NEW YORK CITY -- Atlanta-based Velocity Productions reports that it recently completed a full atrium remodel for the NYC headquarters of the American Bible Society (ABS) located just a few blocks north of Manhattan’s Columbus Circle at 61st and Broadway. According to Velocity President Brian Pirkle, Renewed Vision’s ProVideoPlayer and ProPresenter software were both integral to the project’s success.
ABS’ goal with the Atrium, which is found just inside the large glass pavilion on its Broadway façade, was to transform it into an innovative and inviting “third space” that would draw New Yorkers in to relax, socialize, have a snack, connect via free WiFi and ultimately be exposed to both Scripture and the free Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) upstairs.
Velocity Productions, which is primarily known as a full-service production and event management company, also specializes in content delivery systems and content creation. This niche proved to be the right match for ABS, which planned to pair the debut of its newly renovated space with a gala launch event for The Bible, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s epic 10-hour mini-series for The History Channel. That series, which aired over all five Sundays in March, immediately topped cable television’s viewer ratings and has now been seen by more than 100 million people.
The primary focal point of the Atrium’s new interior is a stunning four-by-two tiled video wall comprised of eight 46-inch Barco LCD monitors driven by eight Apple Mac minis running ProVideoPlayer digital signage software. Seven of the minis are slaved via network node versions of the program to the eighth mini, which is running ProVideoPlayer HD.
On the wall running parallel to West 61st Street are seating portals containing additional Barco video monitors – three facing into the space with the other three directly behind them showing the same content to pedestrians and drivers outside. Video material for each screen pair comes from a single Mac mini running ProPresenter 5 media presentation software.
Four vertically mounted monitors adjacent to the stairway at the front of the space detail MOBIA’s exhibits upstairs, while a 19th Barco NSL-4621 screen at the rear of the room serves as a digital menu for the café. Mac minis loaded with ProPresenter all similarly drive content for these devices.
Aside from the proven facts that ProPresenter and ProVideoPlayer are extremely stable and deliver beautiful, high-definition video playback, the networkability and remote monitoring/control of each device using the software was paramount to both the integrator and end user.
“The entire system is networked together and fully capable of not only being monitored but operated from anywhere,” says Pirkle. “Using Apple’s Remote Desktop feature, we can very easily power-up every computer and display in the Atrium from our cellphones. In fact, I’ve watched our system engineer, Aaron Hawthorne, restart computers from his cellphone while out to dinner one night.
“Thankfully, the Renewed Vision software is extremely user-friendly and the American Bible Society staff – most of whom are not really technical people, per se – have no problems using and updating it as they need on a daily basis. But the fact that we can immediately troubleshoot any device on their system from our offices without having to jump on a plane or walk them through a complicated series of steps over the phone was a significant driving decision in going with the ProVideoPlayer and ProPresenter solutions.”
According to American Bible Society Director of Arts and Media Matt Steinruck, “Our vision was to create a space that was conducive for engagement on various levels. Within the central core of the space, the Atrium provides an environment simply for guests to ‘be’ with plenty of seating, opportunities to meet, read, browse and relax. But they’re surrounded on the periphery by stunning visuals with a constant reminder of God’s Word in some of the most creative forms available today. No matter which way you look, the audio and visual elements contribute significantly to the mission of the space.
“The Atrium transformation still stuns both our internal staff and visitors. There’s nothing like it in New York. Already, in the first two months, we’ve seen powerful engagement, interaction, and stories of life-change, both in interpersonal communication as well as interaction with the installed media and technology. That’s really the ultimate compliment of any system and project.”
Over the coming months, Velocity Productions will continue to deliver fresh media content to coincide with the Atrium’s exhibits. Projects already on the horizon include displays based on GSN’s game show, The American Bible Challenge, and Kurt Warner’s new series for USA Network, The Moment.
Although Velocity Productions served as the lead production and project manager for the ABS Atrium remodel, Pirkle is quick to point out that the venture was a collaborative effort that also benefitted from the expertise of Bamboo Creative (software development), Big Vision Group (fabrication and casework), Rebekah Adkins (lead designer), Carrie Allen at Orchestrate (interior designer and implementation) and Clark (technology consultants).
Headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, Renewed Vision (www.renewedvision.com) is a leading manufacturer of cross-platform video production software for a myriad of professional environments, including live concerts, houses of worship, sporting events, conferences and even broadcast television. Founded in 2000 with the premise of “enhancing environments through technology,” Renewed Vision’s three core products – ProPresenter, ProVideoPlayer and ProVideoServer – are all widely celebrated for their stability, ease of use and affordability.
Credit for all photos: Drew Hood
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Tel: 404.935.4044 / Fax: 678.302.4369