The Children's Ice Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, needed a flexible projection solution for the backdrop of its new play Ice Heart. The projectors had to be bright enough to project vibrant imagery across the 17.5-metre wide screen while having the flexibility to adapt to future theatrical performances.
Because they would be inaccessibly installed high above the ice stage, the projectors needed to be reliable and also able to be fully controlled from the ground.
The AV team at the venue selected four powerful Optoma ZU750 laser projectors to rear project imagery onto the 17.5m x 8.28m hanging screen.
These projectors were chosen not just due to the high brightness and impressive image but due to the fact they have interchangeable lenses to give maximum flexibility for the future.
For Ice Heart, the projectors are configured so that they can be blended together to provide the largest projection area or stacked when the picture needs to be at its brightest.
The projectors are switched via a 125m long Cat6 ethernet cable with extended reach by four Kramer TP-780TXR HDBaseT transmitters. The installation also used a Datapath x4 stand alone display wall controller. Nine large Panasonic PT-EX16 XGA resolution projectors are blended to project onto the ice itself to provide colour and atmosphere.
Michail Bagryantsev, Video Engineer at the Children's Ice Theatre, said: “An important advantage to us of the Optoma projectors is their weight. This is around 17kg with the lens. This makes it easier for both installation and transportation. We ordered four lightweight cases to protect each projector and lens while in transit. The total weight of each case is just 27 kg which now allows us to easily take the Optoma projectors with us by air when we have a tight tour schedule.
“Ethernet connection is still quite unusual for the Russian projection market. The 125m Cat6 cable provides a stable signal.”
The Optoma ZU750 projectors illuminate a huge area of the Children's Ice Theatre to help set the scene and tell the story being performed by the skaters.
Their fully motorised optics allow the theatre’s AV engineers to adjust the image on the screen remotely, with high accuracy, without the need for direct access to the projectors.
Director of the Children's Ice Theatre, Nikita Konstantinov, said: “The ice performance Ice Heart, which is based on the popular film Frozen, was the first in our theatre to use the Optoma ZU750 projectors with the rear projection screen and it looks fantastic!
“The Children’s Ice Theatre had a relatively small budget to source an economical solution that could create an image with a brightness of 30,000 lumens. The four laser projectors meet this challenge perfectly, but also give us the flexibility in the future to use the projectors separately to create additional installation solutions, such as an interactive children's exhibition.
“The excellent ratio of price and quality of the projectors meant we could implement this ambitious and spectacular projection solution that has become an integral addition to the scenery of the Children's Ice Theatre.”