The multimedia art gallery in the newly designed 164,000-square-foot shopping center in Kiev, Ukraine, needed to be innovative and eye-catching, and the technology behind it powerful enough to handle the content the investor and developer Art Mall had in mind. The almost 4,000-squarefoot gallery would be the centerpiece of the space, mapping classic works of art onto the walls and columns. The developer enlisted the services of visual and interactive solutions provider Front Pictures.
The projection would cover a roughly 11ft.-tall by 656ft.-wide area, resulting in an extremely high resolution of 47,344×800, with a 60:1 video aspect ratio. Based on preliminary calculations, the company would need 50 to 55 projectors backed by at least five media servers. Front Pictures already had success connecting up to 32 projectors to a single media server using its proprietary Screenberry technology to create immersive visual experiences for other events and shows.
For this project, Front Pictures’ engineers designed server architecture that would support up to 64 projectors. The system has a six-core Intel processor, 32GB RAM, SSD RAID array (with 3GB per second), and two Nvidia Quadro GPUs (K6000) based on Kepler technology. Front Pictures used 14 Datapath display wall controllers connected to one media server to distribute the video signal from two Nvidia Quadro graphics cards (with eight outputs) to all 52 projectors. The system can support up to 64 projectors in the future by adding more Datapath x4 display wall controllers.
To achieve perfect projector alignment, the output pipeline included not only video playback, but also geometric distortion, blend effects and color correction, which were applied to the video stream in real time. It took the company two months of fine-tuning and a number of experiments to achieve fully synchronized and smooth playback.
PRODUCT AT WORK
The Datapath x4 is a standalone display wall controller that accepts a standard single or dual-link DVI input and can flexibly display this across four output monitors. Each output can be driven as DVI or analog RGB, and can represent an arbitrary crop region of the original input image. The output resolution and frame rate does not need to be related to that of the input, as the Datapath x4 display controller will optionally upscale and frame rate convert each cropped region independently. The x4 is available in 1RU format (438mmx172mmx40mm).