The Optics Technological Institute in Valencia incorporates a Christie Mirage HD3 projector for its ongoing research into stereoscopic technology
AIDO (Optics Colour Imaging Technological Institute) is a cutting-edge research centre based in Valencia (Spain’s third most populated city), created in 1988 by the regional government with a mandate to come up with technological solutions for companies through industrial optics. Its ultimate goal is to generate knowledge and know-how in order to transfer it to industrial sectors and help companies to innovate and improve their processes and thus make them more efficient and competitive.
AIDO recently opened a new building equipped with the latest technologies focused particularly on the audiovisual and graphic arts industry. Spread over an area of 2,000 square metres, the modern new building houses a Graphic Arts Experimental Centre and an Audiovisual Technological Resources Centre. The latter is subdivided into four areas set aside for developing added value and cutting-edge technology projects in conjunction with companies from related industries: a virtual film set and postproduction; a digital television laboratory; a wireless networks laboratory; and, an experimental projection theatre.
One of AIDO’s priority projects at the moment is the integration of 3D technology in audiovisual production companies. Its test bed for this purpose is its experimental projection hall where it is currently working on a project to integrate computer-generated sets with real 3D images.
This area has a Christie Mirage HD3 stereoactive 3D projector with 1920 x 1080 HD resolution, supplied and installed by Ingevideo, a Christie partner. “We recommended this particular projector because they were looking for high definition. Besides, the size of the hall and the screen did not call for a more powerful projector with more lumens”, explained Miguel Motos, director of Ingevideo’s Virtual Reality and Simulation Dept. “Another factor that swayed out decision was Christie’s excellent price-performance ratio and the fact that it is a market leader. Furthermore, AIDO didn’t want to work with a simple distributor, but with someone who also has an office and technical service in Valencia, and with experience in 3D and virtual reality, all of which Ingevideo was able to offer.”
Manuel Moreno, head of the Audiovisual Engineering Unit at AIDO, added that: “we were looking for a projector guaranteeing us good quality for money and with Full HD resolution, 3 DLP chips and an active and passive native capacity for stereoscopic projection”. He then went on to explain “the hall itself is not particularly big (we use a four metre screen) so that meant the lumens was not the deciding factor. We also wanted it to have HD-SDI inputs, as this interface is used a lot in broadcasting, so we had to go for a projector with an optional Dual Link HD-SDI card”.
The main function of the projector is to assist research into stereoscopic technology being undertaken at AIDO’s Audiovisual Department. AIDO is working with cutting-edge 3D broadcasting technology with the goal of transmitting its experience on the functioning of this technology and how to use it to audiovisual production companies.
First of all, the projector screens 3D videos recorded at the laboratory or in field tests with different resolutions and codings in order to test the results and come up with the best possible solutions. One can also visualise the emission of 3D video of certain prototypes developed, and test the signal in comparison with ideal patterns. At the same time, AIDO envisages carrying out visioning tests of 3D contents with end users in order to validate prototypes or new technologies developed.
The format normally used is Full HD 1920×1080 25P. At once, the most frequently used codecs are MPEG-2, H.264, MJPEG, Divx or Windows Media encapsulated in .MPG .AVI or .WMV. The hall has a micro-perforated fixed frame screen measuring 420x237cm at a distance of six metres from the projector. The aspect ratio is 16:9 native.
The server used is a Brainsalt HD3D-ECO, with a playback capacity of up to 50Mbit/s. As well as the server, that hall also has a Sony Blu-ray player and a Dell video server with a BlackMagic DeckLink HD Extreme card with a Dual-Link HD-SDI output, capable of reproducing video with a resolution up to 2K. Furthermore, Ingevideo supplied 10 Nuvision active glasses for visualising 3D, and installed an infrared emitter in the hall to synchronise the glasses with the projector.
The audio system is Dolby Surround 5.1, comprising a Dolby Digital Surround EX processor, three Crown CTS 1200 amplifiers, two Crown CTS 2000 amplifiers, four JBL 8340 A speakers, three JBL 3631T speakers, and a JBL CONTROL 4645C subwoofer.
Regarding the features of the projector, Manuel Moreno underscores its capacity to project in stereoscopic both in active and in passive, and its different video inputs, including the optional Dual Link HD-SDI. “Besides, the performance is excellent in overall terms and the quality of the image is very good”, he pointed out.
For Miguel Motos, from Ingevideo, the best thing about this projector is that “you can send a signal at 60 Hz which is internally duplicated by the projector itself; and in this way it is not necessary for the content to be at 100 or 120 Hz, meaning that the reproduction system is not overloaded. The other big advantage is that the projector gives no functioning problems, and is very stable”, he concluded.