Putting 4D archery cinemas to the test — The first comprehensive comparison of several systems
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More unsatisfied buyers of 4D archery cinemas! Why?
Pro‘s and con‘s, what buyers say, features and pricing comparison (see table below)!
Due to rapid developments in 4D archery cinema technology, it is getting harder to compare different products. While some companies offer an extensive documentation of their products, very little is known about others. As a result, there are more and more customers that don‘t feel that their expectations are met once the product has been received.
This article is the first one summing up everything we have learned about 3 products “Made in Germany“. It aims to provide accurate, comprehensive and relevant information to help buyers to make a better choice.
We have talked to the manufacturers and customers of all 3 products. Feedback from at least 2 actual users of each system is included in each section. The article is meant to be an objective and useful resource for everyone interested in 4D archery, helping you to make the right purchase decisions.
This table gives an overview of the functions and services of all three products (last update 29.5.2018).
|BowSim 4D||Bow Cinema by Beier||Bogenkino HSV Lienz|
|Projector incl.||5500 lumen||3200 lumen||–|
|4D target incl.||3×2 meter||2.4×1.8 meter||–|
|Next size up (target)||4×2.5 meter||3×2.4 meter||–|
|Target upgrade cost||€1000 Euro*||€1352.94*||–|
|Load own videos||yes||yes||yes|
|Digital content & games||80+||1||–|
|4D animals (video content)||250+||5||–|
|Regular content updates||10+ per month||–||–|
|Arrow impact sensor||yes||–||yes|
|Customer references online||yes||–||–|
|Multiscreen content available||yes||–||–|
|Capable or producing playlists||yes||–||–|
|Name and save playlists||yes||–||–|
|Review hit screenshots||yes||–||yes|
|Add player names||yes||–||–|
* Prices shown are exclusive of VAT. The BowSim 4D and the Beier archery cinema include a projector and a target solution. The solution of the HSV Lienz is only a software product. Hardware must be purchased separately.
Product descriptions & what the customers say
The bow cinema of the HSV-Lienz (club)
This is a low-cost concept and by far the cheapest way to get started. The recording of the arrow impact takes place via a simple sensor. The system is easy to use and the software is quickly installed on your own computer. With a cost of 70 Euros (software only), there are no questions about the value if you are happy with a simple, do it yourself approach. But attention. Handling the software might be challenging for many as the interface is currently only provided in German.
It also should be noted that this solution only offers the software that can be installed on your own computer. A simple sensor has to be built and connected by the customer from products purchased at your local technology retailer.
Apart from a computer that is needed for playing, the cost of software and technology can be less than 200 Euros. Remember that you still need the 4D target (a foam wall) and a projector. Quality solutions are available from around 1600 Euros (both). A detailed description of the technology, as well as an extensive product video (here), can be found online.
Since the club only offers the software, customers have to be active themselves and assemble the system. The same applies to finding the content/courses. There are no content or training courses provided in this 4D shooting cinema concept.
We spoke to 2 clubs that have purchased the archery cinema solution of HSV-Lienz in German-speaking countries:
Both have rated it as a good and straightforward approach for a “beginner system”. However, finding high-quality content for professional and engaging training was considered to be very difficult.
The Bow Cinema by Beier
The bow cinema by Beier Distribution has created some confusion amongst its customers. While the website promises an ideal bow cinema for all areas of use, there is very little detail the company actually shares about the technology.
Neither product videos nor the description on the website indicates that the product is merely an improved video player that is delivered on a USB stick, rather than a simulator. Videos do not respond to the impact of the arrow (as there is no sensor), nor does the bow cinema offer the opportunity to train on moving targets.
Presented movies will pause for a while before the archer is requested to release the arrow. During the time when the video stands still, a target area appears in the video. Now the shooter is requested to release the arrow. After a while, the video continues to play. Toward the end, the still will show again.
In the product videos (here), provided by the company this replay of the screenshot is labeled as “Stop shooting — RESULTS”. The customer is requested to pull their arrows and evaluate its own performance.
The hardware provided contains a USB Stick that runs the player, a 4D ethafoam target and a projector.
Content and training courses must be found by the customers themselves as the company only provides 5 animals clips and a digital dartboard at purchase. Those are stored on the projectors internal hard drive. This bow cinema by Beier can only be ordered as a complete package including projector and 4D target.
We talked to 2 customers that have purchased the bow cinema by Beier:
Both were surprised about only receiving a video player and rated the product and the value for money as disappointing.
The team of BowSim 4D has pioneered 4D archery since 2015. It is offering an extensive documentation with over 20 videos on its YouTube Channel and many more on social media. BowSim 4D customers can be found in several European countries and as far as Australia and New Zealand. Customers regularly share photos and videos that are often shared on the companies Facebook page. BowSim 4D provides written references and contact details of its satisfied customers online.
The system comes as a convenient plug and play solution and can be purchased with or without a projector and 4D target. The hardware includes a computer unit, a sensor, speaker system, wireless keyboard and mouse and a wireless foot switch for hands-free navigation.
With well over 300 training courses and games, BowSim 4D comes with an unbeatable variety of content for every type of user. An additional 10+ courses are supplied by the company through an automated update each month.
Current content includes 4D animals, dinosaurs, dragons and many digital targets. BowSim 4D is the most expensive of the 4D archery cinemas compared here. With a 100% money back guarantee, the company displays confidence, offering customers to a full return policy if the technology does not meet expectations.
We talked to 2 customers that have purchased BowSim 4D:
Both were very satisfied with the product and the overall value for money. Interested parties can find references online and contact those independently for more feedback.
What did we learn?
4D archery cinema users have different requirements and expectations. Yours can differ greatly from the one’s mentioned by people above and our own.
The article reveals that there are huge differences in price and performance. If you are serious about 4D archery it is necessary for you to undertake some independent research.
We strongly recommend talking to actual owners of the above systems prior to making a purchase decision. Getting started with 4D archery is a big move, and we hope that it will take archery in your business or club to the next level.
Don’t be shy about asking for references and take the time to call them. Asking the right questions to suppliers and their customers might save you money and time and get you to achieve your goal quicker.
Footnote: The American TechnoHUNT system (more) has not been included in this article. Due to the significantly higher price tag, it remains accessible only to a few.
Read this article in German: https://www.bowsimulators.com/de/2018/03/09/bogenkino-vergleich/
If any information in this article is misunderstood, misinterpreted or miscommunicated, please let us know, so we can make the necessary amendments. We are also looking forward to receiving more references and comments.
The feedback of the customers described here (below) does not correspond to a product assessment but is only the evaluation of individual less. Every customer has different expectations. Your sensation of each product may differ widely from that described here.