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Fashion Retail Academy goes Digital

Christie 1DLP and 3DLP projectors part of integrated technical upgrade




Christie DS+10K-M, Christie DHD775-E

Fashion Retail Academy goes Digital

Opening in 2006, in the heart of London’s busiest shopping street, the Fashion Retail Academy was the first National Skills Academy in the UK. Funded by a public-private partnership, the Academy’s mission was to inspire and develop young talent for a career in the fashion retail industry, training people for the modern workplace and equipping them with experience and opportunities for careers in this challenging and exciting sector.

When the Fashion Retail Academy made the decision to upgrade and enhance its AV systems at its vast building on London’s chic Oxford Street, proAV was commissioned to design and install a scheme that would incorporate state-of-the-art technologies, and provide the Academy’s students with a more interactive and insightful learning experience.

ProAV designed an integrated solution which included cutting-edge projection from Christie, surrounded by display, digital signage and control systems, and succeeded in incorporating a number of legacy devices while recognising the current and future audio visual requirements of the Academy’s key spaces — the Lecture Theatre and Reception areas (respectively at basement and ground floor levels).

These are the two areas where Christie solutions come into their own.

The emphasis throughout the project remained firmly on high definition visual impact with 1080p projection, multiple displays and full HD lecture capture functionality, with a high specification digital sound solution.

In the Lecture Theatre, proAV have opted for a Christie DHD775-E single-chip DLP (1080p) 7000 centre lumens projector — a low maintenance, energy-saving, dust sealed unit, with a dual lamp option for redundancy. In the Reception area a similarly low-maintenance, Christie DS+14K-M 3-Chip DLP 14,000 centre lumens SXGA+ sealed unit projector has been deployed, with a dual lamp option for further economy. Offering full brightness with two lamps instead of four guarantees high efficiency and low cost of ownership.

Upgrading to Digital

ProAV’s account manager, Richard Everard, was enthusiastic about the results. “The original Christie analogue projectors were installed when the Academy was built, seven years ago. The Academy wanted a digital upgrade and Christie is exactly what we would use for high end installations such as this.

“This was always the brand I wanted to quote, and it was important to maintain consistency. The Reception area is a brightly lit environment and the image generated by the old projector was starting to wash out. The solution required powerful three-chip DLP® and the M-series now delivers vivid images.” The projector, fitted with 2.8-4.5:1 zoom lens, is mounted high up on a Unicol pole and is fed from a Onelan digital signage solution featuring high end media player for multi-video display, customised content and interactive flash applications.

With the projection surface in the Lecture Theatre restricted to 4:3 aspect ratio, Richard Everard said the decision to opt for the SXGA projector, custom mounted for balcony fixing, was axiomatic.

Both the Christie projectors are fed from the central routing matrix and the digital signage in Reception can either streams an array of multimedia contact to students and staff, presenting a powerful and memorable profile to visitors, or it can double as an overflow space for oversubscribed events, allowing audio and visual feeds to be relayed from the Theatre to Reception.

The theatre, which also contains two repeater screens with DVI inputs and 18” interactive pen display for lectern, operates under Crestron control, with the main 10” master control touch panel unit located at the mixing desk (along with monitor bank for PTZ cameras and 19in DSP/radio receiver rack), while a 7in touch screen down at the customised lectern houses a number of inputs, laptop facilities and iPad connectivity.

As part of the project, stage lighting was contracted in to integrate with central control systems, offering spot lighting on the lectern and ability for different coloured scenes and splash colours across the stage.

Elsewhere, a screen in the canteen will allow, when required, selected camera imagery, Sky TV or digital signage.

The result is a powerful, integrated audio visual solution that sets the Fashion Retail Academy apart with a pioneering educational environment and all the technological resources to deliver a dynamic teaching experience to its students.

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