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As the digital revolution sweeps across diverse sectors, swimming pools are beginning to ride the wave of opportunity provided by digital solutions. Our journey at Hydrohex, coupled with our successful collaborations with partners like Hutchison Technologies, has led us to embrace the dynamic potential of Audiovisual (AV) solutions. In this article, we delve into the benefits of screen installations in pool facilities and walk you through vital technical insights for a seamless integration.
Integrating screens in swimming pool environments offers a plethora of exciting advantages:
To gain a deeper understanding of these benefits and the considerations involved, we turned to our trusted partner, Hutchison Technologies. Known for their extensive experience in AV solution implementations in aquatic facilities, they have valuable insights to share:
AV solutions comprise both screens and audio systems. Could you share the challenges you encounter when installing these elements in pool areas, and how you overcome them?
Screens: The key challenge is retrofitting the screens in an existing pool hall. This can involve installing a structural bracket arrangement to support the screen safely. For a new build project this is considered at the design stage. We overcome this challenge by carefully surveying and planning each installation.
Audio: By design, swimming halls are built in a certain way, making an excellent acoustic environment hard to achieve. The construction consists of hard reflective surfaces with large volumes, creating a loud environment with many echoes where the noise can reach extreme levels.
Delivering a high-performing audio solution in a swimming hall requires careful consideration of the acoustics. The audio systems need to perform well for vocal intelligibility and motivational music. Stage one is an acoustic assessment and advice on controlling the ambient noise level and the acoustic reverberation performance. The benchmark is an Upper limit for the indoor ambient noise level LAeq,30mins dB, and an RT60 reverberation time between 1.5 – 2.0 seconds.
In a few sentences, can you explain how you ensure that screens fit well into the overall design of the pool area, while maintaining their practical function?
Current LED Screen technologies come with low-profile mounting solutions that allow the screens to be prominent and impactful but not intrusive. Once the correct location is selected based on the range of applications the display will service, the installation is planned, considering trims, and finishing details to ensure the result is in keeping with the pool hall aesthetics.
Screens have a clear visual impact, but how do you ensure audio systems are also given due consideration in the overall pool design without compromising their functionality?
To achieve high quality intelligible audio in a swimming hall takes careful planning, design, control of the acoustic environmental factors and the correct loudspeaker selection for the main application and the speaker placement.
There isn’t one size fits all solution for swimming halls, and each project requires careful consideration and design. Selecting high-performance products that perform proficiently in the vocal frequency range for high intelligibility and deliver motivational music performance with depth and clarity for aqua aerobics and Gala events.
Can you provide an example of a project where both audio and visual solutions played a crucial role in transforming a pool area, emphasising the impact of each?
We have delivered many successful Aquatic Centres, Health Club, Spa swimming and Therapy pool projects. Our guiding principle is to consider the project brief, customer use case, ambient noise levels, acoustic reverberation performance, and acoustic control measures (and opportunities to add acoustic absorbent materials) – then, we design the professional Audio Solution considering the anticipated acoustic performance of the space.
Swimming Centre Matinkylä, City of Espoo, Finland
To ensure that your screens perform optimally in a pool environment, here are some technical considerations to keep in mind:
Integrating AV solutions, especially screens, into swimming pools
opens up a world of possibilities to enrich the pool experience. They
can revolutionise how we interact with pool spaces, enabling effective
communication, enhancing safety, and ramping up engagement. However, for
successful and lasting integration, thoughtful consideration around
IP-rated screens, safe screen-to-water distances, and screen brightness
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