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POLARaudio provides improved sound picture at National Portrait Gallery

POLARaudio supplies Biamp Vocia System to major London heritage site.

When it opened its doors in 1856 the National Portrait Gallery in London was the first portrait gallery in the world. Housing a collection of portraits of the people who have shaped British history and culture, the Gallery attracted over two million visits in 2013 and offers a first-class visitor experience.

In keeping with its reputation for offering high standards to visitors, the Gallery recently took steps to install a new voice announcement and paging system to enable clear communications throughout the building. POLARaudio, in conjunction with Saville AV ,supplied Biamp’s Vocia system to meet the needs of this prestigious institution.

The client required a multi-zone system to span four floors, incorporating all the public areas of the Gallery. This was to provide paging facilities, including message playback, to give notice to visitors of the closure of the Gallery at the end of each day. Further to this there was a requirement to enable music to be played in the Portrait Restaurant, as well as facility for the use of a radio microphone in the reception area for presentations.

Biamp’s Vocia system was chosen as a dependable, superior alternative to the traditional architecture of centralised processing and routing. Through its distributed, networked approach, Vocia offers unprecedented scalability, flexibility and reliability. Its decentralised architecture distributes processing and page routing across the network, eliminating the potential for a single point of system failure. Vocia is both EN 54-16 product certified and EN 60849 and AS 60849 system verified. Vocia uses standard IP technologies such as CobraNet to lower the cost and effort of implementing single-site systems, as well as existing IP networks for multi-site installations.

The installation employed Australian Monitor speakers. QF6 ceiling speakers were employed where ceilings were low, while a combination of MP30 music horns, TXG 30 and TXG 50 traditional wall-mounted speakers completed the picture. An Atterotech Inbox -M3 CobraNet input plate met the requirement for iPod connectivity in the restaurant and Beyerdynamic Opus 910 wireless radio microphones were chosen for to meet the needs of the reception area presentations.