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Medialon Debuts In Greece At Foundation For The Hellenic World Cultural Center

FHWMedialon, thanks to the Greece-based integrator TELMACO, marks its first installation in Greece with the integration of a pair of Medialon Manager Pro show control systems at the Foundation of the Hellenic World (FHW) in Athens. FHW is a not-for-profit cultural institution dedicated to the preservation of Hellenic history and tradition.

In March 2006, FHW’s Cultural Center completed construction of the Tholos, a building housing a Virtual Reality system with a capacity of 130 people. Medialon controls the AV equipment for the Preshow and Tholos areas and is responsible for the operation of four plasma displays used for signage throughout the Center.

A leader in using virtual-reality technology for the public, the FHW enables visitors, wearing special stereoscopic glasses, to travel through time and space to monuments and sites of Greek cultural heritage and become immersed in virtual 3D worlds. Visitors get the feeling that the virtual space actually surrounds them and that they can actively participate in the exploration of the environment and even modify it.

In the Preshow area six plasma displays and speakers give visitors a welcome message from the staff as well as useful information about what they are about to see.

When they enter the Tholos area they begin a virtual journey to Athens from archaic times to the Roman era getting a close up view of the city‘s temples and beautiful buildings. With the goddess Athena as guide in the Agora visitors watch the destruction of Athens by the Persians, participate in building the Poikile Stoa, follow the Panathenaic Procession and can even vote in a process known as ‘ostrakismos‘ which allowed citizens to vote out men who where believed to be a threat for the good of the city; visitors take part in this process by pressing a button next to their seats and expressing their opinion of who they want to depart. Finally, the newest virtual reality tour takes visitors on a walk through Ancient Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games.

“The target was to create a user-friendly GUI to enable the FHW staff to run the show by pressing just a single button,” says Dimitris Mexis, responsible engineer for Control Systems of TELMACO, the integrator for the project. “Two different timelines were created, one for the Preshow area and one for the main show in the Tholos area. In addition, some more pages were created in the GUI, in order to control each device separately.”

The first timeline shuts down the lights in the Preshow area and sends commands to computers to reproduce the welcome and instructions AV content. By the end of this stage, the lights turn back on and visitors enter the Tholos area.

There Medialon Manager controls the cove lighting equipment giving the visitors a spectacular visual experience just prior to beginning their virtual trip back to Ancient Athens. The FHW staff uses the Medialon GUI to power projectors, sources, lighting, audio devices and more.

Medialon Manager is known for its easy GUI creation. The embedded GUI programming tool has been designed to allow fast and easy programming of control panel and touchscreen inside the software itself. Medialon Manager also comes with free user interface design software to easily deploy multiple control interfaces, such as touchscreens, over a network.

In conjunction with a number of peripheral devices (NPort, DMX card, IR module), Medialon Manager is used for the full control of AV and lighting equipment. “By using a number of communication protocols we succeed in controlling a lot of systems,” Mexis reports. “Specifically, the Ethernet protocol was used to control MS Windows and Linux computer systems, Serial and IR protocol to control audio and video equipment, and DMX to control lighting equipment.” Medialon Manager can adapt to any communication protocol, from DMX to MIDI, Serial to SMPTE, even ModBus and other protocol used in other industries.

The equipment piloted by Medialon through an AMX controller consists of a Delta server and Projection Design F3 projectors. Other equipment controlled by Medialon includes a Biamp Nexia, Biamp Audia, Extron MVX88 VGA A, Hitachi and Panasonic plasma displays, Microsoft Windows XP and Linux-based PCs, and lighting gear.

“We had the most excellent results with Medialon,” concludes Mexis. “There are always some difficulties during implementation but they were overcome with the help of Medialon technical support.”

About Medialon
Founded in 1992 and based in Europe and in the USA, Medialon designs and distributes software-based control systems for audiovisual equipment and digital media. As a leader in the show-control market, we count among our customers the largest museums in the world (Centre Pompidou, Vulcania, Metropolitan Museum of Art), prestigious theme parks (Futuroscope, Asterix, large US parks) and famous entertainment venues (Lido, Wynn Las Vegas, Apollo Theater NYC).

Manager software allows users to program and synchronize an unlimited number of devices (audio, video, lighting, image processors, special effects, etc). Its programming environment enables the easiest creation of scenarios, from the simplest to the most complex. Designed to be used in networks, it controls the latest-generation equipment over TCP IP. With more than 1000 licenses used daily in the world, it is now the industry standard.

Medialon‘s MIP is a multimedia hardware player which plays any type of digital media: Flash, Mpg, Divx, PPT, JPEG, HTML, URL, etc… with an integrated playlist programming and planning tool. MIP is used for the playback of media, interactive kiosks and digital signage in state-of-the-art museums such as the Mus�e du Quai Branly in Paris.

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