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Communications Engineering to Design Newseum Video Facilities

Communications Engineering, of Newington, Va., has been selected to design and integrate the video facilities for the Freedom Forum's new $400 million Newseum facility in downtown Washington, D.C. The new 600,000-square-foot interactive museum facility will replace the original Arlington, Va., Newseum, which closed in 2002.

Scheduled to open in 2007, the Newseum will showcase state-of-the-art broadcasting technology in several areas, including two HD studios and control rooms, 140 interactive video kiosks and a theater equipped with video walls to allow visitors to view breaking news and a variety of historic news footage.

The larger of the two planned studios will have 2,900 square feet of floor space and accommodate a 125-person audience. It will be equipped with five high-definition television cameras. The second studio is being designed for virtual sets and will incorporate two cameras.

Control rooms will be constructed with DLP monitor walls, Evertz multiplexing, and feature conventional cathode ray preview and program monitors. Digital audio mixers will be used in both control rooms.

An additional facility will monitor and control all incoming and outgoing Newseum video and audio feeds. This control room will also provide video for the Newseum's Global Immersion Theater and a 40-by-22-foot main lobby video display, which will be constructed from 400 Barco ILite 6-millimeter LED panels. Nine, 50-inch DLP units will be used to create a 33-foot-wide monitor wall in the same area.

The interactive video information kiosks will be constructed around individual, 24-inch touchscreen terminals and will allow users to access a variety of content.

Four Avid edit suites will also be constructed as part of the CEI contract.

The Newseum will use high-tech displays to show visitors how the media has covered news events during the past century, and to explain the history of newsgathering and reporting.

CEI has been providing television systems design and integration services for nearly 20 years and will be responsible for the Newseum's audiovisual and broadcast areas. Raef Alkhayat, associate director of engineering, will be in charge of the project.