Attenborough Studio at Natural History Museum Using Medialon-Controlled A/V

PLSN Staff • Projection Connection News • July 31, 2010

LONDON – The Attenborough Studio, a 64-seat theatre with interactive audio-visual communications within the Natural History Museum's new Darwin Centre, relies upon Medialon as the main A/V devices controller. IVC Media served as leading systems integrator on the project and Automation 4 Limited handled the Medialon system's design and development, and programming.


Visitors to the Attenborough Studio are invited to experience immersive multi-screen HD films about life on Earth and scientific discovery. They can also participate in live talks and discussions in the studio facilities and meet the Natural History Museum scientists and curators who share their knowledge and experiences.


The Attenborough Studio's A/V system was designed to combine broadcast and presentation systems. The studio's staff can choose to display prerecorded or live images and videos on the five digital screens installed inside the studio.


Medialon Manager V5 Pro, in conjunction with Medialon Scheduler, enables the system to operate a preset schedule of interactive shows and presentations. They can be automated or cued by two operators running the content and audio, or by the studio's staff via the Medialon Panel touch panel. Two Elo touch screens are displayed in the control room, and a Medialon Rugboard wireless touch screen allows the show's presenter to remotely start and stop shows and edit the content as they go.


Medialon is also used for the augmented reality system that IVC and Automation 4 have built on the Museum's behalf. The system consists of 64 touch screen interactive PC panels located at each seat within the lecture theatre.


Each interactive panel contains two web cameras, one forward facing and one user facing, along with an interactive Medialon GUI and a number of infra red sensors used to orient the touch screen in 3D space.


At various pre-defined times within the Medialon driven show, the users are asked to interact using their touch screen interfaces. The built-in web cameras and IR sensors take photos of the user and control the content displayed on local touch screen along with the publicly-displayed large format projections.


"The systems we developed were targeted at a number of users; from AV technicians working within the museum, to show presenters and lecturers, right through to members of the public interacting with the system," said David Birchall, technical director and special projects manager for Automation 4 Limited.


"Our brief was to design and implement a system that would be technically sophisticated and robust to handle whatever challenges were thrown its way from the Museums AV technical staff ,in addition to being able to be simple enough to be operated and maintained by the non technical museum staff and members of the general public," he added.


A/V gear controlled by theMedialon system includes:


Visual System:

1x Panasonic Vision Mixer

1x Panasonic Camera Controller

6x Panasonic HD Cameras

1x Alcorn McBride HD Binloop video player (5 Channel Time Lock Video system)

1x Polycom HD Video Conferencing System

1x Hai Vision Maco HD Communications System

1x Grass Valley Turbo

1x Extron 32 x 32 HD SDI Matrix Switcher

5x PC / Laptop connection points

5x TV One C2 7200 video processors

6x Panasonic HD video projectors

1x Projection Design HD video projector

1x Extron HD-SDI 32×32 matrix switch

1x Extron VGA matrix switch

1x Pioneer Blue Ray player

1x Datavideo HD video recorder

1x VC300 Edirol Video processor

1x Jester DMX lighting desk

1x Pharos programmable DMX lighting controller


Audio System:

1x Biamp Audia Flex

1x Bose ESP 88

2x Bose Amplifiers

1x Yamaha LS9 desk

1x Bose Audio Installation / Speaker System


"The provision to integrate live audio and an outside broadcast feed or fly away standard definition video conference system will enable scientists working within the Darwin Centre research labs to present their work to the general public for the first time," noted Patrick Stewart-Blacker, former business development manager at IVC Media.


For more information, please visit www.medialon.com.



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