Andrew Graney, Digital Director at Indigo Multimedia said: “A wall showing projected images of the bridge was one of our first ideas. We considered installing screens to show the media content, but felt that projectors would create a much more atmospheric mood. The projected images would be much larger and more impactful than screens, and the dramatic lighting would really contribute to the key message we wanted visitors to leave with which was a sense of awe at the unique and iconic bridge.”
Blackbox-av was appointed to install three Optoma ProScene X501 projectors, each with BlackBox 120 HD Media Players with auto-start looping presentations. One of the projectors also has a BlackBox sound amplifier with two speakers.
Annetta Park, Project Manager from Blackbox-av, said: “We chose the Optoma X501 because of its very bright projected light. The visitor centre has natural light from a glass door, and the X501 is able to project bright, colourful images even when the sun is shining through.”
This XGA projector boasts a brightness of 4,500 ANSI lumens and provides real flexibility in installation with its 1.6x zoom. All Optoma projectors use DLP technology, pioneered by Texas Instruments. This uses millions of mirrors to produce high quality imagery which does not suffer colour degradation over time, as sometimes experienced in other projector technologies. The dust-sealed, filter free design prevents dust and dirt from affecting the system ensuring optimal image quality with minimal maintenance. With full support for Crestron, Extron, AMX, PJ-Link and Telnet LAN commands, the projector can be controlled and monitored remotely over a LAN.
In contrast to the vintage feel of the projector displays, Blackbox-av also installed three interactive touch screens on site. These bring a high tech element to the visitor experience, and show the innovation and vision it took to build the Tees Transporter Bridge.
Andrew said: “It must have been quite marvellous to see such a thing as a mechanical bridge in 1911, and we wanted visitors to feel the legacy of technological innovation, quite literally, at their fingertips!
“The media we wanted to show were film and photographs of the Tees Transporter Bridge from the last 100 years since it opened. We worked closely with the North East Film Archive, which was brilliant at sourcing and editing the films for us. We were amazed and delighted to find a film of the opening ceremony in October 1911. It is only three minutes long but it is a real show-stopper. It is always great when a visitor spots the Chaplin-esque moment captured on the film when a spectator falls into the river and has to be rescued by the local bobby!
“The other films are also vintage (one from the 60s and one from the early 80s), and showing them using a projector seems so much more appropriate from an interpretation point of view, than using a flatscreen panel.”