null AV: The Future Is Networked
AV: The Future Is Networked
When we design museum exhibitions at Moesgaard, we try to appeal across all the generations – from children right through to the grandparents. Our aim is to create a truly immersive experience, transporting our visitors back to the past using modern technology – we have over 100 projectors and 300 discrete audio channels. We’re creating the mood for the visitor experience so that the whole family enjoys being there – I think that’s why we are able to attract so many new visitors.
Exhibition designers and architects are very creative people and are constantly coming up with new ideas throughout the whole design process. It’s key for us to have flexible infrastructures so that we can add or remove hardware, even very late in the design process as their ideas evolve.
Another very important factor for us is reliability – one of the worst things is to disappoint visitors, so we need to know that we can rely on our equipment choices 100%. The other element of that is of course quality – you have to make the exhibition content look and sound the very best.
I think the ability to use a networked infrastructure for audio and video feeds is one of the most significant changes that we’ve seen in AV over the last few years – it give us much more flexibility, and I believe that we will be seeing far more networked infrastructures in years to come. I also think we’ll be moving towards the ability to monitor and control many different types of hardware on a single platform.
In our own experience, Genelec’s Smart IP loudspeaker technology has enabled us to fully support the creative process without restriction – we could add or remove speakers quickly and easily right up to the last minute, so that the creative process was not hindered in any way by the restrictions of the technology or the infrastructure. We’ve never been able to do that before.
It’s also much cheaper for us to install the loudspeakers, as the Smart IP platform requires just a single network cable for both power and signal distribution. That is a huge revolution. Besides that, the ability to control and adjust the speakers remotely from anywhere in the room is very valuable to us.
When we’re using sound as part of the exhibition, we really don’t want visitors to specifically ‘notice’ the audio element, especially loudspeakers hanging off walls – the sound is an integral part of the whole immersive experience but should not be obvious. I always feel very proud when I hear visitors describing their experience with no reference at all to the sound, but they’ve clearly enjoyed and appreciated the exhibit – that’s when you realise that the quality and the design is so good that it makes an impact at a subconscious level!
Johan Ahrenfeldt is the Exhibition Technology Manager at Moesgaard Museum, near Aarhus in Denmark. Moesgaard is the second-largest cultural historical museum in Denmark, and in 2014 opened a brand new building which provides 6000 square metres of exhibition space. Their latest “Bound for disaster – Pompeii and Herculaneum” exhibition deployed 51 Genelec 4430 Smart IP loudspeakers running over a Dante network to deliver a fully immersive visitor experience.