Located in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. the Written in Bone Exhibit examines the history of the early settlers in the Chesapeake Region. This exhibit provides an analysis of human skeletons giving us tremendous insight on the people and events in America’s history.
McCann Systems was hired by Hadley Exhibits, the fabricators for this new exhibit to integrate the audio visual aspects of the space. There are nine informative media rich exhibits to explore here.
Seven LCD’s in the different areas of this exhibit. The ceiling mounted Dakota Speakers that we used allow for focused sound; directional audio, so the sound is aimed at a specific area, keeping it contained. We find these types of speakers to be very effective in museum settings. McCann Systems also installed an AMX control system with a NFX card frame and rack mounted touchpanel. In addition to the typical controls this type of system offers, McCann Systems used custom software allowing the control system to integrate seamlessly into the building management software and the Univision lighting system that was already in place. This custom software allows the museum staff to schedule events and show times as well as control lighting in the space through their management system. Additionally the programmable presets for volume levels give the client the ability to schedule different presets throughout the day depending on traffic flow at the museum. Using Cat5 infrastructure McCann Systems provided video transmitters and receivers from the control room to each of the displays allowing HD content to be displayed on the screens. Each display has a BrightSign Digital Media Player allowing for DVD quality content playback.
McCann Systems coordinated with the History Channel to facilitate encoding of the HD content displayed. Using the BrightSign playback features McCann Systems was able to create a script which allowed the HD content provided by the History Channel to play back and loop upon system start-up.
McCann Systems also worked with the building fire team installing a relay module near the control system. This enables all of the audio visual equipment to shut down in the case of fire so visitors can exit safely without being distracted.