Digital Projection’s modular Satellite Modular Laser System (MLS) has found a new home in Munich’s historic Gärtnerplatztheater, one of the busiest opera houses in Germany.
Specified by the Gärtnerplatztheater’s head of video, WE ARE VIDEO’s Raphael Kurig, and provided by Digital Projection’s German partner ETHA, the new projector system is supplied in TITAN Satellite MLS form, with three light-source modules per projector providing 30,000 ISO lumens’ illumination at WUXGA resolution.
With two TITAN Satellite MLS projectors installed front and back in the theatre, the result is, Kurig says, “super bright” – but at the Gärtnerplatztheater, an even more important factor is Satellite MLS’s unique, ‘building-block’ design, which makes it the only solution that “ticks all the boxes” in the challenging 19th-century space.
First opened in 1865 and remodelled extensively in 1945–1948 and 2012–2017, the Gärtnerplatztheater (in full the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, or State Theatre on the Gärtnerplatz) is considered a masterpiece of neoclassical architecture. Today, it is one of the most active theatres in Germany, with a programme that includes operettas, ballet, children’s theatre and more and some 550 full-time staff.
The Gärtnerplatztheater was formerly equipped with a previous-generation (non-Satellite MLS) quad-lamp TITAN projector, which needed to be replaced after the venue’s lighting department opted to switch to LED lighting. “For video, we now needed at least 30,000 lumens,” explained Kurig. “And while we did try out projectors by other brands, they were consistently too big, bulky and noisy for the dimensions of the theatre.”
Epitomising Digital Projection’s “smaller is better” design philosophy, Satellite MLS combines a compact, lightweight, quiet projector ‘head’ with a separate, remotely installed light source – making it possible to meet the growing demand for brighter, yet smaller and quieter, projectors. Satellite MLS is perfectly suited to environments with space constraints, allowing for ultra-bright RGB laser projection in historic buildings such as the Gärtnerplatztheater, where it would have been impossible to hang bigger, heavier projectors.
At the Gärtnerplatztheater, where the emphasis is on saving space, the light source is also located in the audience area, just 5m from the projector head (with a VICOM Silent case helping to keep noise down) – though in environments where silence is a must (for example, museum exhibitions) the projector components may be separated by up to 100m using a satellite link cable.
“Theatres are some of the most demanding applications for projection, where near-silent operation, and a requirement for ultra-bright projectors that take up the smallest amount of space, are prerequisites,” commented Josef Saller, Digital Projection’s regional sales manager for the DACH region. “The Satellite ticks all these boxes and more, bringing beautifully saturated images from the RGB laser light source and the pinnacle of projection that only DLP technology can achieve.”
After some early software problems (solved with the assistance of the local ETHA and Digital Projection teams), the TITAN Satellite MLS made its grand debut this month with a new, video-heavy production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte), which premiered at the Gärtnerplatztheater on October 22.
“Working in a heritage building like the Gärtnerplatztheater, space is always at a premium,” concluded Kurig. “But the demand for higher brightness often leads to bigger, heavier projectors unsuitable for venues such as ours. It was clear that when it came time for a projection upgrade, Satellite MLS, with its unique modular design, was the only solution on the market that fit our needs. We can’t wait to see what our audience thinks as we put the new system through its paces.”