Newseum in Washington, D.C., features 500 years of news history

The Newseum in Washington, D.C., is one of the most technologically advanced museums in the world, featuring 250,000sq-ft of hands-on exhibits, theaters and studios. The new facility combines 500 years of news history with the latest in newsgathering capabilities.
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New studio technology

— HD

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Communications Engineering Inc.

Design Team

CEI: Raef Alkhayat, proj. mgr., dir. of eng.

Newseum: Bud O’Connor, dir. of eng.

Technology at work

Avid DNA HD edit suites

Barco OverView displays

Canon Digi Super HDTV lenses

Christie DW3K DLP projectors

Chyron Hyper X CGs

Doremi

Nugget video players

ORCA-422 encoders

Elo TouchSystems touch screens

Euphonix MaxAir mixers

Evertz MVP display processors

Forecast consoles

Front Porch DIVArchive

Ikegami HDL-40C HDTV cameras

Sony SRW-5500 HDCAM VTRs

Tektronix WFM700A multiformat monitors

Thomson Grass Valley

K2 HD servers

Kalypso HD switchers

LDK6000 HD cameras

Vista Systems Spyder video processors

Wohler MON2-3W/HR monitors

Newseum in Washington, D.C., features 500 years of news history

The Newseum in Washington, D.C., is one of the most technologically advanced museums in the world, featuring 250,000sq-ft of hands-on exhibits, theaters and studios. The new facility combines 500 years of news history with the latest in newsgathering capabilities.

The task of designing, integrating and installing the wide array of broadcasting and audiovisual equipment was handled by Communications Engineering Inc. (CEI). One of the key challenges for this project was the need to install the systems while the 643,000sq-ft, seven-story building was under construction.

The master control room was challenging because it not only acts as the control center for managing all aspects of the facility’s systems, but also it is a primary attraction for visitors. The room needed to be functional as well as aesthetically suitable for the museum.

The room features 18 equipment racks and nine 50in Barco rear-projection cubes controlled by an Evertz MVP multi-image display processor. From here, operators can control the video and audio that is displayed throughout the facility, including the content on more than 160 touch screens in interactive kiosks. CEI supplied hundreds of PCs and worked with Evertz to build a special bidirectional fiber-optic device that could handle 1920 x 1200 resolution, RS-232, USB and audio for managing the kiosks.

The master control room, with three large consoles, also handles broadcasts coming into the building and will be the center for the facility’s IT systems. Four robotic cameras placed inside and outside are operated from the master control room as well.

A main focal point is a 22ft x 40ft Barco high-res modular LED display. It is mounted on a lift that can be raised or lowered 30ft depending on the type of event taking place. Images displayed on the screen are played out from the master control room.

CEI also built two identical HD production control rooms with adjoining audio control rooms for two broadcast studios. The TV studio is expected to be used for public affairs and news programs by major TV networks.

A second, smaller studio features a backdrop of the U.S. Capitol. Eight Thomson Grass Valley HD cameras can be used in any combination in the studios. SMPTE fiber was installed in the studios to provide flexibility for a variety of productions and cameras.

CEI also built four Avid HD edit rooms plus a multipurpose room that serves as an Avid suite, screening room and audio post-production room. A central equipment room contains servers for the 12 SD and 36 HD channels of content being played back throughout the facility. An ingest room enables the intake of content in a variety of formats.