Christie and The Sextant Group Help University Build Research Library of the Future

NCSU-Hunt-Library---Game-Lab-(lr)-web-600x450Christie and The Sextant Group are helping redefine the components of a research library at North Carolina State University’s James B. Hunt Jr. Library in Raleigh, N.C.

Achieving the school’s goal of securing a competitive advantage by equipping students with collaborative research tools for solving problems in today’s tech-driven society, the library sets a new standard in combining technological innovation, student engagement and striking architecture using Christie MicroTiles, Christie projectors and Christie Spyder X20 video processors.

According to Maurice York, head of information technology, NCSU Libraries, North Carolina State University, the space was carefully designed as a purpose-built environment where students and faculty can interact with top-of-the-line digital technology to further their research and education.

NCSU-Hunt-Library---Creativity-Studio-web-600x399-0813“Our goal was to, figuratively, ‘blow the walls off’ the library,” York said. “This meant large-scale display visualization and content to create a truly collaborative technology incubator. In addition, the new central facility had to utilize open technologies, continuously repurposed, that could work for molecular dynamics one day and gaming that same day or next day.”

With Tampa, Fla.-based AVI-SPL as integrator, project consultant The Sextant Group selected Christie to fit the extensive needs of the project, starting with Christie MicroTiles as digital building blocks. With each MicroTile measuring approximately 12-inches tall by 16 inches wide by 10 inches deep, they met the tight space required while achieving that ‘wow’ factor the University was looking for.

“The school wanted the highest resolution and highest color depth displays, but space was at a premium and the technology needed to be versatile enough to fit into various rooms and be used for various purposes,” said Scott Frey, design engineer for The Sextant Group, Pittsburgh.

Once the Christie MicroTiles were chosen, the project evolved into Christie projection systems and Christie Spyder X20 video processors as crucial solutions to achieving an engaging digital library. The projectors are now helping immerse students and faculty in creative and interactive environments that can be reconfigured and repurposed at any time. The Christie Spyder X20 processors ensure the full potential of the Christie projectors and MicroTiles walls are realized, with their ability to blend, window, mix and scale any source format and then route the signal to any destination device or combination of display devices quickly and easily.

NCSU-Hunt-Library---Visualization-Theater-web-0813“Advanced digital display media make learning more accessible — even fun — to students and act as a catalyst for ideas, creativity and problem solving,” said Kathryn Cress, vice president, global & corporate marketing, Christie. “At the Hunt Library, every pixel is dedicated to the students, with Christie playing a central role in bringing to fruition the groundbreaking concepts.”

Christie visual display solutions in the Hunt Library include:

  • The iPearl Immersion Theater is used to showcase student exhibits, faculty theories and work, and to publicize speaking events to students and faculty on a 16-unit wide by 7-unit tall Christie MicroTiles installation lining a curved wall at the main pathway entrance.
  • The Game Lab includes a 16-unit wide by 5-unit high MicroTiles display. Designed as a place for play, it also serves as a vital resource for advancement in the study of games and design experimentation on a large, high-resolution scale. A Christie Spyder X20 video processor gives users complete control over the displayed content.
  • The Art Wall is a 15-unit wide by 8-unit tall MicroTiles wall located above the “ASK US” service point. Used to display photography and artwork of faculty and students, the Art Wall also features a welcome screen for visitors.
  • Outside the Teaching and Visualization Lab is a 9-unit wide by 10-unit tall MicroTiles array configured in columns and separated by a wall. Used to display artistic video pieces and animation, the wall also displays what takes place inside the lab, which features 10 Christie Mirage WU7K-M 3-chip DLP stereoscopic projectors as part of a 270-degree immersive environment with seamless, blended images. A Christie Spyder X20 video processor controls the content.
  • Inside the Creativity Studio, two Christie Mirage WU7K–M 3D projectors and four Christie DHD800 projectors have been installed and are displaying impeccably clear visual presentations by both students and faculty.
  • A 4-unit wide by 4-unit tall MicroTiles array acting as a Creative Sandbox for a variety of uses.
  • A 400-person Lecture Hall is fitted with two Christie Mirage WU12K-M 3D projectors lighting up one of the largest campus screens. Christie Twist, a solution that enables full image warping and advanced edge-blending, ensures perfect pixel alignment onto the curved projected surface. A Christie HD7K-J projector was installed in a separate, 100-person meeting room.

The completed James B. Hunt Jr. Library has been a unanimous success at N.C. State, with faculty, students and visitors in awe of the stunning visuals and technology. The university has achieved its goal of creating an iconic space where students and faculty from all disciplines can collaborate on new ideas, experiment with technology on a large scale, engage through course work and research, and showcase their work in a big way.

“Christie has been central to the success of the Hunt library, helping us to redefine a space and create a true visual environment, rather than just simply fill up a screen,” concluded York.

This case study is reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here.

Sara Abrons

Sara Abrons

Sara Abrons is editor-in-chief of rAVe [Publications]. Reach her at sara@ravepubs.com.