Astel Elektronik has completed the redesign of a news studio for Turkey’s Kanal D at the Doğan TV Center in Istanbul— specifying three Christie® Roadster HD18K 3-chip DLP® projectors and a Christie Spyder 344 4-in/4-out multi-screen processor. Kanal D forms part of the country’s most famous media organisation, Doğan Group, owned by Turkish media tycoon Aydin Doğan. The station wanted to redeploy the existing plasma screen and replace it with a back projection solution — using a 1.5m (high) x 7.8m (wide) screen in 5.1 aspect ratio. This would coincide with the start of the new season of the morning special news programme, İrfan Degirmenci ile Gunaydin, presented by Irfan Degirmenci between 7am and9am. This meant optimising the limited rear space available in the corner of the studio, where the display would be sited.
Having sold displays and Christie projectors to the broadcasters for more than a decade, Astel were automatically brought in to carry out the work, on the basis of their long trading partnership and Doğan Group’s reliance on Christie quality and Astel’s support. Hakan Tumer, Head of the Technical Group at Dogan TV Holding, stated, “Our first choice for projection is always Christie — their products have quality assurance and generally respond to our needs. And in this partnership Astel plays an important role, ensuring that this efficiency is maintained.”
One of the biggest challenges facing the technical team were the tight time scales, since the project needed to be completed by September 5th 2012 — necessitating a 24/7 work schedule (including set-ups). Having determined the requirements, Astel’s engineers decided that the best solution would be offered by three Christie Roadster HD18K’s in combination with a custom Stewart screen. However, before this solution was adopted, tests needed to be carried out to ascertain colour matching and colour temperature set up, which was vital for camera use. However, thanks to the Christie 3-chip DLP technology, there were no compatibility issues.
Astel’s Yılmaz Kayabaş, Director of Technical Services, also stressed that the built in projector software, LiteLOC™ (light output control technology), also proved extremely effective for brightness uniformity settings. “This software will also be used throughout the life of each lamp to maintain a consistent light output, which is only available when using Xenon lamps,” he said. Although the screen concept was initially to have been curved, the producer and director of the show later modified the design into a two-section straight screen with an angle of 110 degrees at the intersection point. The shorter section measures 2.8 metres by 1.5 metres high and the longer one is more than 5 metres in length, which required edge-blending. However, according to Kayabaş, the biggest challenge was matching the content at the intersection without edge-blending. A further challenge was the placement of the projectors themselves.
“We had a very limited time to order, deliver and install, so we could not use a rear-pro mirror system,” he continued. “Instead we used fixed lenses which have less lens shift values without the zoom option. We were aware of possible hot spot issues, so we placed the projectors three metres high, using a custom designed installation rig which offered the possibility of adjusting the height and angle of the projector, and lined them up to the screen at about 45°vertically. “Thanks to the projectors’ Christie Twist™ software everything became easy and it enabled us to take care of all the image warping, edge-blending and masking. Once we had the Twist working, it was just a case of installing the Spyder processor.”
The screen will display special content — generally wide-angled views of the Bosphorus (in different weather conditions), with Irfan Degirmenci sitting in front. Using two professional HD cameras to gain high resolution, the images are being overlapped in Spyder, which scales the image to fit the 5:1 aspect ratio display. Meanwhile, in order to be able to start two camera videos simultaneously, Astel’s technical department is writing a new software programme. The processor itself takes feeds from HD-SDI and several SDI signal sources, with the background image composed from the HD-SDI signal, and the three Roadster HD18Ks fed through the processor’s DVI outputs. The SDI signals are also used to open smaller windows at particular places on the overall canvas.
Hakan Tumer expressed his delight with the back-up provided by Astel Elektronik, “For the Irfan Değirmenci morning programme they supported us with their technical knowledge and experience so that we achieved our aim of making the audience feel that the news is being broadcast from the Bosphorus. In spite of the tight installation schedule, Astel worked sensitively to achieve the difficult blend, twist and warp characteristic to optimise the unusual Stewart screen configuration with its unbalanced intersection.”
In addition to Kanal D, the Doğan Group TV channels include CNN Türk, while DSmart is the Group’s digital platform, providing access to all existing channels broadcast via the Turksat satellite. The Group also owns various newspapers and print media.
Text: Jesus Carrillo