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ARCHI-TECH AV Award Goes to Thomas Gregor Associates for Caribbean Princess Installation
A pair of weather-protected Meyer Sound MILO high-powered curvilinear arrays anchor the audio side of a spectacular shipboard cinema system that was honored recently with a 2006 ARCHI-TECH AV Award. Installed alongside a giant Panasonic Astrovision LED video screen aboard Princess Cruise Lines' Caribbean Princess cruise ship, the MILO arrays provide clear, forceful sound for an ambitious entertainment offering dubbed "Movies Under the Stars."
The award-winning project was designed and installed by Thomas Gregor Associates (TGA) of El Segundo, Calif., a company specializing in shipboard technology. It is the first of four such systems in use on Princess's Grand Class vessels, with a fifth ship so equipped currently being built. The success of the Movies Under the Stars program has inspired Carnival Corporation (which acquired P&O Princess Cruises in 2003) to embark on plans to install LED screen systems on Carnival Cruise Lines ships as well.
"We chose MILO because we believe that it is the best sounding loudspeaker being built," says TGA's chief technical officer, Christian Hugener. "We felt that, due to its phase accuracy in horizontal plan, it would stand up to being focused forward on a vessel making 20 knots with the potential of sailing into a 20 knot headwind. MILO did not disappoint us."
Mounted on the ship's top deck, the Meyer Sound system is required to cover an adjacent pool deck with a viewing area measuring over 125 feet long. The extraordinary high-frequency projection of MILO is critical in this unusual application, where the system must deliver intelligible sound and thrilling sound effects and music over a substantial distance while firing into strong headwinds. Each of the main left and right arrays comprise six MILO cabinets and one M3D-Sub directional subwoofer. For added definition at the extreme rear, the design includes a discrete delay system of one UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeaker and one USW-1P compact subwoofer on each side.
The deck of an ocean-going ship is an extremely hostile environment for equipment. Wind and salt water are constants, whether as spray on a nice day, in the typical Caribbean rains, or as gales and monster waves in storms. Temperature change from day to night can have broad swings. Both the screen and loudspeakers remain in place throughout the cruise, and, more than two years after its launch, the Caribbean Princess's MILO system has withstood everything and continued to function, proving the robustness of Meyer Sound's rigging and weather-protection.
The "Movies Under the Stars" systems was honored, along with five other winners and two grand prize winners, at InfoComm International's third annual AV Awards Banquet, held on June 6 in Orlando, Fla. All seven winning projects have been profiled in the July/August 2006 issue of ARCHI-TECH.