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Terra delivers latency free native 4K at Zurich Opera

November 06, 2018

Christie Terra joins Christie Boxer 4K30 and Pandoras Box as part of end-to-end visual display solution

PHOENIX – The famous Zurich Opera House continues to trust Christie® technology with the recent addition of Christie Terra to complement the Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors and Christie Pandoras Box already in use. Now, the Christie infrastructure is taking the already-impressive onstage production of

'L'incoronazione di Poppea' to new heights thanks to Christie Terra's ability to switch, scale and extend signals of 4K video content. 

Written nearly four centuries ago, 'L'incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppaea)' remains a highlight in the operatic genre to this day, portraying mankind's vanities, passions, and darker side. The opera also reflects our selfie-obsessed culture complete with oversized images of the actors projected onto 16 x 9-foot screens on the auditorium's balconies using Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors with 4K content fed by Pandoras Box and Widget Designer.

Dramatic scenes and large, projected images of actors moving on the catwalk around the orchestra pit were captured on video as part of the pre-production, which were then displayed in both portrait and landscape mode.

Christie Terra enables latency-free transmission of native 4K signals

Christie partner, smARTec, supplied nine Terra transmitters, seven Terra receivers, and two Terra controllers to manage the routing of content from transmitters to receivers. The system also includes a multiviewer for confidence monitoring of content. At Zurich Opera House, Christie Terra is transmitting the data over 10G Ethernet from Christie Pandoras Box servers and cameras to the Christie projectors, artefact-free, supplying images for the video mapping and stage projection, as well as to the director's preview monitors.

Christie Terra is an AV over IP system, based on SDVoE technology (Software Defined Video over Ethernet) and for 'L'incoronazione di Poppea,' a 4K projection solution complete with a media playback and AV over IP system to distribute and extend 4K/60Hz content was necessary.

"It would have been a huge effort to use monitors or LED walls for the 14 screens," explained Elfried Roller, deputy head of lighting, Zurich Opera House. "We had the idea of projecting the images upright across the balconies, using Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors in sound-insulated cases. A 1080p feed would have been too little for the individual screens, and so only a native 4K feed was an option.

"Now all we had to do was adapt the fiber optic line and Pandoras Box," Roller added. "It was equally important to provide workflow and confidence monitoring for the technical production staff and director, who needed to see the various shots. For a long time we looked for a new fiber optic transmission chain with the ability to transmit 4K in multimode, and the Terra system suited us from the ground up."

The Christie Terra enables latency-free transmission of the native 4K signals (4:4:4 at 60 Hz), and guarantees multiple use of the input signals for confidence viewing. There is no need for a fibre optic crossbar or for re-plugging. "The possibility of productions using multiviewers, projection previews and live cameras makes our work a lot easier," said Roller.

Christie Terra's performance went off without a hitch. "We were very satisfied with the complete solution of Pandoras Box servers, and Terra AV over IP SDVoE technology solution, as well as the Boxer 4K projectors. Receiving everything from one source is very convenient for stage operations, or when we need efficient support for our system," Roller concluded.

The Terra platform provides a highly efficient method for any combination of transmitters and receivers on a network and multi-view confidence monitoring can be easily supported by adding another receiver. Christie Terra is more efficient than traditional fiber switching designs, which require several more outputs supplied to an additional multiviewer device. 

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