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Dolphin roll out successful Christie/DNP formula

Since installing the main studio at ITV Central in Birmingham with a state-of-the-art rear-projected widescreen backdrop behind the news readers, Dolphin Media & Design have found that the combination of a dnp GWA large optical TV studio screen, rear projected from a Christie three-chip DLP projector is starting to pay handsome dividends - throughout the entire Independent Television network.
“The Birmingham installation proved to be so professional that Granada in Manchester, Yorkshire Television in Leeds, Tyne Tees in Newcastle and now ITV West in Bristol have all followed suit in their regional news studios,” said Mark Dolphin, whose West Midlands-based company recently expanded into new industrial premises in Camp Hill.
One thing Mark has been able to do since Birmingham is upspec the projection now that Christie have replaced their Roadster X6 with the DS+8K SXGA+ projector. Featuring a pre-aligned Xenon lamp module (with typical 1000-hour lamp life), this new fixture offers 8000 ANSI lumens, 1500:1 contrast ratio, high-quality optics and 10-bit image processing to produce exceptional image quality, perfect colour saturation and spectacular video. And it does so from a tiny footprint.
Mark added: “Essentially we are using the same kit but with a new, better projector which is optimised for studio use.” The DS+8K is cradled in a purpose-made rig, its output deflected off the critically-aligned 45°-angled, two-metre giant mirror, fabricated by Paradigm Audio Visual, UK distributors for the dnp screens. The projector is balanced to 3200K to compensate for the studio’s Type-B tungsten light, while the 60in GWA TV Studio Screen — a single element optical system with two active lens surfaces providing enhanced brightness uniformity and contrast levels — is flanked by two 50" plasma screens.
As a result of the initial installation, standardisation on this equipment has become core to ITV’s strategy of retaining continuity and a strong corporate identity.
Mark said: “Each studio set design now looks identical, and when the cameras cut from London to the regions it’s a seamless transition.” At each location the station offers a panoramic view over the city (the projector’s only feed coming from a camera positioned on the studio roof, displayed in an unconventional widescreen aspect ratio).
The original idea had been inspired by Central TV’s studio engineer Graham Dobbs and his team. He had already been impressed by a similar set-up in a London studio, but wanted reassurance about issues such as viewing angle and brightness — knowing the new set-up would also have to demonstrate reliability, given its intended duty cycle.
After evaluation, Graham Dobbs agreed that the projector/display combination met all the studio’s objectives in achieving impressive colour imagery, high resolution and sharpness, and complete uniformity of illumination; as well as answering all the questions Central had about consistency of performance. “In addition, we can also use this display to key off — and generate a Chroma Key effect if we so need to,” Dobbs said.
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