Barco converts La Géode into Europe’s largest digital 3D dome

March 18, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Paris, France – Barco, a leading global provider of visual display solutions, has recently brought digital 3D projection to the La Géode giant dome in Paris. La Géode is one of the largest geodesic domes in the world and the Barco installation makes this exhibit the largest 3D digital presentation ever to be displayed on a spherical surface. The grand opening was held on 6 March and inaugurated by Renaud Donnedieu de Vabre, French Minister of Culture and Communication.

“This solution allows La Geode to introduce the biggest, brightest, and finest high-definition 3D and 2D digital image covering a very large part of its 1,000 m2 hemispheric screen,” says Laurent Dondey, general manager at La Géode. “This project started with a visit at ‘IMAX Tycho Brahe’ – the dome movie theater and planetarium in Copenhagen – where we were very impressed and inspired by the courageous and successful first move made by Steen Iversen’s team and Barco’s Eric Braux in implementing giant digital projection for 3D programs. We discovered the right way to strategically enrich, diversify, and render less dependant our programming.”

Ever since the implementation of the Barco system solution at the Tycho Brahe planetarium in Copenhagen, there appears to be a strong interest in digital 3D among museums and themed parks with giant screen domes. Barco’s 3D digital display system enables La Géode to diversify its offering and provide a new experience to its patrons, as well as differentiate its offer from standard theaters. La Géode will split its screen time between digital and large format film presentations.

La Géode plans to show 3D programs three to four times a day, high-definition (HD) children animation programs, documentaries for special rendezvous of La Géode, music and video concerts, satellite video transmissions for sports and cultural/musical events, and sessions for graphic and new digital image creators with schools and labs.

“This project was a true and thrilling challenge which drew much passion and effort from the La Géode team, as well as attention from the industry,” adds Laurent Dondey. “In a few weeks, we believe we’ll attract many new visitors in addition to the current stream of 550,000 IMAX spectators. Barco is sharing our enthusiasm and excitement and even providing artistic direction, advice, and contact bridging for the show and the programs to come — a help we much appreciate.”

As prime contractor for the La Géode project, Barco was responsible for the entire implementation of the giant digital display system. In the early phases of the project, Barco played a major role in consulting La Géode to validate the technical feasibility and business model. The world-renown dome theater relied on Barco’s extensive expertise in large-scale, multi-channel visualization for spherical surfaces, high-definition, and stereoscopic imaging.

The La Géode system solution consists of a multi-channel, Barco Galaxy passive Infitec stereo display system, the new Barco XDS-1000 external desktop system, and a collection of high-resolution sources including video servers, satellite feeds, and other high-definition inputs. Barco’s scalable XDS-1000 allows the projection system to simultaneously display up to 16 video sources to HD resolution in multiple windows, as well as display multiple stereo sources. The digital video serving technology allows the system to playback various digital content in a wide range of formats and record in high definition in real time.

About Barco
Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops visualization products for a variety of selected professional markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Barco (Euronext Brussels: BAR) is headquartered in Belgium and is active in more than 90 countries with about 3800 employees worldwide. Barco posted sales of euro 751 million in 2006.

About La Géode
La Géode, one of the world's largest geodesic domes and France’s first Omnimax movie theatre equipped with a 1000 square meter screen. La Géode opened its doors one year before the Science and Industry Park, the opening of which on 13 March 1986 coincided with the passing through of Halley's comet.

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