Atlanta, GA, USA — Located at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, the FlyOver America virtual flight attraction has been thrilling visitors with its cutting-edge technology, breath-taking visuals and sensory immersion since opening to the public this April. Setting the stage for the main ride, Renewed Vision’s ProVideoPlayer 2 (PVP2) software is powering playback for FlyOver America’s informative and engaging pre-boarding video experience.
FlyOver America is a fully immersive virtual flight ride that brings guests on an aerial tour of some of the greatest landmarks and regions throughout the United States. Using the latest virtual ride technology and special effects including wind, mist, scents and moving seats, FlyOver America is designed to make visitors feel like they are actually flying. The pre-boarding session combines multiple video and audio clips to build excitement for the flight experience and present safety information to visitors in a fun and entertaining way.
FlyOver America is the second FlyOver attraction designed and produced by Vancouver, B.C. based Soaring Attractions LP, and is owned and operated by Soaring Attractions’ sister company FlyOver America Ltd. Building on experience from past projects and evaluations of more expensive video playback systems, Soaring Attractions selected PVP2 as the best fit for its needs.
“For all of our projects, we try to design a system that runs almost entirely automatically,” said Eric Sambell, director of construction and technology at Soaring Attractions. “We carefully select each component of the system, looking for the simplest and best-value solution that will reliably achieve what we need to accomplish. Renewed Vision’s PVP2 struck the right balance of capabilities, simplicity and price point.”
PVP2 delivers the seamless, precisely-timed playback that FlyOver America needs, while avoiding the complexity and expense of more elaborate solutions that Sambell considered. “In addition to reliable, high-quality playback, we wanted to be able to arbitrarily crossfade between clips and loop them,” he explained. “We previously tried using digital signage players for a similar application, but they weren’t up to the task. There were more expensive solutions that could do the job, but beyond the added cost, they were way more complicated than PVP2 for configuring our shows. Renewed Vision has really simplified the process. I can easily set up my crossfades and dissolves, tell it where to start and when to loop, and it all just works.”
Running on an off-the-shelf Mac Mini system, the initial installation of PVP2 was equally easy. “There was very little set up effort required,” Sambell recounted. “I plugged in a monitor and my projector, and it worked right out of the box. Bringing in our content was just as straightforward – we just copied the files onto the Mac Mini and dragged them into our PVP2 sequence, with no ingest process required. The simplicity of the software lets us focus on getting exactly what we want on the screen for a really nice, crisp presentation.”
Powered by PVP2’s advanced playout and rendering engine, the on-screen result has lived up to the lofty quality expectations that are inherent with such a high-end attraction. “The video playback looks great,” Sambell said. “We get perfect 1920×1200, 60fps playback with no frame delay, and smooth crossfades between video segments without having to tweak anything.”
The PVP2 system and all other audiovisual elements of the FlyOver America experience are controlled and synchronized through a Medialon Showmaster Pro show controller. Dante Virtual Soundcard software from Audinate interfaces PVP2’s audio outputs with the venue’s Dante Audio-over-IP network without the need for external hardware, providing yet another example of the cost efficiencies that Soaring Attractions has achieved.
“Combining the affordable price point of the software with running on a standard Mac Mini, I’d estimate PVP has saved us at least 50 percent compared to alternative systems while giving us the exact right features we needed,” concluded Sambell. “I would definitely choose PVP2 again for similar uses in the future.”