The Harman Pro Cinema Group and Italian systems integrator Cinemeccanica, have designed and installed the world’s first complete multiplex Digital B-Chain™ cinema audio network for leading Russian cinema exhibitor, Cinema Park, at Cinema Park’s new 10 screen multiplex in Novosibirsk, Russia. The project is the first all Digital B-Chain installation with the entire multiplex utilizing DBC Systems in all 10 auditoriums. The DBC systems supplied by the Harman Pro Cinema Group and Cinemeccanica, include Crown CTs series amplifiers with DBC network modules and DBC network bridges and feature JBL Academy Award winning ScreenArray® cinema loudspeakers. The design and installation was made possible by the cooperative partnership of the HPRO Cinema Group, Cinemeccanica, and Cinema Park.
“The commitment to Harman Pro’s digital audio technology demonstrates Cinema Park’s philosophy of continually improving the Russian cinema patron’s experience here in Novosibirsk,” comments Sergey Kitin, General Director for Cinema Park Russia. “We have found working with both Cinemeccanica and the Harman Pro Cinema Group to be very beneficial for Cinema Park’s long term success. Collectively they have understood not only our needs for today but their digitally integrated solution fit perfectly with our expansion plans which rely heavily on a platform of digitally integrated network technologies used throughout our theatres.”
At the heart of Cinema Park’s Digital B-Chain system is the DBC Network Bridge, which allows distribution of multiple channels of digital audio over a standard Ethernet network throughout Cinema Park’s multiplex keeping the entire digital audio signal path to remain in the digital domain until the final and only digital to analog conversion which takes place inside the amplifier via the DBC network modules. Each of the 10 DBC Bridges accepts eight channels of AES digital audio from each respective Dolby 650 cinema processor. A multitude of routing and equalization options are available in the DBC Bridge, which can be used for critical room tuning and all parameters can be stored, labeled, and recalled as one of 32 different presets. The DBC Bridge then distributes a packaged “single click” network that includes CobraNet® digital audio and system-wide control protocol to all 89 Crown CTs amplifiers on site. This packaged “single click” solution eliminates the need for multiple network runs between the DBC Bridge and the amplifiers, simplifying the design and eliminating excessive costs. Although Cinema Park expects to employ Digital Cinema projectors in all 10 auditoriums in the near future, two of them now use Cinemeccanica’s digital solution CLC3D2. In these auditoriums cinema patrons can be immersed in a completely digital experience including digital cinema projection and Digital B-Chain networked digital audio.
The scope of the Harman system, featuring Digital B-Chain, Crown amps and JBL loudspeakers is a result of in-depth cooperation among the three parties and the unified vision shared by Harman, Cinema Park and Cinemeccanica. Massimo Riva of Cinemeccanica reveals how this shared vision resulted in such a system. “We made a thorough analysis not only of current theater demands but future use of cinema facilities for alternative content,” said Massimo. “Everything from evaluating the cost of copper wire and traditional components to connecting and integrating new equipment was looked at, and we decided the ability to use Harman’s Digital B-Chain technology to network the amplifiers with short runs to the high quality speakers was the best route to take. The ability to use Cat 6 cabling was cost effective and the network enables us to monitor and control so many parameters that we could not otherwise do. It’s all possible because the Harman Pro Group components were designed from the beginning to work together.”
This thinking is echoed by Stephen Morris, Harman Pro Group Vice President of Cinema Sales & Marketing who notes, “Cinema Park has clearly taken steps towards not only future proofing their new multiplexes with state-of-the art digital audio networking but their vision of implementing these technologies to the benefit of everyday business is commendable. Construction cost savings were immediately realized during installation thanks to use of inexpensive Ethernet networks. Now Cinema Park’s technical service and support groups will benefit as their DBC System can send them real time system wide diagnostic reports of Novosibirsk to their remote office in Moscow.