Christie has named Brandenton, Florida integrator Absolute Ultimate AV its exclusive worldwide rep for home theater installations of its breakthrough Eclipse projector.
As reported earlier when the Eclipse captured a Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association, the projector was publicly debuted in 2019 at New York's Hayden Planetarium in time for a special show commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The Eclipse was developed initially to meet the Hayden's demands for an advanced HDR projector capable of achieving the deepest possible blacks for its domed shows and astronomical research. Astronauts who have experienced the six-projector blended system at the Hayden have called it the closest they've ever seen to the deep black of outer space.
The Eclipse is a 4K-resolution, pure RGB laser projector capable of achieving close to full Rec.2020 color gamut and even Rec.2021, which denotes the same color space but reflects a contrast ratio exceeding 200,000:1. The Eclipse beats that by 100x with its 20 million:1 rating, achieved with a clever 6-chip DLP system. One set of 4K chips is used as the primary display system, while a second trio of optically-coupled 1080p-resolution chips functions as the equivalent of a local-dimming backlight, modulating the light source to either deepen blacks or boost highlights in specific areas of the image to achieve otherwise impossible dynamic range. It is said to be a next generation version of the similarly-conceived Dolby Cinema HDR projectors Chrisite produces for movie theaters.
According to Christie, Absolute Ultimate AV will work with the company to provide installation, maintenance, and remote monitoring of Eclipse systems in the field. The Eclipse is no ordinary projector and will not be appearing in any ordinary home theater. It is comprised of a large laser module and accompanying remote cooling system, and a large projection head, and thus requires a dedicated, sound-isolated projection booth. Three brightness levels are available at 9,000, 17,000 and 25,000 lumens to accommodate different-sized theaters. As per Christie's usual policies, no pricing was publicly released, though interested individuals can contact Absolute Ultimate AV to explore system costs.
"With over 30 years of experience designing and installing bespoke home theaters, we select only the best performing products for our customers, and Christie Eclipse is the best-of-the-best," said Nigel Archer, co-CEO of AUAV, in Christie's statement announcing the partnership. "Eclipse is capable of dynamic range, contrast, color and HDR performance that has never been seen before in a home theater display. It's quite simply a game-changer."
Those interested in doing a deeper dive on the technology and performance of the Eclipse can visit Archer's review of the Eclipse on AVS Forum.