Panasonic Delivers State-Of-The-Art Visuals in 'BC Experience'

June 7, 2006

by -- Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Company

Panasonic Canada today announced that select models of its premiere high definition (HD) plasma displays and three-chip DLP projectors have been installed in a new interactive Geographic Discovery Centre in Victoria, British Columbia which opens later this month. The centre, BC Experience, is using Panasonic display technology to help create an innovative attraction to educate visitors about the stunning diversity of British Columbia’s geography, history, and culture.

The $12-million dollar BC Experience includes an intimate 70-seat Panasonic HD Theatre, where visitors can experience the HD film “Super, Natural British Columbia” on a 20-foot screen in Dolby surround sound. The BC Experience creative team is also using Panasonic HD plasma screens and projectors throughout the venue to tell stories, educate, and entertain guests.

“The designers of BC Experience have grasped the full potential of Panasonic display technology and matched it with remarkable creativity,” says Ian Vatcher, President, Panasonic Canada Inc. “They have utilized high definition display technology and projection to create some of the most impressive visual displays in the country.”

BC Experience also includes a compelling five-screen vertical format HD presentation entitled "In Our Own Words”, which features languages and visuals of the First Nations of BC. Images transform seamlessly from one screen to the next, changing from five separate images, to one image spanning all five screens. There’s also a three-screen horizontal-format HD presentation called "Victoria Reflections,” which features breathtaking panoramic macro imagery on three large 65” Panasonic plasma screens.

“Designing video content for multiple screens definitely presents some technical challenges in production, but is also creatively very satisfying,” said Colin McCartie, BC Experience Media Producer and Technical Designer. “We’ve taken all our experience from years of creating large format multi-image slide projector shows and combined it with the last 10 years of HDTV production experience. Add to this the limitless capabilities of non-linear editing and compositing, and we’ve arrived at a new form of “multi-image” production that is better than ever. We’re introducing visitors to a unique form of storytelling, which is enhanced by the vibrant displays of high definition plasma display technology.”

Six Panasonic 50" TH-50THD8UK plasma screens are being used in the facility as an integral part of the "Exploration Stations,” an innovative 3D earth fly-over technology that allows guests of all ages to explore and discover BC and beyond. Using a joystick and an interactive menu, users can fly across a 3D landscape in a helicopter-like flight simulation. When a destination is selected, they are treated to a narrated virtual video tour of that area. The earth imagery and video vignettes are displayed in vibrant colour and resolution on the HD plasma screens, complete with stereo sound using Panasonic's flanking speaker accessories.

A number of Panasonic three-chip DLP projectors are also displaying visuals throughout the building. The 7000-series HD PT-DW7000UK projector provides the large format Panasonic HD Theatre with the big-screen experience in spectacular brightness and clarity. At the other end of the historic glass-roofed building is “The Crystal”, a unique clamshell-shaped theatre which uses a Panasonic three-chip DLP projector to project HD images onto a circular screen. This allows a BC Experience’s guide to quickly take the audience on a tour of cities or countries all the around the world at the click of a menu. HD vignettes cover a variety of topics such as earthquakes, tsunamis, parks, wildlife, west coast rainforests, the history of the Crystal Garden, etc. Panasonic's LCD projection is also used to enable guests to accompany Lady Agnes Macdonald, the wife of Canada’s first Prime Minister, on an amazing journey which she made through the Rocky Mountains in 1886, sitting on the cowcatcher of a steam train.

All of the HD shows for BC Experience were produced, edited, and mastered in Panasonic's DVCPRO HD format. Each film was output to tape via the AJ1200 Panasonic DVCPRO HD deck. Some of the HD footage used in BC Experience was acquired using Panasonic's new P2 camera and the P2 solid-state memory recording system. In total, the attraction is using more than 30 plasma displays between 37” and 65” in size throughout the venue.

BC Experience’s wide range of displays and interactive experiences were created by a team of designers and planners including: Gary McCartie, Partner, Lead Designer and Creative Director; Colin McCartie, Media Producer and Technical Designer; David Hoole, Partner, Concept Developer and Senior Writer; Chris Sia, Technical Director; and Andre & Associates, Interpretation and Design.



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