Professional Products, Inc. (PPI), a media integration company, says it has just completed renovation of the Mount St. Helen’s Johnston Ridge Observatory’s multimedia presentation systems.
The Johnston Ridge Observatory’s visitor center is the closest tourists can get to the mountain, so the facility’s multimedia presentation systems provides visitors with information and exhibits on the volcano’s past eruptions and how scientists continue to monitor the mountain’s activity.
Therefore, to provide that information, the Johnston Ridge Observatory—which sits on a bluff just about five and half miles from the crater and offers grand views of Mount St. Helens and much of the 1980 blast zone—needs a state-of-the-art system to deliver the observatory’s video “Message from the Mountain,” according to Bruce Kaufmann, PPI's president and CEO. Such a system needs technology designed to present a more vibrant, high definition image, he added.
“This project with Johnston Ridge Observatory is very exciting for PPI,” Kaufmann said. PPI is “privileged to be able to assist the observatory in educating the public about Mount St. Helen's powerful beauty and history,” he said. However, the challenge associated with creating a system for the Johnston Ridge Observatory “was not only to design a system that created a more spectacular audience experience, but one that addressed performance, flexibility, longevity, and remote access,” he said. “Reliability, expandability and user friendliness were also critical and our design team worked diligently to create solutions that were compatible with current exhibits,” he added.
The renovation included an upgrade to the content player, along with the video and audio control systems in the observatory’s auditorium. The existing video content—originally produced in 4:3 aspect ratio—was up-converted to high definition (HD) to maximize its potential by increasing the format to 3476 x1080.
Using the newest technology in media wall image processors, projector edge blending units and high-resolution features, PPI was able to help create more dynamic visuals on the existing screen which is 30 feet wide x 10 feet tall, the company says.