The Beeld en Geluid – which translates to Sound & Vision – Institute is located on the Mediapark in Hilversum, Netherlands. This national centre for media manages a broad, growing media collection. As well as one of the largest audio-visual collections in Europe, the Institute is home to examples of written press, political press, games, websites and media-related objects. Within the Institute is the newly opened Media Museum; a series of experiential and interactive exhibitions that showcase the changing landscape of media to encompass influencers, storytelling and gameplay.
The new Media Museum has replaced a previous exhibition at the Beeld en Geluid that focused on the history of TV and radio. As part of the reimagination of the museum, the brief from concept and consultancy agency XPEX was to create an immersive space where visitors are organically and magically part of the media. To add to this all-encompassing experience, lighting and media control were vital. This has been achieved through the specification and use of a substantial number of solutions from Pharos Architectural Controls, which perform two distinct roles.
The first role is all about lighting control. As part of the museum’s transformation, the space has been reconfigured into several themed pavilions. All of these pavilions utilise Pharos Designer LPCs (Lighting Playback Controller) to control the lighting, including the overhead fixtures and the linear lighting that is built into the furniture. In total, 11 networked LPC 1s with DMX512 over sACN have been installed to control the lighting in the Media Museum.
The Designer LPC is an award-winning, all-in-one controller from Pharos Architectural Controls that is designed for 24/7 operation. Offering unrivalled reliability for LED installations, the LPC features individually controllable and independently running timelines and scenes. This is ideal for offering fully customisable pre-programmed lighting effects that venues such as museums rely on to create atmosphere and visitor engagement.
The second Pharos role focuses on LED pixel array control. The museum’s Media Reactor, an example of a large LED pixel screen, displays a stream of media that surrounds the audience and connects all of the themed pavilions together, representing the constant flow of media we encounter in our daily lives. Here, 380 sACN universes are controlled by a Pharos Designer VLC 500 (Video Playback Controller 500) with content captured from an FHD live video output of the dual Disguise media server. An additional three VLC 50s are used for more localised dynamic LED pixel screens, such as the audio-visual wall in the Games pavilion.
The VLC is an extremely capable and cost-effective architectural lighting control solution for large LED pixel arrays. The VLC makes it simple to play video content across an array, either from locally stored HD media files or a DVI-D video input. It also offers a range of creative, generative effects and the versatility of powerful show control and integration features.
A Pharos Designer TPC (Touch Panel Controller) completes the control system at the Media Museum. The Pharos TPC is a sophisticated touch screen lighting controller offering vast design potential with a fully integrated user interface utilising a single Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) network connection. The touch panel is customisable, and can integrate with the full range of Pharos Designer controllers and remote devices.
Mark De Gruyter from Pharos Architectural Controls said: “Creating immersive and interactive exhibitions is an area that Pharos excels at. Our solutions are the pinnacle of control technology, offering the capability to deliver control across lighting and media, both of which are vital in experiential settings. Our LPC, VLC and TPC are working in perfect harmony at the Media Museum to deliver an excellent experience for visitors.”
Rutger van Dijk from SemMika added: “The design of the new Media Museum needs to enrapture visitors from the moment they step inside. The lighting and MediaReactor really help to build that immersive experience, and the control of these are key to make the visitor feel they are a part of the media, not just an onlooker. Working with Pharos gave us the technology we needed to achieve this and ensure visitors are captivated by the space and exhibits.”
Concept and art direction: XPEX
Concept, spatial and graphic design: tinker imagineers
Lighting design: ACTLD
AV technology: BeamSystems
Lighting technology: Syndesie, Ata Tech
MediaReactor LED modules: Ata Tech
Project management AV technology, ShowControl and lighting: SemMika, Rutger van Dijk
Lighting control – Pharos Architectural Controls
Pharos programming: SemMika, Rutger van Dijk
Photo credits: Jorrit Lousberg