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Optoma chosen for RAF cinema room install

TaylorMade TV & Audio Ltd has turned the hall inside the RAF Honington base into a cinema using Optoma’s ZU650 laser projector.

RAF Honington is located between Thetford and Bury St Edmonds in Norfolk and has been a military base for almost 80 years as one of six operational airfields within No 3 Group Bomber Command.

The AV install formed part of a wider refurbishment of the large hall and provides the service men and women with a place to recuperate between military operations, screening films and also holding presentations and open mic nights.

The 6,000-lumen ZU650 laser phosphor projector was chosen for its ability to provide dynamic contrast and 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation.

Stephen Taylor, director of TaylorMade TV & Audio, explained: “As well as image quality, reliability and minimal maintenance were key factors in choosing this projector as it would be mounted on the hall’s high ceiling and therefore fairly inaccessible.”

In addition to its installation flexibility, the ZU650 is suited to quieter environments, smaller rooms or those with low ceilings due to the fact it has no lamp – so needs less cooling.

Flexible installation is provided by 360˚ rotation and portrait mode operation, combined with an extensive lens shift range and five optional lenses. HDBaseT comes as standard and almost all functions of the projector can be controlled remotely across a network.

For cinema sound reproduction, the team at TaylorMade TV & Audio installed an ONKYO-TXRZ800 AV receiver with EV EKX-12 speakers and two EV ELX 118P active subwoofers. Taylor explained: “Due to the size and dual functionality of the room, we used the AV receiver’s pre amp outputs, via a mixer unit and power amps. This gave the room both an earth shattering cinema and venue audio with radio microphones for presentation.

“This was no normal cinema installation. The pre amped 5.2 channels with mixed microphone and audio give a whopping 4,200W of cinema and venue sound.

“And, with the exceptional brightness and a razor sharp image from the laser projector, we were extremely happy with the picture results.”

Nicholas Turk, community development officer at RAF Honington, said: “The feedback I have had has been phenomenal. All positive.”

Optoma projection solutions