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Christie Lights Up University of Waterloo’s New Campus With Tallest Christie MicroTiles Installation in the World

Christie® visual technology solutions are playing a key role in visualizing the University of Waterloo’s mission to intersect technology, business and art under the Faculty of Arts programs – a first in Canada – at its new Stratford, Ontario campus.

Christie’s world-leading digital projection and display technologies are omnipresent on the new Stratford campus – a campus designed to create the next generation of digital media graduates, jobs, content and companies. With innovative solutions that meet the needs of this campus, Christie products will unleash the creative minds of university students and establish an incubator that affords leading researchers and businesses the opportunity to drive new ideas for commercialization.

Christie MicroTiles Light Up the University of Waterloo's Stratford Campus

“Christie’s technology will showcase our students’ content work, highlight creativity and provide a unique canvas for complex and detailed digital media research, visualization and commercialization,” said Ginny Dybenko, executive director of the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.

Christie MicroTiles – A Towering Presence
As the atrium’s commanding centerpiece, the built-in 5 units wide by 30 units high (6.5 feet wide by 30 feet high), digital video wall incorporates 150 award-winning Christie® MicroTiles®. These eye-catching, digital building blocks enable architects and integrators to incorporate stunning video into their designs and builds. Combining the strengths of both DLP® and LED technology, MicroTiles can reproduce 115 percent of the NTSC color gamut, exceeding typical LCD flat panels by more than 50 percent. Each display unit automatically detects its neighbours, and self-calibrates for color and brightness to optimize the overall presentation. To keep the massive three-storey installation secured to the wall, rp Visuals Solutions, working with Christie’s Research and Innovation group designed and installed a rear-mounting bracket with steel-support beams. Toronto’s Westbury National Show Systems project managed the installation on behalf of the University of Waterloo.

“Digital media technologies in the classroom give university students access to technologies that are rapidly evolving in today’s business economy. The shaping and spacing of the global digital economy begins where students can practice, develop and innovate firsthand and where researchers can generate and drive innovative ideas,” said Dr. Paul Salvini, chief technology officer at Christie, about the company’s contribution of visual digital technology to the university campus.

Christie Solutions Powering and Managing Christie MicroTiles behind the scenes
In addition to the Christie MicroTiles in the atrium, several other Christie products make up the technology mix on campus. The Christie-designed media management system, which when used with the Christie Spyder X20 video processor allows students to switch from multiple zones of high-resolution and low-resolution content simultaneously, or to drive the entire wall with uniform resolution and portray dramatic three-storey tall images. The students also have a range of options for publishing content onto the canvas. Christie Jumpstart content management software makes it easy to put stunning, high resolution content onto a multi-display or large tiled digital canvas. With its simple interface, even students at the beginner level can use it. This combination of powerful processing capabilities and simple content management software will help the students to stretch the capabilities of what is currently possible.

55” flat panels create PIE concept for control room environment
The Christie PIE (Personal Immersive Environment) concept at the Stratford Campus features a four-panel arrangement using Christie FHD551-X HD LCD 55” flat panels in portrait mode for a roughly 90 degree field of view (FOV). The PIE is currently being used to monitor and program the content that is featured on the showpiece digital wall. Easily flipped into landscape to suit the user’s needs, it is a low-cost faceted display system that is perfect for control room environments.

Christie in the classrooms and on-foot
Six Christie LWU505 3LCD projectors, with premium features, high resolution in a widescreen format are ceiling mounted at the Stratford Campus. The LWU505 is compact, full featured making it a perfect presentation devise. Stratford Campus incorporated the Christie LW401 for its low maintenance and low cost of ownership to be used in mobile situations due to is portable design, making it easy to bring presentations from classroom to classroom. With the projector’s various options of wireless capability, PC-Less presentation via USB port or content delivery when installed on a network. It also provides a crucial feature of displaying campus wide notifications when integrated to the network.

Christie’s Dave Muscat, senior director of sales for Canada, who participated in the opening of the campus, recalls people’s reaction to the brilliant fireworks on the three-storey wall when they were illuminated for the first time during the opening celebration. “It was a very magical moment for me to see our MicroTiles in a higher education setting and knowing that Christie’s products will make a difference in advancing students’ and researchers’ knowledge of digital media. Christie looks forward to working with the students to develop new ways of collaborating with the facility in content creation and design,” Muscat added.

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