George Tsintzouras: As a whole, Christie has three business units, cinema, visualization/virtualization, and business products which is where I am. The business products unit, the one exhibiting at LDI, deals with rental/staging and fixed install—everything from live events to amusement market segments. We also are strong in the worship, education, government, sports/arena, gaming, and casino markets. We have many vertical segments, coming from the fact that we have products from 3,000 to 30,000 lumens in every resolution available.
We have an advanced team of consultants, as well as a sales team that addresses the needs of our dealer channels directly. We like to see ourselves as the pro AV industry’s favorite partner, as we’re more about solutions and providing great service, so that’s what drives our business. It’s difficult to whittle it down to one thing.
LD: What markets are growing for you?
GT: In the last few years, most areas have had steady growth, but worship has really accepted higher end AV install in such a way that they have embraced it as augmenting and helping their message. We also see huge growth in arenas, stadiums, and sports venues, as well as in higher education and government. While recently, some of that has to do with stimulus money, the growth is still there.
LD: Is there ever a concern about losing focus with all these vertical markets?
GT: This is why we have strategic business units, so the business product unit only deals with these segments and only focuses on these particular types of systems and solutions. Convergence between video and lighting has truly gotten to the point where it’s quite tangible, and we are no longer just talking about 4x3 or 16x9 screens. We’re talking about canvases and how many pixels, and how much light you want to cover a surface. Look at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies and all that mapping of images inside the ring of the Birds Nest. We are truly taking about pixel canvases these days. This is being adopted by other market segments, like churches doing permanent installs with multi-projector displays. Of course, that has its own challenges, like facilities that don’t have a full time projectionist. What happens when projectors get misaligned? Well, we can provide that solution, for example, as with our AutoStack™ feature that automatically stacks and blends projectors. These types of niche areas are really becoming more mainstream.
LD: What is something you want people to know about your company they might not already know?
GT: Many people think of our company and products as an expensive brand with very high-end projectors. Yes we do three-chip DLP®, but our solutions also cover a broad range of 3LCD and single-chip DLP® products. We are very competitive in those areas, and once you factor in our world-class service and support, going with Christie becomes very attractive.
LD: What’s a good example of a project you’d like to share?
GT: Last year, and one I think is still relevant, was at the Quebec 400th Anniversary. We had a series of Roadster S+20K projectors on The Image Mill, created by Robert Lepage and Ex Machina to recount the history of Quebec with what is believed to be the world’s longest video projection. There were 27 projectors on 81 curved grain silos in a beautifully orchestrated application that covers everything we’re talking about here.
LD: What will you have new at LDI?
GT: We’re working with Zap Technology (France) to combine their lighting yokes with our video projectors. Together we are showing solutions that incorporate 3LCD and three-chip DLP projectors. Where early generation video projector yokes were low in lumens, the joint solutions we’re showing can now include even a 20,000-lumen Roadster S+20K—truly spectacular. At LDI, we’ll also show new versions of our three-chip DLP M Series product line, updated to include WXGA and WUXGA resolutions. All this will be alongside the North American debut of the world’s brightest projector, at 35,000 lumens, the Roadie HD+35K.