meyer.

Electrosonic also installed six High End Systems DLV projectors on moving light pedestals, which move images around the diorama and the theatre system is controlled by Medialon Manager LITE software.

The museum’s Main Gallery gives a comprehensive journey through the war with a number of interactive features including personal kiosks and 46in LCD touchscreens. This enables visitors to discover the workings of a Lewis machine gun as well as the uses of camouflage and how to make their own poster. Many of the features in the Main Gallery were upgraded with solid state technology. “The use of solid state drives in 30 PCs and in BrightSign players now offers increased reliability,” said Meyer.

QSC’s Q-Sys handles audio routing and processing throughout the museum, it includes the audio playback option to further simplify the system. “Q-Sys has allowed us to eliminate perhaps two full racks of equipment,” Meyer noted.

“The Museum was very pleased with the technological upgrades to our organisation facilitated by Electrosonic,” said Dr. Matthew Naylor, National World War I Museum and Memorial President and CEO. “Electrosonic managed a tremendous amount of upgrades in a timely, efficient and professional manner.”