Christie (opens in new tab) was part of the recently refurbished Infinity Dome theater at TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Alberta. Eight Christie Griffyn 4K32-RGB pure laser projectors delivering 272,000 lumens were installed making the three-story dome one of the brightest in North America.
The dome itself stands three stories high and 69 feet(21 meters) across, making it one of the largest dome theatres in western Canada. RSA Cosmos–Konica Minolta, experienced specifically in planetarium software, in partnership with Solotech specified and installed the new digital system.
With the projection system successfully installed, the dome reportedly now delivers the brightest on-screen image of any planetarium in North America, with 272,000 lumens illuminating the massive screen in 8K resolution. “When you are in the dome and you see eight 34,000 lumen projectors at the same time perfectly calibrated, it's mind-blowing,” said Giron. "Everyone involved was very happy with the results.”
The wide-ranging refurbishment of the theater included the addition of reclined seats, an elevated stage, and new carpeting, as well as a new audiovisual system. The selection and installation of a new projection system required close collaboration between Solotech, RSA Cosmos–Konica Minolta, the Spark team as well as consultants Bill Peters and Ian McLennan to ensure the best solution for the project.
“The science center had very specific technical specifications, including the brightness and the resolution of the system,” said Philippe Giron, account manager, Solotech. To select the projectors best suited to the dome, Solotech organized a shoot-out between high-brightness models, including two blended Griffyn 4K32-RGB projectors.
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“The planetarium project team was looking for a digital projection system capable of providing very high levels of brightness, vivid colors, with quiet operation,” added Gumus. “Christie Griffyn 4K32-RGB was the only projector to answer fully these requirements thanks to the high levels of brightness of 34,000 lumens per projector and very wide color gamut achieved with the RGB laser technology.” The installation included RSA Cosmos-Konica Minolta’s planetarium software SkyExplorer to offer breathtaking journeys through the universe in real time, along with fun and interactive modules opening the dome to new content beyond astronomy.
The Griffyn 4K32-RGB projector achieves greater than 96% of the Rec.2020 color gamut to produce bright, true-to-life visuals, and operates quietly, at less than 46dBA at full brightness, to keep the focus on the content, not the projector.
Solotech created a 3D-cloud point view to visualize every detail of the planetarium, which allowed the teams to plan for the installation and placement of the projectors. Given the dome’s shape, installing the projector mounts were a challenge. As a result, Solotech created custom-made mounts to exactly fit the projectors within the dome.
“Our teams worked together to understand the project needs, suggest high-quality solutions, install a state-of-the-art digital system and provide the necessary training to the planetarium operators and technical teams,” explained Bahar Gumus, sales manager, RSA Cosmos–Konica Minolta.
“With our local partner Solotech, we are delighted to have installed this high-performing digital system in one of Canada’s leading planetariums and dynamic science centers, dedicated to innovative education in science and technology, and we are extremely satisfied by the rendering achieved by using Christie projectors."