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Audiovisual Technology: Alcorn McBride at Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Exhibit and Visitors Center


Alcorn McBride supplies Digital Video Machines and Digital Audio Machines for Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Exhibit and Visitors Center.

Brooklyn Navy Yard’s rich and colourful history from before the Revolutionary War to its rebirth in the 21st Century is now showcased in a new exhibit and visitor’s centre, where guests can explore how the Yard has evolved over the years.

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A part of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the new centre takes a look at the history and innovation that has taken place at the yard, where many warships, including the Civil War’s USS Monitor, were  built. Bldg 92’s Brooklyn Navy Yard Center (BNYC) features a number of exhibits which use Alcorn McBride Digital Video Machines and Digital Audio Machines.

The BNYC is set in former naval officers’ quarters and serves as a model of industrial re-use and green manufacturing and features both interactive and conventional exhibits, videos and artefacts.

Alcorn McBride Digital Audio Visual Player at Brooklyn Navy Yard Visitors CenterOn the ground floor, five Alcorn McBride DVM-8400 Digital Video Machines drive a photo montage of five 46 inch Samsung displays, each of which contain a motion detector so that visitors trigger the story of the featured image as they approach. The audio, also supplied by Alcorn McBride, utilises sound-trap-housed speakers and AM4 Digital Audio Machines.

On the second floor, the Navy Yard’s history is documented in different periods and this was made possible by further AM4 Digital Audio Machines which deliver the audio information contained in the exhibit handsets. Videosonic choose Alcorn McBride again to supply a DVM-7400 Digital Video Machine for the orientation theatre, which drives the 70 inch screen display.

Videosonic Systems, Inc. was responsible for the design and build integration and worked closely with museum designer Robin Parkinson in order to pull together the ideas in the design package.

“We’ve had a lot of success with Alcorn McBride products over the years, ” says Glenn Polly, of Videosonic.  “They’re a well-known staple for museums thanks to their bullet-proof performance and reliability.”

Eugene Ababio, also of Videosonic and the senior project manager for the attraction said that “the Brooklyn Navy Yard has a pretty solid history and a lot to say” in the BNYC, “our priority was to make sure we could provide technology that would not hinder the storytelling process.”

He went on to say that this type of installation means that all of the components used are critical and at the BNYC, all of the devices used were Alcorn players. The use of Alcorn devices has led to less testing and troubleshooting time and Ababio also points out that Alcorn units are also “very powerful products yet simple to set up and manage”.

On the third floor of the centre, visitors will be fascinated by the model ships with embedded video monitors, which are again triggered by motion sensors. Further DVM-7400s are used in the display and even more provide additional playback in a wing whose porthole viewers/monitors detail battleship construction.

The story of the Navy’s Yard’s reinvention is told in a ‘rugged’ theatre space with a 70 inch screen, again driven by a DVM-7400 video player.

Ababio goes on to praise the technical support shown by Alcorn McBride and says that the company know their products inside out, “everyone I spoke with had an excellent understanding of their products and was able to offer instant solutions, ” he said.

“The project incorporated a number of content providers who didn’t all use the same technology.  Thank goodness, Alcorn supports all the major file formats and compression rates.  It was a relief for the content providers to hear us say, ‘Yeah, we can support that.’”

Southside Design’s Sam Morse was the exhibit fabricator for the BNYC.

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