Vista Systems’ Spyder and Christie projectors were selected for the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Big Screen Theatre in the newly-opened Newseum. Communications Engineering, Inc. (CEI), a leading broadcast and multimedia systems integrator based in Newington, Virginia, designed and installed the Newseum’s broadcast and audio-visual systems.

A seven-level, high-tech interactive museum, the Newseum traces the history of news reporting from the 15th century to the present. Originally located in Arlington, Virginia, the 250,000-square foot Newseum is now at the Capitol end of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. The main funder of its operations is the nonpartisan Freedom Forum.

“When CEI approached us on this project they wanted a processor capable of handling ‘live news’ with quick and easy programming along with multiple projector blending and support of multiple input formats including HD,” comments Vista Systems' Victor Vettorello.

The Big Screen Theatre is located on the fifth level of the museum where it displays historical and breaking news. It features a 90x11-foot screen whose images are provided by five edge-blended Christie DW3K DLP® projectors using ChristieTWIST™ image warping and blending functionality.

The Newseum will produce new major presentations every two or three months. The theatre can easily switch between live PIPs and major productions on an hourly rotation. The Spyder’s task is to feed video to the projectors, which blend the ultra-wide image. It has 28 total inputs, 20 coming from the facility router. It controls the router and routes any source through outputs. The Spyder, in turn, is controlled by a Medialon system.

Presets are saved in the Spyder, and Medialon triggers it to recall various set ups. Inputs are the server playout channels. Medialon triggers the playing of a clip and routes it to the Spyder. Sources include off-air video, terrestrial feeds, cable feeds and graphic inputs. The screen displays one large, continuous image with various PIPs layered in different sizes and following different paths of movement. Graphic windows are filled with off-air or server inputs.

For additional Live Design online coverage on the Newseum, see Barco HD LED Display Greets Newseum Visitors.