20.07.06

Kölcsey Conference Centre

AUTHOR: Inavate

One of Hungary’s premier Cities has a new focus for events with AV equipment installed by a local company.

Earlier in the year, audiovisual systems specialists Interton completed a significant project in the Hungarian city of Debrecen. The new Kölcsey Congress Centre is the country’s second largest facility of its kind and forms a multifunctional centre to the Debrecen’s unique cultural life.

The Kölcsey Centre includes three buildings, a Congress Centre, a Hotel and a Museum. The congress centre, which Interton were involved in, contains a large auditorium seating 1100 souls, a ballroom, eight partitioned “section rooms” and a multifunctional ballroom / exhibition space as well as a small AV studio and an impressive entrance foyer.

Interton was responsible for design and installation of an AV system which turns a modern building into an up-to-date congress centre. The complexity of the project was summed up by Dr Géza Balogh Technical Manager of Interton: “The building ‘ate’ more than 30km of AV cabling, more than 350 loudspeakers of various types, which are driven by over 40,000W of amplification power. 13 projectors with brightnesses up to 10,000 ANSI Lumens were installed, along side an interpretation system serving up to 600 people.”

The large auditorium forms the centre piece of the project and it was intended by the designer that it should have a system capable of changing the room acoustics by the means of electroacoustical tools. After testing of various solutions, Interton’s DCR (Digital Control of Reverberation) system was selected. The company developed this through the combination of their knowledge of electronics, acoustics and electroacoustics and it was the first of its kind in Hungary capable of changing room acoustics by electronics.

The DCR system is capable of altering the reverberation time of auditorium from 1 to 2.5 seconds in 5 steps, providing the optimal reverberation for all the various genres of music. It has been welcomed by musicians and the public alike. It consists of 26 special AKG microphones and 40 TOA loudspeakers with accompanying amplification. Using a Crestron touch panel the reverberation time can be altered in seconds.

The large auditorium is fan shaped, and the size and shape of the stage can be altered. There is therefore no proscenium or proscenium arch, meaning that the three main speaker clusters (LRC) are hung above the stage from the ceiling. The system selection was ultimately determined by the need for a very high SPL whilst minimising the size of the clusters themselves, as well as required 135 degree horizontal coverage resulting from the fanned shape of the room.

Community’s SLS915, the smallest member of the Solutions range, proved to be the answer. Each cluster contains three SLS915s to achieve the required 135 degree coverage. Four SBS25 subwoofers are located near the back walls. This configuration provides a total SPL > 110dB, with a decently wide frequency response range of 30Hz – 18 kHz. SLS 915s are also used for side and rear sound, and Community’s Cloud12s are used for ceiling sound. Monitor and mobile speakers come in the form of TD212s and XP505s.

All the speakers are driven by TOA’s IP-series power amplifiers. These are located in the flies, which reduced the heat generation in the control room, and are remotely monitored from the control room via a PC. Yamaha’s PM5D provides mixing for all live events and headphones and microphones contain a large selection of AKG products.

The Ballroom acts as a multifunctional area of the building. Balls, live performances and concerts, as well as exhibitions can all be held there. Because RT is higher than in the auditorium (around 2s), more special FOH speaker clusters were installed there. Each cluster consists of two Community SLS915 and an SBS22, providing good STI against higher RT. Surround sound comes from Community CPL42s and TOA F-2322C ceiling speakers. The Ballroom also has it’s own control room with a similar configuration to the Auditorium.

The 8 partitioned “section” rooms feature full room acoustics and mobile walls are used for separating or opening these rooms together. TOA wide frequency response ceiling speakers (F-2322C again) are used, to achieve good STI. All the control gear, such as the TOA A-1700 amplifiers and AKG WMS-4000 receivers, as well as playback sources from Panasonic and TEAC are built into mobile cabinet racks and connection points are found in each room. If two rooms are joined together, the audiovisual system can be used from one dedicated connection point in either room.

A congress centre such as the Kölcsey cannot operate without its presentation systems. Interton installed an extensive and fully integrated presentation system that can provide visual information individually but also simultaneously to each room, and can also exchange and broadcast video signals amongst different locations.

The presentation system is divided into two main parts. Firstly there is the video signal processing and display system, whilst the second part is the integrated Crestron control system which operates all the AV devices.

Kramer matrix switchers in the main auditorium receive feeds from a number of sources (Panasonic DVD player, PC video signals, TOA C-CC504 speed dome cameras and Elmo visualizers) and distributes them to the high powered Sanyo projector. This is a 10,000 ANSI Lumen PLC XF45 LCD projector. The signals from the three TOA speed dome cameras can be routed to a number of locations including the interpreter booths or even a local TV network. Panasonic 20” LCD monitors are supplied in the control rooms for monitoring the video system.

The Ballroom is equipped with a similar system to the Auditorium, but its size and complexity were tailored to the size of the room. Due to the multipurpose nature of the room, a mobile Hitachi projector and wireless Crestron touch panels are used. Mobile presentation systems for the partitioned rooms are built into mobile cabinet racks and projectors installed in the ceilings.

As an essential part of the centre, Interton installed wireless, infrared conference and simultaneous interpreter systems to the Kölcsey Centre.

Fellow Hungarian company Digiton supplied their Infraplex 2005 interpretation system, a 400 person system serves the auditorium in four different languages, and a further 200 people are served by the smaller Ballroom system. TOA’s TS-800 wireless conferencing system is ideal for the job. It uses infrared connections to minimise the possibility of eavesdropping. The wireless design made installation particularly easy. Two systems were supplied, each for 19+1 users.

A public address and voice alarm system covers the whole of the Congress Centre. It has priority over all the local systems and can be used for information and BGM broadcasts as well as for emergency evacuation. It’s based on TOA’s VX-2000 system, in full compliance with the EN60849/IEC60849 standards. The system is divided into 15 output zones. In most cases TOA’s PC-1867 speakers are used. However, in the highly reverberant foyer (RT = 5s) the company elected to install their own VSK-200 and VSK-300 hypercardioid column loudspeakers as a line source. These speakers provide high speech intelligibility even in the highly reverberant conditions. The installers measured STI >= 0.5 during their acoustic testing.

Géza Balogh concluded: “The AV systems of the Kölcsey Congress Centre have been working for almost four months now. It is continuously used for different cultural events, which proves that the city of Debrecen really needed such a cultural centre, but also confirms that the technologies installed in the building are modern and appropriate.
“Based on the feedback we’ve had from experts and the public, it seems that the installation we’ve carried out has been successful. We are proud of having been able to create a modern, useful and user friendly system, whilst using all of our skills and expertise to integrate all the systems.”