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Christie Roadsters travel well

With over 1,000 guests at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel to impress, the pressure was on integrator A to V to get the best from ten Christie projectors.

No fewer than ten Christie Roadster HD10K-M 3-chip DLP projectors were deployed by rental and staging company A to V recently, when Travel Weekly magazine hosted the Globe Travel Awards before 1,000 guests at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

The awards are voted for solely by travel agents, and the event is widely regarded as the pinnacle of the travel industry calendar. With that in mind, production company, Three Media Creative (Three MC) designed a highly creative technical infrastructure that would befit this auspicious occasion, which was hosted by comedian Jimmy Carr.
Manchester-based A to V had been introduced to the event by local VT house Editz, who were assisting Three MC with the content for the show. They knew that A to V had the necessary inventory to support such an event – including the HD10K-M projectors, whose role on the night to honour the occasion turned out to be far from straightforward.

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Working alongside Three MC’s creative director, Steve Csanyi, A to V rigged three stacked pairs of projectors to fire onto a 40ft x 10ft edge blended main screen, while the remaining four projectors fired onto four further 12ft x 6.9ft screens, which were formed into a cube, and suspended from the ceiling. This required enormous flexibility on the part of the service company, as the cube had only been introduced to the production at the very last minute at the request of the main sponsor.

HSL provided the lighting, including over 40 moving heads and a Colourweb LED lighting backdrop.

“We had taken the precaution of double stacking the projectors for each segment of the blended area,” said A to V’s Allan Hindley. “However, with the cube, I wanted to keep a similar level of brightness – and I realised that by doubling up on the main screen, this would have been too high. The Christies were sufficiently bright to ensure that we didn’t need to use the doubles and I’m glad I took that decision, since it effectively gave us hot back-ups for the main screen.”

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To cover the five hour production, A to V fielded a four-camera HD PPU (as well as switching and scaling processors, with one camera locked off at balcony level, two manned at the rear of the ballroom and a jib). The background content was delivered from a Hippotizer media server. “We used four discrete outputs from the Hippotizer to feed the processor,” said Hindley, “which then delivered the graphics and camera images as overlaid PIPs to the main screen and the cube.”

Typically, according to Hindley, the projectors behaved flawlessly. “We used 1.16-1.49:1 zooms on eight of the units with 1.4-1.8:1 zooms for the remaining two projectors,” he said. “We used a bit of warp in a couple of instances because of the awkward projector positions, and aligned everything else with optical lens shift.”

It has been nearly two years since A to V chose these Christie projectors to fulfill their midrange inventory and they have endured a heavy duty cycle. “They’re always reliable, and fire up straight out of the truck, said Hindley, who believes the HD10K-M offers the optimum combination of features, image quality and cost effectiveness “The M series really does what it says on the tin.”

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Outputting 10,000 ANSI lumens (with 350W dual mercury lamps) the series is said to offer high efficiency and low cost of ownership by drawing a maximum power of 1320W — in other words, providing more brightness while drawing less power. The HD10K-M has a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and a variable contrast ratio of 2,500-10,000:1 using dynamic iris. Christie claims that the HD10K-M features the smallest chassis in its class.

Other entertainment at the Globe Travel Awards was provided by world champion street dance group Flawless, the UK’s X Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson, and BBC Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson, while the audience was also treated to a spectacular condensed version of the musical Les Miserables.