Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) offers assisted performances that requires a robust and reliable system. Most tour guide systems focus on infrastructure, while the radio systems are often not as robust in terms of build, features, and sonic quality. Storing receivers also proved to be an issue due to space constraints.
With Sennheiser’s MobileConnect, SRT can now have one base station and three access points servicing the system – one at the foyer and two in the auditorium. Through the MobileConnect App, the bring your own device streaming solution delivers audio descriptions to the smartphones of the blind and visually impaired, allowing them to better enjoy entertainment.
As a theatre company, Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) aims to provide an excellent experience and service for all patrons, including those who may require additional support to access their productions. With the belief that theatre should be enjoyed by everyone, they want to continue developing and improving access through a program of assisted performances such as Audio Description for the Blind and Sign Language Interpretation for the Deaf. SRT needed a system that could easily broadcast audio description and show foldback through different channels and send configurations depending on specific show requirements. Most of the audio configurations are done on an auxiliary console before being assigned to specific channels on Sennheiser’s MobileConnect.
Although there were alternative solutions, SRT went with Sennheiser as they felt that the installation process and usage of MobileConnect was easy and more flexible in its configuration potential. With the system, SRT has the scalability of extending the coverage via their in-house network or through additional access points, which are configurable within the base station’s User Interface (UI). The MobileConnect application UI is intuitive – enabling basic yet useful command of gain and equalization settings. The MobileConnect application is user friendly as patrons can access via their own mobile devices and adjust their preferred audio settings easily.
The installation process was a breeze, all they had to do was plug in the system, switch it on and connect the access points. Everything was detected on the first try and they were broadcasting audio within 5 minutes. The step by step guide and manuals in the web UI proved to be helpful. Despite the plug and play nature of the system, Sennheiser’s MobileConnect has the capability to enable SRT to contour the signal strength of the access points and their channel assignments within the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
The MobileConnect system has been tested on productions for children and adults and in larger venues such as the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. It is a great companion to SRT’s journey in improving and developing accessibility for their patrons, and they are exploring possibilities with the system to benefit a more diverse group of people.
The flexibility and reliability of Sennheiser’s MobileConnect are its strongest suit, with 8 productions over 2 years and not a single show-breaking failure.