Wireless Sound Control for Cinemas
Location:St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Murmansk Russia
Type of Business:Multiplex operator with 9 facilities, totaling 47 movie screens
Products Used:USR997924 24-Port Ethernet Switch, USR8200 Firewall/VPN/NAS Router, USR5461 Wireless MAXg Router
Kronverk Cinemas holds a leading position in St. Petersburg’s cinema market and ranks second among cinemas in Russia. The company operates nine multiplexes with a total of 47 screens, more than half of the city’s total number of screens. Kronverk is seen as an innovator within the cinema industry for its unique offerings at each multiplex and constantly is looking for ways to improve the customer experience. By offering the highest quality audio for movies and live events, Kronverk delivers on the promise of an exceptional theater experience.
Managing that audio quality can be difficult for sound engineers when different movies appear in each theater and live events demand sound levels different than those of digital films. Computer software to assist in the management of sound in theaters exists, but desktop computers in projection booths do not allow sound engineers to easily make changes or to listen to the results immediately. Sound engineers would have to make changes, test sound levels, make changes again, and test again in order to perfect the audio experience. Employee time was wasted between tests and often resulted in imperfect sound levels.
Kronverk Cinemas came to USRobotics looking for a wireless solution for sound engineers. USRobotics’ regional team developed a solution to link each theater’s sound amplifiers, equalizers, and surround sound systems to the network. USRobotics’ 24-Port Ethernet Switches, the USR8200 Firewall/VPN/NAS device, and Wireless MAXg Routers played a role in establishing the network. Laptop computers with sound management software were then joined to the network using built in wireless network adapters.
Sound engineers now use those laptop computers to change the settings of sound equipment in a theater while sitting in the center of the theater, rather than a sound-proofed projection booth. Slight alterations in settings can be tested immediately, and engineers can make changes to the sound while listening to the film itself. In addition, the flexibility of movement allows multiple sound engineers in one theater to listen to audio tracks and select the ideal settings for events and films for all members of the audience, not just those sitting in prime, center seats.
The customer experience at Kronverk Cinemas now exceeds that of other cinema chains. Sound quality in all 33 of Kronverk’s theaters is carefully managed by engineers and moviegoers now enjoy truer, more life-like sound quality. By offering better audio quality throughout an individual theater, Kronverk is able to offer an exceptional experience for all guests, no matter where their seats are.
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