All photos courtesy of Clear ProAV

Extron Equipment Greatly Enhances Capabilities at the Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum

Extron equipment is at the core of our design for the Cinemark® Theater at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. The use of DTP and Pro Series control systems allowed us to create an easy-to-use but extremely powerful AV system.

Anthony Stowell
Director of Integrations
Clear ProAV

Challenges

The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum includes a state-of-the-art Cinemark® theater that provides a premium viewing environment for the heart-stirring survivor testimonials shown every hour. It seats 250 and features a theatrical-grade projection system with a wall-to-wall screen and an immersive surround sound system. Museum administrators decided that they wanted to enhance the capabilities of the theater space, with the goal of creating a multipurpose venue that could host private presentations and other events held by outside organizations. This would require the installation of a new AV system that would work side by side with the current Cinemark theatrical system.

The new AV system had to be powerful enough for a vast array of uses, from simple PowerPoint presentations to supporting multimedia musical performances and integration with broadcast trucks. This high-performance switching and distribution system would facilitate presentation from a wide variety of connected sources as well as local ones. Additionally, it would support the lobby/atrium displays and offer facility-wide distribution for special museum-sponsored events. Finally, the installation had to be easy for museum docents and third parties to operate without assistance.

Design constraints presented integration firm Clear ProAV with challenges they did not normally experience in most design-build projects. The AV components could not block movie sight lines, projection cones, in-ceiling THX surround sound speakers, or the unique house lighting. The installation also needed to work within the confines of the theater’s acoustical treatment. Clear ProAV designed an AV system based on Extron products that would provide flexible signal distribution from all sources to a variety of displays and associated sound systems.

Design Solution

To support the widest variety of uses, theater resources include a Cisco® managed networking package, a BlackMagic® video production system, three Panasonic® PTZ cameras, and a Digital Projection® M-Vision 21K projector with a Da-Lite® motorized, IP-enabled Electrol screen. The separate lighting system consists of 16 ETC® ColorSource® Spot LED ellipsoidal light fixtures. To tie this all together, Clear ProAV integrated an Extron DTP® system with wired and wireless connectivity and powerful audio processing plus AV streaming. The installation is operated using an Extron Pro Series control system, which also enables control of the house lighting and theatrical lighting systems via DMX.

DTP System Supports Presentations with Flexible Signal Switching and Distribution

At the heart of the installation is an Extron DTP CrossPoint® 108 4K 10x8 presentation matrix switcher. It had the right combination of features and capabilities, such as high-powered seamless switching with built‑in scaling and signal extension up to 330 feet (100 meters). It is rack-mounted in the adjacent control room with a dedicated master control interface for advanced control of all AV systems.

To extend AV signals from connected laptops and other mobile devices to the matrix switcher, DTP T UWP 4K wallplate transmitters provide convenient connectivity on the stage, at the portable lectern, and along the side walls. An Extron one-gang DTP R HWP 4K wallplate receiver is installed behind or near each display device, minimizing mounting distances from the walls and ceiling. A ShareLink® Pro 1100 gateway enables secure wireless presentation, and an Extron DMP 128 Plus provides audio mixing and processing to complete the system.

Content presented in the theater can also be sent to displays located in the lobby and atrium, as well as strategically placed displays across the museum campus using the DTP® switching system in concert with local DTP® receivers.

When the theater is rented, each client provides their own content for the event. They can either use the Apple® Mac® computer tied into the DTP CrossPoint® matrix switcher or connect through one of the DTP® wallplate transmitters on the stage. Another option is to connect wirelessly via the ShareLink Pro gateway with temporary authorization.

Impressive Streaming & Flexible Playback with One Box

An Extron SMD 202 streaming decoder provides the ability to play back media files from SD cards, a USB storage device or the LAN. A default video file stored in the streaming decoder’s internal memory is readily available to docents leading tour groups through the museum exhibits. They can also trigger other specific video files via the touchscreens. Clear ProAV included the capability to play back content uploaded to the museum network. To support live streams, the SMD 202 decodes H.264 video and AAC audio.

While the SMD 202 can be operated using the front panel controls or the remote control, staff members and docents prefer to use the control system. Museum docents and private-event clients can easily control all AV system operations and signal routing using one of the four Extron 10" TouchLink® Pro touchpanels that are installed in the theater and control room. The touchpanels work in concert with a rack mounted IPCP Pro 250 control processor, which communicates with all controlled devices. The custom user interface on the TouchLink® Pro touchpanels is intuitive, streamlining operation of the theater’s AV system for novice as well as experienced users alike.

Results

According to Eric Schell, Founder and Owner of Clear ProAV, “Extron’s platform offers the incredible flexibility and features that enabled us to provide the highest-level of system performance and control throughout the Cinemark Theater at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.”

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