As the passenger plane flies into shot, touches down on the runway and taxies to the gate, surround sound and a large curved screen make viewers feel as if they're sitting in an air traffic control tower. In fact, they're watching footage shot on high-resolution Panomera® multifocal-sensor cameras being displayed on a 12K presentation wall in German video technology company Dallmeier's Experience Centre.
Dallmeier, a Germany-based vendor of video software, camera and recording solutions, caters to large-scale B2B clients and high-end enterprise customers, including the largest casinos in Macau, nine of the 12 stadiums of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, cities and manufacturing companies, as well as providing runway, interior and apron solutions at airports across the world.
When designing a new state-of-the-art centre for customer interaction, Dallmeier sought to deliver an immersive environment where visitors could gain first-hand experience of the company's story. At pro AV show ISE, it found Canon's XEED 4K600STZ laser installation projectors were the perfect kit for the job.
On the top floor of Dallmeier's headquarters in Regensburg, Germany, a former canteen has taken on a new life as the Experience Centre. It features workshop rooms and an open presentation area for up to 80 people, and the centre point is a 100m2 round room called the Holodeck, where three Canon projectors share multimedia content on a curved 12K presentation wall.
For Dallmeier, this projection solution represents a core element of its sales approach to top-level clients. "When you sell to enterprise customers, it involves a very long consulting process and you need to demonstrate solutions," says Josua Braun, Product Marketing Director. "This is often realised with so-called executive briefing centres that show the quality and dedication of a company. It is a well-established way of selling to enterprise markets."
The Dallmeier Experience Centre builds on this concept to allow high-level executives the chance to experience the custom solutions the company can offer. "The workshop part of the centre is reserved for the rational side of the sales pitch, and then the Holodeck is for the emotional part," says Josua. "We are hoping this will be the emotional centre point for our big enterprise customers, to have them experience the quality and the expertise we have with video technology, the value of our products and the trust that they can put in us."
With an architectural vision for a round room and therefore a curved screen, Dallmeier required multiple projectors to bring the imagery to life. It selected Canon XEED 4K600STZ projectors because of their seamless projection.
"The first thing for us when choosing Canon was the marginal focus that creates a really sharp picture on the edge of the lens," says Markus Deindl, Inhouse Applications. "It's not easy to stitch a picture with two or three projectors with real focus at the edge. Nobody else can offer such a sharp picture at the edge of the screen."
The Holodeck isn't for simple PowerPoint presentations – there are other workshop rooms for that. It's for pre-prepared and often animated content, which needs to be rendered at the high quality in which it was shot, flawlessly across the entire projection wall.
Marginal focus adjustment within the Canon XEED 4K600STZ projectors ensures a consistent focus across any surface, including curved and domed screens, while ultra-low image distortion of just 0.1% delivers smooth, precise and clear images even when using multiple projectors. The blended images between the three projectors in the Holodeck are sharp and vivid, without any loss of focus.
The project was not without its challenges, largely due to the design of the Holodeck, which restricted conventional projector installation. "There was no way to install the projectors on the ceiling, so to get a flawless image on the wall, lens shift was very important. It helped us realise the requirements of the architect," says Markus.
The three Canon XEED 4K600STZ projectors are mounted on the floor in the centre of the room, requiring them to project the images tilted upwards towards the 12-metre screen from a distance of just four metres. This was possible thanks to unparalleled lens technology, which offers unique and versatile lens shift of +/-60% vertically and +/-10% horizontally. Even when projected at a short distance, images are consistently bright across the entire zoom range.
As Canon's smallest and lightest native 4K laser phosphor projector, weighing just 26kg, the Canon XEED 4K600STZ made the installation process simple and allows for ongoing adjustments as the Holodeck area starts being used regularly.
When the team were assessing technical solutions at pro AV show ISE, they had one further requirement, along with marginal focus and a huge lens shift setup – native 4K projection, central to showcasing Dallmeier's imaging products.
"The quality is absolutely essential for us, not only from an experience perspective, because you want to see flawless images, but even more importantly for us as a camera vendor," says Markus. "The unique proposition of our Panomera® multifocal-sensor systems is a very high, exactly definable minimum resolution across very, very large areas. This quality needs to be reflected in the way we project the footage.
"We show real footage from our cameras – so the projector has to have at least the same quality as the camera image, otherwise it will not represent the original. We want to show the customer the real quality of the cameras."
Choosing native 4K HDR Canon XEED 4K600STZ projectors means Dallmeier's footage is showcased in real 4K resolution, giving faithful image reproduction without any downscaling for high resolution content. LCOS technology delivers smooth images thanks to reduced gaps between pixels, while sub-pixel registration further enhances image quality. The projectors' high 6,000-lumen brightness and blacklevel adjustment ensure vivid, true-to-life output. Built-in options also allow for easy adjustments to colour, contrast and blending.
Two years in the making, the Holodeck was finished in July 2019, with Canon Europe support engineers visiting the site to calibrate the projectors manually to match them up seamlessly and ensure everything was running smoothly.
Patrick Pagler, Canon Austria Key Account Manager for Projectors, said: "Our setup and our approach was a perfect match. Seeing our projectors working in such a professional environment is a pleasure, and the knowledge of the people working at Dallmeier is outstanding."
As the Experience Centre launches, the Dallmeier team is finding that the Canon solution provides the wow-factor they had hoped for in creating a unique multimedia space.
"The feedback we've had so far is overwhelming," says Josua. "It's a completely new way of product and solution presentation. Best of all, we had a major customer visiting and the vice president said the Holodeck was so impressive, they wanted their C-level management to come to our headquarters to see how we present. To achieve that is obviously an absolutely great result."