9.5:1 aspect ratio, 30m wide, 11 megapixels - all from one live source.

2009 started in impressive style when the Outward Bound Trust Sunseeker Ball came to the new Battersea Evolution on January 9th. Eventia platinum award-winning Production Company of the year 2008, Smyle Productions, wanted to produce an enormous UltraWideScreen for the entrance lobby in order to welcome guests and to promote the charity, and QED was delighted to rise to the challenge.

The native 16:9 aspect ratio and the high pixel count of the projectors meant that the target area was able to be covered with only six machines. Nine 4:3 projectors would have been required to cover the same area, and with so many system outputs required it would not have been possible to create such a display from a single live source and still achieve the requisite system performance. The total on-screen resolution was just over 11 million pixels in a 10,240 x 1080 pixel array.

Using the very latest NVDIA multi-head 3D graphics cards with 1.5Gb of on-board Video RAM installed into QED's Apple Mac Pro systems, the required resolution and performance level were able to be achieved using just one main and one back-up machine fed into a double Spyder system. By employing a single source to generate and to play back the content the content was able to be created and displayed using Apple Keynote, providing stunning quality and performance without expensive graphics costs.

The complete system comprised of two top specification multi-head Apple Mac Pro machines, two Vista Spyder 344 processors, six channels of DVI fibre-optic distribution and six edge-blended Christie HD8K 3-chip DLP HD projectors. From input to final output the system was entirely digital ensuring high-bandwidth signal processing and delivery of true 10-bit uncompressed RGB colour.

The projection surface at Battersea was a large expanse of white cloth forming part of the fabric of the building. From a distance the surface looked reasonably flat, however when projected upon it became clear that the surface was severely undulating and that only extreme geometric correction would be able to line up the images, so the Christie Twist Pro software had to be utilised and every projector had to be digitally hand-stitched together in order to create the perfect UltraWideScreen canvas. All projector line-ups and were done wirelessly via a local QED projector network with a wireless touchscreen tablet.

Key technical equipment

  • 6 x Christie HD8K 3-chip DLP projectors
  • 6 x QED Christie flying brackets
  • 2 x Vista Spyder 344 video processors
  • 6 x QED DVI/Ethernet fibre channels
  • 2 x Apple Mac Pro computers
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