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Yamaha digital sound reels in audiences at Norwegian cinemas

Jan, 2010

The almost limitless flexibility of Yamaha’s DME range of digital mixing engines means that they are to be found in a remarkable variety of installations. One industry which has become a prolific user of DME is Norwegian cinema, with most of the country’s top grossing screens now sporting Yamaha equipment.

The preference for DME-based systems in Norway comes from the very top. The Norsk Film Institute (NFI) features a DME installation and is literally the axle upon which the Norwegian film industry revolves, with over 2000 screenings a year in its Oslo premises. Around half of these are previews of major international releases for press and cinema owners, so having the best sound and vision is a fundamental requirement.

The rest of the industry has been quick to follow the NFI’s example, cinema owners seeing the many benefits that installing Yamaha-based digital audio systems bring to their facilities.

Unique Cinema Systems (UCS) is one of Norway’s major suppliers to the country’s cinema industry and the company, which introduced the Yamaha DME64N to the Scandinavian cinema market., It has sold more than 50 DME64N and many Yamaha amplifiers and loudspeakers, with over 10% of Norway’s cinemas now featuring Yamaha equipment, a figure which is rising monthly.

“Yamaha equipment has been installed in all of Norway’s most prestige cinemas, such as the Colosseum and Ringen in Oslo, Konsertpaleet in Bergen and the brand new, all-digital Larvik cinema,” says Torkell Sætervadet of UCS.

“However, these are just examples, as Yamaha equipment has been installed in a high number of cinemas.”

The DME-64N is used as the central audio processor at each cinema, performing source selection, EQ, volume control, speaker processing and DA conversion functions. Each unit is programmed with scenes for all possible uses, including film playback over digital equipment, film playback from 35mm, conference scenarios, evacuation broadcasts and so on. Each setting is accessible through the simple selection of a scene, allowing non-technical staff to select the right preset for whatever is required from the audio system.

“The over-complicated structure of many cinema audio systems is due to the fact that most cinema components can only do a part of the job required,” says Torkell. “The DME64N allows us to replace the large number of processing units in a tradition cinema audio system, streamlining the signal path and ensuring that audio signals aren’t converted back and forth between the analogue and digital domains.

“This not only makes operation of the entire system a lot simpler, but also significantly improves both system reliability and audio quality.”

In addition to the DME units, UCS is installing Yamaha amplifiers in most systems.

“We are using the XP series for the majority of sites while, for the sites requiring extended network monitoring, we are using the PC1N series. Both amplifier types offer unmatched performance and reliability,” says Torkell.

Meanwhile, while some installations are using Alcons and Klipsch speakers, Yamaha’s Installation Series IF3115 and IL1115 loudspeakers are in demand for where a screen needs a compact and flyable system.

“Yamaha equipment offers ultra-high performance, plus unmatched reliability and versatility,” says Torkell. “The systems we are supplying are proving a huge success and we have yet to find another manufacturer that gets even close to matching the price: performance ratio of Yamaha equipment.”

Data

Products PM1DV2 , DME64N , IF3115/64

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