Press Release

Christie's Mirage HD Projectors and Vista Systems' Spyder to Power Marathon's Visualization Center

First in U.S. to Combine the Power of Christie HD Projectors And Vista Spyder to Enhance High-Tech “Visionarium”

Christie, a leader in advanced visualization solutions, announced that its industry-leading Christie Mirage HD projectors and the Vista Spyder video display processor were chosen by Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) to upgrade the company’s state-of-the-art visualization center.  Called the Visionarium, the center is a collaborative, multi-discipline environment in which geologists, geophysicists, engineers and drilling experts review data that includes seismic, well and other critical information on a giant curved cylindrical projection screen measuring 8’ high by 27’ long.  This is the first large-scale system for oil and gas exploration in the country that combines the power of Christie Mirage HD6 DLP® projectors and the Vista Systems Spyder in an immersive environment.

A global company, one of Marathon’s core activities is exploring key geologic resource basins for oil and natural gas.  Marathon seeks to apply cutting edge technological innovations to gain the most accurate readings of seismic data gathered from these resource basins with a goal of continually improving exploration success. Its Visionarium, located at its headquarters in Houston, Texas, is the high-tech heart of a suite of workrooms that are used for evaluation and planning sessions, partner meetings, training and management presentations. 

The company has used Christie since switching from CRT to DLP displays five years ago.  In the current upgrade, it moved from a three-projector system featuring Christie Mirage projectors that delivered 2,000 ANSI lumens each at 1280 x 1024 resolution with 3-D active stereo to the brighter, two-projector Mirage HD6 system that offers up to 12,000 ANSI lumens and 1920 x 1080 resolution with 3-D active stereo.  The Vista Systems Spyder caps the blended, 1x2 front-projection display by offering limitless windowing capability and seamless switching from a wide array of video inputs.  The Vista Spyder also effortlessly switches from a Linux workstation to PC without any visible delay, a process that previously demanded a wait of up to 60 seconds. 

“The Christie Mirage HD projectors deliver exceptionally bright, high resolution images. This is a critical consideration when imaging seismic data,” said Sharon Crawford, senior technical consultant, Worldwide Geoscience, Upstream Technology.   “Brighter images also mean we can increase the ambient lighting in the room to provide guests with a more comfortable viewing space for their own work, and to better view our oversized, printed maps on the wall.”
Crawford recalled that the department was originally concerned that the upgrade would require a new projection screen and ceiling grid that would add considerably to the overall cost.  However, Christie conducted a thorough inspection of the space and assured her that, because the screen had received such excellent care, they did not need to replace it.  Christie also expertly fitted the two HD projectors into the same ceiling grid that previously housed three projectors, resulting in additional savings. Finally, Christie installed a more efficient control system for the equipment, room and lighting systems to allow Marathon to customize the environment to their needs. 

“An increasing number of oil and gas companies are recognizing the benefits of advanced visualization centers to help them better evaluate data in a more collaborative environment,” observed Zoran Veselic, vice president, Visual Environments at Christie.  “Marathon’s upgrade to the Christie Mirage HD projectors and the Vista Spyder is an innovative step that speaks to its technological leadership and reflects its confidence in our integrated solutions.”

Marathon also has a strong community outreach program in place.  The company works with local schools on tutoring and mentoring students in lower income neighborhoods.  As part of its outreach, it invites students to experience the Visionarium as the staff does, fostering an interest in math and science. During educational sessions, students learn where oil is trapped in rocks, and see demonstrations of the software which allows the company to evaluate the different attributes of the site.

“We believe strongly in being a responsible corporate citizen and in giving back to the community.  For that reason, we actively pursue philanthropic, social development and volunteer programs to inspire today’s young people and help them grow up to be tomorrow’s great leaders,” said Crawford. 


About Christie
Christie, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., Japan, (JP:6925), is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in digital projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions.  With the acquisition of Vista Controls Systems, Corp., Christie offers the most complete and advanced solutions for cinema, live venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3-D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments.