EUROPE'S FIRST DIGITAL MULTIPLEX GOES MARTIN AUDIO
Sound Associates outfit ten Vue screening rooms in Hull
Vue Entertainment has selected Martin Audio to provide cinema sound systems for its Princes Quay Hull cinema, Europe's first new-build, all-digital multiplex cinema.
Vue has invested £5m in developing the multiplex and equipping it with state of the art digital projection and processed surround sound technology as part of the complete innovation package. Martin Audio has been the system of choice for Vue Cinemas for many years and each system is purpose-built for Vue.
Throughout Hull's ten screening rooms Martin Audio's purpose-developed Screen 5 or Screen 4 systems (depending on room size) have been fitted, accompanied by Screen Sub 1A's and Effect 5 surround speakers. These were set into position by Canadian company Eomac, who also designed the screen frames and stretch wall fabric, with the full termination/integration and commissioning of the sound and projection system carried out by cinema specialists Sound Associates.
Designed for 'behind the screen' placement, Martin Audio's narrow-profile, three-way, THX-approved loudspeakers have been purpose built for cinema environments. Both the Screen 4 and 5 incorporate a 2 x 15' LF section plus dedicated midrange and HF (the former offering 90° x 40° dispersion pattern, the latter 90° x 50°).
These are accompanied behind the screen by the Screen Sub 1A, which uses a single 18" long excursion high power driver, while large area tapered twin ports ensure minimum turbulence down to the lowest frequencies demanded by today's digital soundtracks.
Featured throughout the auditoria is the Effect 5, Martin Audio's THX-approved two-way passive surround system, housing a 100° x 60° horn.
Elsewhere at Vue Hull, the installation of a 10-Terabyte computer server allows over 100 movies to be stored at any one time, providing the opportunity to offer a wide and varied choice of content. The projectors in all ten rooms can also be networked allowing immediate film transfers, so programming can be scheduled into the Dolby Show Library on a Thursday for the entire week ahead. The system can also be programmed remotely from a laptop.
Another major benefit of digital projection is the installation of Dolby 3D digital cinema in their largest 238-seat screening room while the cinema has two premier 'Vue Evolution' screens, complete with beanbags, sofa pods and superior seating. A satellite link to one of these screens will also enable the showing of live music, sport and comedy events under Vue's 'Larger than Live' initiative. Site-wide distribution of movies is made possible by the use of Dolby's proprietary Show Store library, Show Player and CP650 digital processor.
Mark Buck, the projection manager at Vue Hull, confesses that although well aware of Martin Audio's pedigree, this has been his first exposure to the company's signature sound. The audio sources are sent from the Dolby Show Player via the CP650, which decodes the signals and feeds the 5.1 speaker array.
Mark said, 'The sound systems in the screens are incredible. I have never heard anything like it. The sound can be amazingly discreet and there is no bleed whatsoever. The amount of power the Martin Audio system provides is remarkable. Above all the sound system has run faultlessly from Day One'.
But it's the combined sound and picture quality he describes as 'unbelievable' The 60ft x 40ft masked Harkness screen offers no light bleed and full-screen picture right to the edge, with no drop off. Both the picture quality and sound remain in pristine condition. Mark went on to say, 'In the digital world there is no sign of deterioration whatsoever. It's all incredibly futuristic and I never thought you would be able to fill a screen as large as this with digital images.'
This futuristic approach includes a 'Superior Seating' option in every screen, offering luxurious leather seats and extra leg room over the industry-standard stadium seating already employed, while other offerings include a fully licensed bar, special foyer seating and touch-screen interactive ticket purchasing (as there is no box office). Future innovations will include mobile ticketing (where guests can have their tickets sent to their mobile phone) and print at home ticketing.
Tim Richards, CEO Vue Entertainment, said 'This ground breaking all digital cinema is hugely exciting not just for Vue and the community of Hull but for the cinema industry in the UK. We believe this development paves the way for the future of cinema by encouraging film distribution and studios into providing more films in digital format.
About Vue Entertainment:
Vue Entertainment is the most modern multiplex circuit in the UK with 62 state-of-the-art cinemas across the UK and Ireland. The estate includes 607 screens and entertains over 33 million customers every year. Formed in May 2003, Vue is one of the fastest growing cinema companies in the country. Vue continues its expansion in 2008 with a further 4 sites planned to open this year and an additional 15 to be added by the end of 2010.
The state-of-the-art auditoriums provide the ultimate cinema experience, enhanced by the most progressive projection and Dolby Digital Surround Sound technology. The inclusions of 2K digital projectors for some screens enable a wider range of movies to be shown with the highest possible viewing quality.
Vue continues to pioneer its unique screenings of live music, comedy and sporting events by providing satellite links from live events beamed directly to the cinema as part of the Vue Larger than Live programme. This has included Take That, Kylie Minogue, Genesis, F1 British Grand Prix and Ross Noble at various cinemas across the country.
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Rekations
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312 Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669 Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140