As in the first technological renovation, Panasonic was the brand chosen to incorporate eight PT-RZ12K projectors and generate a spectacular image.

Panasonic

Domodigital Citibanamex is one of the major attractions of Papalote Museo del Niño, an area dedicated to learning and entertaining children through games, located in the Bosque de Chapultepec, in Mexico City. In the gigantic semi-spherical screen of Domodigital Citibanamex, films and programs are projected that transport children to the knowledge of our planet and the universe itself.

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In the autumn of 2017, thirteen years after its inauguration, the Dome renewed for the second time the projectors responsible for giving life to the screen that provokes the admiration of children and adults. Once again, as in the first technological renovation, Panasonic was the brand chosen to incorporate the PT-RZ12K projectors and generate a spectacular image.

At the forefront
Papalote Museo del Niño remains at the forefront of the visual arts by changing the eight projectors that make up the huge and enveloping screen of the Citibanamex Domodigital. The new Panasonic devices have a laser light source and DLN technology from 3 chips, which reveals an impressive video quality, greater luminosity, much lower power consumption and continuous operation, without the need of maintenance, during 20,000 hours. Use in Papalote Museo del Niño means four years of uninterrupted operation, approximately 3 thousand functions per year.

Upon entering the Citibanamex Domodigital visitors will find a semi-spherical screen of 23 meters in diameter (with 13 meters high at the zenith) that offers a field of vision of 360 degrees. To cover the entire screen homogeneously, the aforementioned eight Panasonic PT-RZ12K projectors are used with 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution and a video management system known as DigiStar 5, the digital reference platform for domes, planetariums and giant screens . Six projectors cover the surrounding ring and two more are occupied for zenith coverage. The dome has a capacity for 269 seated people and six more in a wheelchair.

"This is the second time that we place our trust in Panasonic projectors. We had already made the first equipment renewal at 2011; At that time, we changed the supplier and went from using nine projectors from a European company to only eight, all from Panasonic. We selected them because their luminosity and the use of lenses, much more advanced and of greater angle, allowed us to reduce the number of equipment. But beyond that, we gain in reliability, quality of image and service, key points for systems that work for a minimum time of ten hours every day of the year, "said engineer Jorge Hernández, Manager of Mega Screen and Domodigital within Papalote Children's Museum.

The Panasonic projectors of the first renovation project, also of DLN technology of 3 chips, used dual lamps UHM (High Mercury Discharge) with a luminosity of 10,000 lumens and a maximum useful life of between 3 thousand hours. In contrast, the new projectors installed in 2017 offer a luminosity of up to 12,000 lumens and an assured operation of 20 a thousand hours, because when using a laser light source, with Solid Shine technology, there is no change of lamps and they do not suffer from the possible input of dust, in addition to operating at a much lower temperature and not heating, which translates into energy savings and use of air conditioning.

The purity and depth of the black color
"In addition we have gained in luminous density, the combination of projection and screen equals or surpasses the standard brightness of the commercial cinemas", commented Jorge Hernández.

"Another notable benefit with the change to projectors of laser light source was the increase of the contrast, it is something great that we can appreciate with the depth and purity of the" blacks ". With the previous projectors, however much we wanted, we always had a grayish tone, because there was always a trace of light that, however minimal (by the use of the conventional light source), prevented the accurate reproduction of the "blacks" . This is something that has been appreciated by video makers and content creators who have marveled at the range of contrast of these new Panasonic projectors, "he added.

The magic of the contents
Engineer Hernandez explained the process to put together a film for the Dome: "The visual contents have to come in a polar format. When we receive that sequence of images, specific "cuts" are assembled so that each projector has the image section that it must display. That information is sent to eight servers based on hard disk, then a master computer will be in charge of making perfect synchrony between each of the eight video signals. "

The experience at Domodigital Citibanamex is truly immersive. The audience receives the audiovisual impact and their reactions go from amazement to disbelief. The smile is a welcome sign that the visit has been satisfactory.

The digital chain without degradation
All the projectors are connected one by one by means of a ring of HD-SDI optical digital connections and through the interfaces the video signal is sent, which remains stable, free of any degradation.

As for the benefits of the daily operation, the engineer Hernandez points out the decrease in heat and ease in the daily adjustment. "In principle, we will forget the change of lamps, an expensive process and that should be very well programmed so as not to affect the calendar of functions. In addition, the operating temperature has decreased and that makes the equipment work better and its functional life is greater.

On the other hand, our daily routine of revision and adjustment of parameters has been simplified, because these projectors are more robust and resistant to possible imbalances by the vibration generated by earthquakes or by the sound of the subwoofers used in the Dome. Even so, every day we calibrate the geometry and check the blending. We are perfectionists, because we are committed to providing the maximum visual experience in each and every one of our functions ".

Speaking of sound, the Citibanamex Domodigital audiovisual experience is completed with a surround system of 5.1 channels, composed of thirty full-range speakers, plus eight subwoofers.

The technicians and engineers of the Domodigital Citibanamex were in charge of the installation of the eight new projectors PT-RZ12K with the professional advice of a dumbbell engineers of Panasonic of Mexico and Panasonic Corporation, who made the first start-up, executing the adjustments of Edge Blending and geometry, as well as staff training on the functions of the new software.

Cutting-edge entertainment
Technically, the Domodigital Citibanamex and the Mega Screen of Papalote Museo del Niño operate with seven engineers responsible for the operation and maintenance of the audiovisual systems of both venues. "We are all highly trained to set up the start-up of the contents, but also for the daily operation, the diagnosis and even the maintenance of the systems," said Jorge Hernández, the team leader. "Our technicians are capable of responding to any incident, they get a quick response before the public notices any detail, we're proud of that," he concludes.

Today, the Domodigital Citibanamex projects attractive educational films such as "The Phantom of the Universe" or "Maya Archeo-Astronomy: Observers of the Universe". In addition, it operates for private functions and as an alternative venue for audiovisual festivals, such as the renowned MUTEK. This impressive prodigy of technological ingenuity is found within Papalote Museo del Niño, in the 2ª section of Bosque de Chapultepec, to the west of Mexico City.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Editor
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.

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