High-Powered, Open-Architecture Fulldome Server Upgrade at Thessaloniki

The planetarium at Thessaloniki Science Center and Museum (NOESIS), Greece has undergone a Global Immersion Fulldome Server upgrade and can now store, manage and playback uncompressed, ultra-HD content to give audiences an awe-inspiring experience.
Feb. 20, 2009 - PRLog -- Global Immersion has supplied an advanced server solution and a range of fulldome content to the planetarium at the Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum (NOESIS) in Greece. The new open-architecture Fidelity server system will allow the facility to manage, edit and playback ultra-high resolution, uncompressed content through the theater’s six-channel DLP fulldome projection system.

Following the establishment of NOESIS (meaning ‘understanding’ in Greek) as a cultural and educational non-profit organization in 1978, the Thessaloniki Science Center and Museum was built twenty years later to enhance the understanding of science, technology, and Greek Technological Heritage. In order to promote these values to a wide audience, NOESIS constructed three theater venues in a project co-funded by the European Union, EEA-EFTA States and the Greek Government, including the site’s 150-seat, 18-meter (59-foot) planetarium.

Unique Graphics Approach

A high-powered Fidelity Media Server solution was supplied and integrated into the planetarium; feeding into the existing digital projection system. This six-channel graphics cluster will be used to render high-resolution, digital content in either pre-recorded or real-time formats. Fidelity Media Server provides a unique open-architecture solution - accurately synchronising each of the cluster nodes and scaling the delivery system to match the required theater resolution; a process which optimizes the display configuration and produces a single, seamless image across a multi-channel display.

In addition to the Uniview real-time data visualization and astronomy platform from Swedish software firm and partner organization of Global Immersion, SCISS of Sweden, Fidelity Media Director is loaded onto the servers; storing fulldome content in its proprietary, uncompressed format. Another key advantage of the system design is its ability to take any electronic media and convert it into a playable format - rendering and outputting frames to match the native resolution of the display.

The Fidelity Media Director package uses an intuitive yet comprehensive user interface - novices have been successfully trained to create and manipulate fulldome content within hours; immediately playing back the results on the dome. For advanced content production, the familiar timeline interface assists rapid editing and production of professional-grade fulldome shows. This function has a number of benefits, including the scripting and timelining of “launches” with high-impact, high-resolution media shows.

Jan Breens, Media and Content Manager at Global Immersion explained, “It was imperative that we specified a rugged, stable and proven solution design for the Thessaloniki project to ensure the theater remained ahead of the game with their storage and production facilities. The upgraded server system is extremely powerful, and has provided the projection system with a new lease of life – the completely digital architecture is capable of providing more than ten hours of uncompressed high resolution media storage - the equivalent of approximately twenty fulldome shows.”

Vassilis Matsos, System Manager at NOESIS said, “We were very happy to work with Global Immersion to integrate the new, high definition playback solution - the system’s advantages of quality, stability and flexibility are already apparent to our team. Global Immersion’s Engineers were highly efficient throughout the installation and training period, working with us to ensure the best strategy for maintaining a reliable and robust system for the future.”

To complete the solution, Global Immersion will provide system and content production training workshops in addition to the suppy of a preventative remote diagnostics facility, both will minimize the ongoing cost of ownership and provide a stable, long-term and rewarding facility.

About Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum

NOESIS was founded in 1978 as a cultural and educational non-profit organization. In 1998, the museum initiated a project which involved construction of a new facility and the development of a new spectrum of activities. The project was completed successfully and the new foundation "Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum - NOESIS" was established.

Fidelity is a trademark of Global Immersion Ltd
DLP is a trademark of Texas Instruments
Uniview is a trademark of SCISS AB

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About Global Immersion

Global Immersion is an award-winning, full service immersive theater design and installation organization, integrating and developing fulldome cinema and large-format immersive theater to create an effective and advanced means of educating and entertaining the public.
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Tags:Global Immersion, Fulldome, Planetarium, Greece, Thessaloniki, Immersive Theater, Digital Cinema, High Definition
Industry:Technology, Engineering, Entertainment
Location:Haywards Heath - Sussex - England
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