Theater & Concert Orpheus is one of the largest theatres in the Netherlands. It has three halls, with capacity between 242 and 1,286 seats, as well as an affiliated restaurant. When it was time to replace its ageing evacuation system with one that would meet the latest safety standards, the theatre opted for Bosch Praesensa.
The theatre needed to upgrade its solution to meet the necessary regulatory requirements for public buildings and ensure it received the required EN certification. Praesensa is a fully IP-based system, featuring a smart-power concept and integrated redundancy, making it suitable for both centralised and decentralised network topologies.
The main challenge for the theatre was the integration of the house PA and background music system with the voice evacuation system. The aim was for a solution that would give the theatre complete control over all of its Dante-based audio facilities from one interface. Achieving this aim relied on Praesensa’s built-in Omneo networking architecture. Omneo is an IP-based architectural approach to connecting devices to exchange information such as audio content and device control. Omneo can integrate seamlessly with Dante networks, ensuring the voice evacuation system and the communications operate together.
One of the key parts to the project was ensuring the systems were integrated without infringing on the functions of the evacuation system. The evacuation system needed to be able to completely take over from the house PA and background music system in the event of an emergency, but it also needed to give sufficient flexibility on the background music channels when the system is in normal operation.
With Omneo facilitating Dante audio, the theatre was able to achieve its goals. The system gives the user full flexibility on the various audio routings within the venue. A 32-channel Dante matrix sits at the heart of the solution, allowing the user to manage the entire house system without affecting the Praesensa PA and voice evacuation system.
“The main deciding factor in this project was the requirement for IP-based linking,” said Henry Bax from Connect AV. “The evacuation alarm system also had to meet high audio quality standards, because the different zones and loudspeakers are also used for various activities in the venue.”
To add an extra level of complexity to the project, the switchover needed to be done while the venue was operational. Here, the functionality of Praesensa again proved to be advantageous. Connect AV BV – the systems integrator responsible for the project – was able install the new solution while also keeping the original solution working as a backup.
The result is a combined solution that delivers exactly what the client required. “Due to the very good cooperation between all involved parties, the migration went very well, without hiccups,” concluded Bax. “The goal of upgrading the evacuation alarm system to the latest regulations has been achieved, so that an inspection certificate could be issued.”