June 21, 2019 | Dave Novak
Today’s audiences are conditioned to expect a cutting-edge environment and experience at the theater. Notably, the bar is set high by television sets and home audio systems that were unthinkable even a few years ago. Even the immersiveness and clarity of smartphones and tablets is exceedingly impressive.
Planning for and investing in the latest AV technology in your theater design is critical. Today’s theater-going experiences are more interactive and immersive than ever. Lighting, screens, and projections transport your audience to another place and time. Lectures, dance performances, concerts, musicals, plays -- the success of every performance depends on an engrossed audience.
Cutting-edge AV technology is a sound business investment for your theater.
We’ve already touched upon the challenges and expectations of today’s audiences. Keeping up with increasingly sophisticated competitors is a core driver of technology investment for many theaters, schools and performing arts centers.
A strategic investment in cutting-edge AV technology in your theater design also makes financial sense for your organization. While an initial investment in robust AV technology is necessary, the total cost of ownership on the highest-quality equipment results in a lower total cost of ownership. This is especially important to note for strategic short- and long-term budgeting.
Particularly in AV technology, quality is critical. Quality means fewer service calls or breakdowns, and a longer lifespan. Of course, higher quality equipment also delivers a more exceptional experience for your audiences. High-quality AV technology requires fewer, less frequent upgrades. When upgrades are warranted or requested, they are typically easier to implement, resulting in smaller investments than with lower quality options.
What technologies are delivering exceptional theater-going experiences today?
To better understand how cutting-edge AV technology in your theater design will help you deliver a better experience for your audiences, let’s examine some core AV technologies.
From Broadway shows to concerts, lectures and everything in between, projector technology helps to illuminate, immerse and transport your audiences. In many cases, your choice in projector technology will fall between laser and lamp technology. Lamp projectors use what is essentially a high-powered lightbulb to transmit light and images to a screen. When we think of traditional projectors (like those used when we were in school), those are a simpler form of lamp projectors. Laser projectors use laser technology to transmit light (and images) to screens.
Laser projectors offer the most cost-efficient and user-friendly option for projectors today. They remove many of the frustrations and costs associated with lamp projectors, including:
- Work and cost associated with replacing the projector bulbs. Lamp life on laser projectors is often more than 10 years.
- Pinpoint detail and color accuracy. Lasers simply offer more precise technology to transmit light and images.
- No “warm up” or “cool down” necessary, which can be frustratingly slow, and also leads to increased energy costs.
DLP Cinema Technology developed by Texas Instruments (TI) has set a new bar for vivid pictures and crystal clear video. At Spinitar, we are designing and implementing cinema systems using projectors with this Academy-Award winning technology -- delivering truly astounding results.
Smaller theaters and multipurpose theaters and spaces that do not need a cinema display at the level of DLP technology are more often suited to Epson projectors. At a fraction of the price, these projectors deliver vibrant images and video that dazzle audiences.
When you invest in a high-quality projector, a quality projector screen is essential to maximize that investment. While the artistry of traditional scenery will always have a place in the theater, the combination of cutting-edge projector and an incredible projector screen has had a dramatic effect on the theater-going experience.
INTERACTIVE ANNOTATION SYSTEM
With most adults now carrying smartphones (and checking them 52 times per day!), many theaters are struggling to keep audiences off their phones and engrossed with their productions. One way many theaters are integrating technology into their performances; however, is with interactive annotation systems. The potential for audiences to control some aspect of performances from their seats using their smart devices is intriguing, to be sure.
LED VIDEO DISPLAYS
Rather than using the traditional projector and screen technology, some theaters are integrating LED cinema screens into their performances. Their size and wide dynamic range are particularly impressive, with vibrant, bright colors and deep blacks.
Hearing is one of our most powerful senses, and your surround sound system is an integral AV technology in your theater design. The right surround sound technology will further transport your audiences into the story, presentation or artistry of your performance.
Voice reinforcement technology ensures that the last row in the balcony has the same audio experience as front row center. It allows audiences to follow the story, sing along with songs and become engrossed in the words of a speaker, without necessitating strain or yelling from your presenter, singers or actors.
SPEAKER AND MICROPHONE SCHEMES
Today’s speaker and microphone technology seamlessly integrate into your performances. They are more reliable and flexible than ever, allowing your performers to focus on what’s important...their performances, and not worry about their mics.
When your audiences arrive, they are seated inside a theater. When the curtain rises or the show the begins, lighting helps set the mood and transport them to another place entirely. It helps elicit emotion from your audience, create suspense and draw an audience into your production.
Strategic theater design and implementation of AV technology are critical.
While there are many cutting-edge AV technologies available for theaters today, strategic design and implementation of your theater design are critical to maximizing your investment -- and your results. At Spinitar, we work with theaters of all sizes across the country to design and integrate exceptional AV technology that transports and delights audiences.
Contact us today to schedule a call with one of our AV technology and theater experts.