One of the most popular attractions in Edinburgh is the Scotch Whisky Experience. And, most would argue, the attraction has become better with age. But the latest improvement comes from the installation of Epson projectors, which now help to tell the story of how Scotch whiskey is made.
Tours at SWE include a 180° film with a panorama bird’s eye tour of Scotland’s five whisky-making regions. Visitors are then introduced to the art of blending in a recreated 19th century Blender’s Sample Room.
Problems with Previous Design
Previously, the same video was delivered alternately in two separate rooms from projectors mounted behind the rear wall of the room. Access to the projectors was extremely limited, making it difficult for maintenance to be carried out.
Image quality was also starting to deteriorate, due to a combination of using standard definition and the demanding workloads being put on the projectors.
“From a technical point of view, the systems did not deliver the same level of quality as other areas of The Scotch Whisky Experience and were top of the list for our annual investment program,” says Douglas Bolton, The Scotch Whisky Experience AV consultant.
“We knew that the information imparted could be delivered in a more engaging and theatrical manner to the highest visual standard. We wanted to make sure that we lived up to our visitors’ ever increasing expectations.”
Why Epson Projectors Were Key
After a rigorous hardware assessment process, Epson’s EB-L1100U laser projector was selected, with two different lenses chosen to cater for slightly different display needs.
Within the Sense of Scotland room, short-throw ELPLU03 lenses were chosen to cater for large-scale, high-definition images.
Five of Epson projectors were edge-blended onto a curved projection screen 12.5m in width and 2.2m high to ensure the smallest pixel size possible and fully immerse viewers in the image.
In the Blender’s Sample Room, ultra-short-throw ELPLX01 lenses were selected for both the main screen projector and a rear projector that casts a life-size video animation of a vault door through which visitors walk after the presentation to enter into The World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky.
3LCD image technology, a high 24/7 rating, solid-state illumination, edge-blending, portrait projection, optional lenses and RS232 control all combine in a professional grade projector to provide the best experience possible.
As Epson projectors are all ceiling-mounted, access is also significantly easier than it was before, making maintenance safer, less disruptive and more cost-effective to carry out.
“The new presentations have been very well received by paying visitors and the quality of the on-screen images plays a major part in this,” notes Douglas Bolton.
“In particular, ‘A Sense of Scotland’ could only impress viewers to the extent it does through the use of the best technical solutions available to us. Lower resolution and duller images with lackluster colors would not have delivered the high-quality results that visitors are now applauding.
Adding to this the reduction in maintenance costs and the near-elimination of system downtime, which can all too easily spoil the visitors’ experience and result in lost revenue, the win-win situation for The Scotch Whisky Experience and its customers becomes clear.
From those with a budding interest in whisky, from novices to Scotch whisky enthusiasts, this wonder of the whisky world will keep customers coming back for more.