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Dataton Journeys Through Dutch Maritime Museum

In one of the most dramatic and evocative applications of the company’s cutting-edge multimedia expertise yet seen, Dataton’s WATCHOUT has been deployed as multi-image technology in the newly refurbished Het Scheepvaartmuseum, the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.

Reopened by the Queen of the Netherlands on 1 October 2011, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, the National Maritime Museum now consists of a series of themed and interactive exhibits, all of them featuring AV, lighting and network design by local integration firm Rapenburg Plaza.

Most impressive among these exhibits is the ‘Voyage at Sea’ – a five-room, 20-minute immersive walk-through cinematic experience in which museum visitors are taken on a journey through five centuries of Dutch maritime history.

The center piece of ‘Voyage at Sea’ is a 360-degree, oval-shaped projection which uses ten edge-blended projectors with wide-angle lenses, along with ‘snap-on’ cartridges custom-designed by Rapenburg Plaza for additional image filtering.

“Because of the way they had to be mounted and distributed in the room, it was impossible to create an equal physical overlap between each of the ten projectors,” comments Jorinde Wiegel of Rapenburg Plaza. “So the edge-blending required a great deal of tweaking, including some adaptation of the actual content itself.”

That content was provided by Amsterdam-based Tungsten to an original design concept by Tinker Imagineers of Utrecht. The movie is played back through QuickTime ProRes software and is run through five dual-motherboard PCs, each running two licenses of WATCHOUT. The WATCHOUT machines, which are located in the museum’s central server room alongside the content servers, lighting controllers and network switches, also provide eight tracks of audio; these are routed through a Richmond SoundMan server to create the soundtrack for the room’s 12.2-channel surround-sound system.

“The whole show is controlled by a Medialon show controller, with WATCHOUT controlled as a cluster within the Medialon system,” explains Wiegel. “We made extensive use of the edge-blending and geometric-correction tools within WATCHOUT, and the system performed faultlessly, proving both technically extremely accurate and also very easy to use.”

Jan Breel at AV Trade who supplied WATCHOUT to Rapenburg Plaza explains: “We deliver WATCHOUT to many exciting projects in the Benelux and this project is one we are very proud of. The technology worked very well and was delivered on time and within budget.”

Fredrik Svahnberg, Marketing and Communications Manager, Dataton, concludes: “The ‘Voyage at Sea’ is a great example of how our WATCHOUT technology can be used not only to create a wonderful immersive visitor experience, but also to tame a less-than-ideal projection and display setup when such an arrangement is necessitated by the nature of the original space.

“It has been a pleasure for us to be involved with this project and, with ISE 2012 coming up soon in Amsterdam, we look forward to showing contacts from all over Europe around this exciting installation at Het Scheepvaartmuseum.”





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