Sennheiser Gives Nature an Edge in Hawaii

The new $13 million Hanauma Bay Marine Education Center features Sennheiser IR systems, letting visitors select from eight languages during the A/V orientation.
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Sennheiser Gives Nature an Edge in Hawaii

Sep 30, 2002 12:00 PM

Administrators of the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in Honolulu had tocontend with the language barrier they face in educating tourists fromall over the world. The treasures at the site include the coral reefthat rings an ancient volcano crater, which was inundated by the risingocean level thousands of years ago and is accessible by a trolley.

The solution to the language barrier was a new marine educationcenter that uses audio technology coupled with a crowd-managementsystem. Key to the P.A. is a Sennheiser infrared (IR) wireless systemfor the center's multiple-language A/V orientation.

As visitors enter the site and purchase tickets, they file into a1,600-square-foot theater in groups of about 125 people, about 75 ofwhom will use translation headsets. Using a wireless touch-panelcontroller, a system operator activates four Pioneer DVD players thathave presentations recorded in languages including English, Chinese,Hawaiian, Korean, and Japanese. The DVD players are linked with a DaveJones synchronizer. While one language is delivered overceiling-installed speakers, other languages are transmitted through aninfrared light signal to Sennheiser HDI1029-PLL8 multichannel receiverheadphones.

Visitors can select the language they want from one of eightchannels and can view a seven-minute video clip projected onto a9-by-14-foot Draper screen. In addition, a 42-inch Sony plasma unitdelivers closed-captioned information in English for the hearingimpaired.

The Sennheiser system consists of two SI 29-5/NT 5-channelrackmounted modulators that combine signals from the DVD players intoone infrared light signal sent to two ceilingmounted SZI 1029-W emitterpanels. The white emitter panels in turn transmit the infrared signalto the HDI1029-PLL8 battery-powered headsets in the hands of thevisitors.

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