Nascar Hall Of Fame Equipped with Christie MicroTiles

PLSN Staff • Projection Connection News • August 8, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC – The new Nascar Hall of Fame has been equipped with an installation of 250 Christie MicroTiles in an 18-tile-wide-by-14-tile-high array that measures 24 feet by 14 feet and is used for archival videos to welcome visitors to the attraction's Great Hall. Called the Fan Billboard, the display is the first use of Christie MicroTiles in an entertainment-themed venue. The billboard is suspended over Glory Road, a section of sloping track in the main hall that shows Nascar's progression from its dirt track days to the modern paved speedways/


The Nascar Hall of Fame's main visitor orientation theater also uses Christie's digital projectors and video processors to bring Nascar history to life.


"We're delighted that the Nascar Hall of Fame is the first entertainment venue to feature Christie MicroTiles," said Winston Kelley, executive director, Nascar Hall of Fame. "It's our goal to deliver an interactive experience to each and every visitor, and our unique MicroTiles billboard gives an authentic feel as soon as our guests enter the building."


Open since May 11, 2010, the Nascar Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority under a license with Nascar.


Designed by Pei Cobb Freed, with exhibits designed by Ralph Applebaum and Associates, the hall's design borrows on the sweeping curves of racetracks. A metallic ribbon runs around the building façade and carries that design element inside to the four floors of exhibits and attractions inside.


The soaring heights, curves and glass curtain walls in the venue presented design challenges that were addressed by using the Christie MicroTiles – modular digital display tiles that can be stacked and clustered like building blocks to create display walls of any shape or scale. The MicroTiles use a new optical design that promises superior brightness, contrast and color reproduction.


The consulting AV design firm overseeing the project, JaffeHolden, was struggling to sort out what display technology could best suit the curving space above the faux Glory Road track without projecting the screen too far into the hall. Working with Electrosonic, the team reviewed MicroTiles at Christie's R&D labs, months before the technology's commercial launch, then recommended them to the city's project management team.


The MicroTiles reduced the depth and weight of the display substantially, and also lowered overall construction and anticipated long-term servicing costs. The MicroTiles also could be used for higher resolution images and reduced energy consumption expectations, according to Bryan Abelowitz, Electrosonic's senior systems consultant on the project.


"Glory Road is a centerpiece of the Great Hall and the Fan Billboard which crowns Glory Road is ideally suited to MicroTiles," added Zoran Veselic, vice-president of Christie's Visual Environments Division. "Whether they are displaying historic Nascar footage or bringing the excitement of a live race to visitors, the Christie MicroTiles are the largest installation of the technology to date, and deliver a larger-than-life experience fans have never seen before."


The Fan Billboard runs archival footage from the early days of stock car racing along with video and image montages, plus an interactive application called the Nascar Hall of Fame Showdown.


When guests pay admission to enter the attraction, they are issued personalized "hard cards" with embedded RFID chips. As part of the overall fan experience, the hard cards can be used at more than 50 interactive kiosks throughout the facility.


Another focal point of the entertainment attraction is the 278-seat Belk High Octane Theater, which has a 64-foot-wide curved projection wall showing the story of Nascar from the early days to present. This orientation theater uses the output from three edge-blended Christie HD10K-M DLP digital projectors to produce one seamless visual. A fourth HD10K-M is used for off-hours presentations.


Christie's Vista Spyder, a video and widescreen display processor, drives all the visuals and allows the museum to mix video sources in multiple windows, create multiple picture-in-pictures, and define, shape and blend borders easily.


For more information, please visit www.christiedigital.com.


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