Digital Projection Systems

Digital domes come in all sizes and can be used for a variety of applications. The size of the dome and the type of content presented will greatly influence the type of digital projection system that is best for a particular fulldome application. This information is designed to help identify the benefits of the various video projectors to best meet the needs of a specific digital fulldome theater design.

 

A Digistar for Every Dome

A variety of projection systems are available to be used with Digistar. E&S can help determine and recommend\optimum projection systems for specific planetarium designs and budgets. The following are the most common projection systems for Digistar 5:

Other projector configurations and options may be available. We're also happy to help you select a projection system perfectly matched to your dome! Please contact us for additional information.

 

Stereo 3D Options

Nearly all projection systems can be adapted to display stereo 3D images. Digistar 5 supports the following 3D display methods: Anaglyph stereo (inexpensive, but non-professional quality), INFITEC 3D stereo and Active Stereo (both high-end professional quality 3D display solutions). Please see our 3D Stereo Options page for additional information.

 

Pixels vs. Pixels

[Pixel Comparison]Domes are round and video projector images are rectangular. This sounds completely obvious, but to adapt a rectangular projection image to a dome, certain things must happen to ensure that images look as perfect as possible on a hemisphere including image warping and spherical distortion. All of this happens automatically within Digistar 5. Also, to project onto a round surface, the edges of the video image get lost beyond the surface of the dome, and others get lost where edges of multiple projectors overlap and blend together, so as far as pure pixel resolution goes, there are two numbers to keep in mind: the Total System Pixels - the number of unique pixels in the original rectangular video frame(s), and the Pixels on the Dome - the final number of unique pixels that end up projected on the surface of the dome. The higher the better!

 

Brightness vs. Contrast

Arguably the perfect projection system would boast both high contrast and high brightness to achieve the ideal picture. Unfortunately, projectors tend to be strong in one and weak in the other. Brightness is key to making images look vibrant and colorful; Contrast is key to giving images depth and realism. Of the two, contrast is often perceived as more important especially in applications where backgrounds need to be black, as in starfields; however, for large domes, brightness is also critically important because the giant surface area requires a lot of light for proper illumination of images. Too much brightness, however, could cause excessive light scatter in the dome and will reduce the image contrast.