Friday, August 19, 2022

Christie brings Infinity Dome projection up to date in Calgary

Christie® shared on July 6, 2022 that its RGB pure laser projectors are lighting up the recently refurbished Infinity Dome theater at TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Alberta. The dome stands three stories high and 69 feet across, making it one of the largest dome theaters in western Canada, and one of the brightest in North America with eight Christie Griffyn™ 4K32-RGB pure laser projectors delivering 272,000 lumens. RSA Cosmos – Konica Minolta, digital planetariums company, in partnership with Solotech, audiovisual and entertainment technology solutions, specified and installed the new digital system.

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 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. Says Bahar Gumus, Sales Manager, RSA Cosmos – Konica Minolta, “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.”

TELUS Spark Science Centre – photo courtesy of Christie

“The science center had very specific technical specifications, including the brightness and the resolution of the system,” says 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.

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. “The way the dome is made, there is only a little space between the bottom of the dome and the stage under the seats. We had to put the projector in this space and precisely angle them.” As a result, Solotech created custom-made mounts to exactly fit the projectors within the dome.

With the projection system successfully installed, the dome reports that it 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,” says Giron. “Everyone involved was very happy with the results.”

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