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“Shale Voyager” Virtual Theater Experience at New Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas is Fueled by Alcorn McBride Products

In the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, the Tom Hunt Energy Hall’s 4D Theater experience, “Shale Voyager,” is controlled by Alcorn McBride’s V4 Pro show controller and 8-channel Digital Binloop HD player.

The $185 million museum opened December 1 near downtown Dallas and is a hands-on destination for discovery featuring five floors of public space with 11 permanent exhibit halls. The Tom Hunt Energy Hall, funded by a gift from Hunt Petroleum Corp., features a small theater, dubbed “Shale Voyager,” which provides a virtual experience that educates participants about the process of hydraulic fracturing. Video and motion chairs give visitors the sense of what it would be like to shrink to the size of a grape, travel vertically down a 6,500-foot borehole, come out horizontally through the black rock of North Texas’s Barnett Shale and whoosh back to the surface when the gas is released.

“Shale Voyager was designed as a cylindrical theater with a spherical top,” explains Paul Bernhard of Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design and Consulting who designed, built and programmed the theater. “Three platforms hold seven people each in a semi-circle. Six screens are in the ceiling; three represent portholes. Another screen is in the floor. The screens show visitors what they’re seeing on their virtual voyage to the Barnett Shale.”

Bernhard chose Alcorn McBride’s Digital Binloop HD to play the show’s video and the V4 Pro to control the show, including the doors and seats.

The Digital Binloop HD provides up to 8 channels of HD video in a compact, economical and highly-reliable package designed for continuous daily use with no maintenance. Video clips are stored on Compact Flash media so there are no moving parts to wear out; each card can hold hours of media.

The V4 Pro is a versatile, frame-accurate controller for serial and network devices. It features 16 optically isolated inputs, 16 discrete outputs with self-restoring fuses, video frame sync and a realtime clock/calendar. It’s capable of running every day for years, without ever requiring reboots, software updates or maintenance of any kind.

“Everything is working very nicely; the synchronization is great,” Bernhard reports. “Alcorn McBride has a reputation as the go-to company for complex show control – they’re one of the leaders. Our set up has been very reliable, and visitors are really enjoying the show.”

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in Dallas, Texas, with campuses in Victory Park and Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The $185 million Victory Park museum, designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, opened to the public December 1, 2012. The Perot Museum is named in honor of Margot and Ross Perot, the result of a $50 million gift made by their five adult children. To learn more about the Perot Museum, please visit perotmuseum.org.

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