The Bowland lecture theatre is a dual-purpose space, used as a traditional 254 seat lecture theatre during the day and as a cinema in the evenings and at weekends.
Pure AV upgraded the audiovisual system to optimise the performance of the space whether in use by a student, lecturer or someone visiting the cinema.
The solution implemented needed to work alongside the existing NEC N2000 Digital Cinema projector and integrate with the shared audio and AMX control system.
It had to simplify the control for the lecturer and optimise the image and sound quality experienced by the audience, whether in a lecture or watching a film.
From a technical management perspective, the new system required the introduction of additional audio and video connectivity in the AV room able to offer greater flexibility during technician supported events.
One of the greatest challenges in a multipurpose space like the Bowland lecture theatre is the creation of two very different audio experiences. The requirement for excellent speech intelligibility and even content playback when in use as a lecture theatre contrary to the desired theatrical experience when in use as a cinema.
The works completed by Pure AV retained the existing NEC N2000 digital cinema projector and projection screen and replaced the equipment used when in lecture theatre mode. The introduction of a new 12,000-lumen Panasonic laser projector fully integrated into the shared audio and AMX control system provided a better visual experience for students during teaching and simplified the process of switching between the two modes of usage.
The touch panel on the lectern was reprogrammed to offer a user interface consistent with the rest of the university estate and the introduction of Mersive Solstice added wireless connectivity.
A new voice reinforcement system improved speech intelligibility and the Pure AV audio specialist programmed and commissioned the audio system to deliver the best possible sound output for each usage scenario with the system now configured with pre-sets to prioritise atmospheric immersion when in use as a cinema and clarity of speech and intelligibility for teaching.
Those responsible for the support of the lecture theatre have seen a marked reduction in call-outs and improvements to student feedback as David Neal, teaching space coordinator explained,
“The upgrade to the teaching equipment has dramatically improved the learning environment; lecturers have commented on how much better the audio is in the space and how much clearer the presentation content is compared to the past. The fact that the operation of the theatre is now the same as in other teaching spaces has also resulted in fewer call outs for setup support, the lecturers simply come in and get on with delivering the lesson.”
As far as the Student Cinema society are concerned, it’s been business as usual, with the added benefit of a more simplified operation of the system and an enhanced audio experience.