Dutch theatre upgrades to Bosch IP-based offering

  • February 27, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

The Orpheus concert theatre in the Netherlands has upgraded its public address and voice evacuation system to a smart IP-based offering from Bosch.

The life safety system is one of the most important pieces of technology in any public building. As one of the five largest theatres in the Netherlands, Orpheus takes the responsibility for the safety of its visitors seriously in its three halls with a capacity between 242 and 1286 seats as well as the affiliated restaurant.

When it became time to replace its aging evacuation system with one that would meet the latest safety standards, the theatre picked Bosch Praesensa.

The requirement was to upgrade the current system to meet necessary regulatory requirements for public buildings and ensure it received the required EN certification. As a fully IP-based system, featuring a smart-power concept and integrated redundancy, Praesensa is suitable for 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 to give the theatre complete control over all of its Dante-based audio facilities from one interface.

Achieving this 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. It can seamlessly integrate with Dante networks ensuring the voice evacuation system and the communications operate together.

One of the key parts to this project was ensuring the systems were integrated without infringing on the functions of the evacuation system. The evacuation system needed to be able to take over completely from the house PA and background music in the event of an emergency, but also give sufficient flexibility on the background music channels when the system is in normal operation.

With Omneo facilitating Dante audio, the result delivered what the theatre wanted to achieve. It has given the user flexibility on the various audio routings within the venue. A 32-channel Dante matrix sits at its heart, so the user can manage the entire house system without affecting Praesensa public address and voice evacuation.

“The main deciding factor in this project was the requirement for IP-based linking,” said Henry Bax from Connect AV, the systems integrator responsible for the project. “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 extra complexity to the project, the switchover needed to be done while the venue was operational. Again, this was an area where the functionality of Praesensa proved advantageous. Connect AV was able install the system while keeping the original working as a backup.

“Due to the very good cooperation between all involved parties, the migration went very well, without hiccoughs,” said Bax. “The goal of upgrading the evacuation alarm system to the latest regulations have been achieved, so that an inspection certificate could be issued.”

Omneo is an architectural approach for connecting devices over IP to exchange information, including audio content and device control. It is built on multiple technologies, including IP and open public standards, to support technologies such as Audinate’s Dante and AES7.