Christie Roadster X6 at Mayor of London's Greater London Authority

When the headquarters of the Mayor of London's Greater London Authority on the south bank of the Thames opened to the public in September 2002, they set a mandate that they wanted to be accessible to the public via television, radio and the internet.

One of the key technical requirements was to create a backbone, with various plug-in points throughout the building, that would allow information in the form of data and text, video and audio to flow from its source to any desk or display screen, the GLA web site or for national broadcast.

But IVC, who were awarded the £2.1 million contract, were also asked to provide a high-grade portable presentation unit, that would be able to operate in both the first floor assembly chamber and way up on the ninth floor of the magnificent Foster & Partners designed building and at the same time fit in with the general aesthetic.

IVC managed to devise an ingenious solution based around an 80" dnp Black Bead screen and Christie Roadster X6 DLP projector and designed a self-powered mobile presentation system in the process.

With so much ambient lighting spilling through the heavily glazed circular dome, IVC knew they needed to opt for a system accustomed to operating in high ambient light environments, with unsurpassed image contrast and high brightness uniformity. And so IVC's Jim Maynard approached dnp's UK distributors; Paradigm AV.

The dnp Black Bead screen, supplied with Paradigm's full rear projection rig, is especially designed for projection of high resolution images in control rooms and other applications where exceptionally high contrast and brightness uniformity is needed.

But although Paradigm produced the throw drawings, IVC still had to design and manufacture the chassis to integrate these details, along with keeping the final product within tight tolerances and yet remain entirely functional. This can be plugged into the 256-seat assembly chamber, which is open to the public, and in turn forms the main display section of the system or into London's Living room. Developed by Jim Maynard, the unit can then be driven around the building as a stand-alone solution as the need requires.

With hydraulic steering and sufficient power to drive over a mile the unit is very easy to maneuver, with finite control ability as required. Even the charging system has been modified to stay permanently connected without draining the batteries, leaving them to be charged wherever the unit is plugged into the mains.

Jim explained that the original concept had been based around a four-cube display, but given the nature of the application, he felt the cubes would forever need maintaining. "What I felt was needed was a single lens projection solution so it would just be a question of mobilizing without the need for any setting up in its final location. The unit is fully equipped with VCR and DVD playback options, computer input and amplification and control built permanently within an integral 12U rack along with sound reinforcement and internal temperature sensors for cooling."

The X6, fitted with a short-throw 0.8 lens, is rated at 6,000 lumens and is able to display a wide variety of sources and its xenon illumination ensures color and picture quality is maintained over the full life of the projector's lamp. With a weight of 82 pounds and a relatively slim profile, it was ideal for this application.

Jim Maynard confirmed that having worked with the contractors for over a year they only had an eight-week period in which to install the full broadcast facilities, AV, sound, control systems and webcast facilities, along with the data and telephone backbone cabling throughout the building.

But they handed over the completed installation on time and in budget, allowing Her Majesty the Queen to perform the official opening ceremony.

Courtesy of Christie Digital Systems, Inc.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Christie Roadster X6 projector page.