Netherlands’ Literary Past

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

More than a hundred BrightSign-powered interactive video screens have been installed at the Letterkundig Museum, Netherlands Literary and Documentation Museum in The Hague, showing and telling the stories of Dutch and Flemish authors and poets

Media players from Saratoga, Florida-based BrightSign were recently chosen for a major refurbishment of the Netherlands Literary and Documentation Museum in, resulting in a total of 115 BrightSign units installed: 100 of them for LCD panels in the ’Pantheon’ gallery of writers, eight driving short-throw DLP projectors and seven for individual kiosk-style installations.

Part of a three-year renovation project in the Museum, the installation was carried out by Visual Hardware Services BV, in cooperation with interior architects and designers Opera Ontwerpers, Amsterdam, and the audiovisual agency, MuseumStudio’s Amsterdam.

In the Pantheon gallery, a wall of fame features 100 literary figures from 1,000 years of history. Each of the small 1280 x 800 LCD displays is powered by a BrightSign interactive sign controller and, synchronised to all the others, forming part of a continuous video and soundscape designed by the architects, spanning all 100 displays.

Visitors can interrupt the video wall at any point by touching a button or picking up an audio handset on any specific writer’s screen. The author’s individual story is then played back and the display reverts to the videoscape on completion.

Nearby, the seven HD410 interactive media players are built into specially designed booths, which allow visitors to watch related movies and plays, and listen to famous poems or prose readings. BrightAuthor makes it straightforward to add interactivity using simple-to-write playlists that easily assign playback of media to buttons and other general-purpose devices. Moreover, internal memory can be used to track and capture usage statistics, to better understand how users are interacting with the display.

The other eight HD1010 players are synchronized and create a large video projector wall. Bright, ultra-short throw projectors are located in a tight-knit group to display artistic video impressions of the writers’ daily work onto the Museum wall.

All the BrightSign units are managed by the network, with a single controller implementing daily and weekly routines, such as opening and closing hours, throughout the Museum.

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