Bigger is better in Amsterdam

Thu, 2 Feb 2012, 11:41pm

Size, as a visit to ISE in Amsterdam can make pretty plain, is important. In among the customer installers, the doyens of digital signage and the household names in consumer electronics, presentation specialist Lang was on a straightforward mission: to deliver a 4K2K-ish image of such prodigious proportions as to make that new 50in plasma you've been hankering after look about as impressive as the screen on a smartphone.

The pictures Lang was delivering were, as
you'd hope from images of a 4096 x 1920 resolution, crisp and detailed, with an absolute minimum of picture noise. They were also commendably bright even in the harsh exhibition-centre lighting conditions. But the way they were produced was painstaking in the extreme.

Basically, Lang had availed itself of four Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors (big boys, each one 29 x 62 x 80cm) and secured them, vertically, in an extremely serious-looking frame/cage arrangement suspended way above the hall floor. Each projector contributed a quarter of the complete image, in corresponding vertical quarters.

The result was an image of actually quite humbling size. If you look closely at the picture on the right, that lost little dot at the bottom is the head of Dominic Dawes, who's editor of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision and a grown man of pretty standard proportions. The reason that he's so dwarfed by the image he's standing in front of is because any one of us would be dwarfed by standing in front of a picture that's 7.47 metres along and 3.5 metres high.

The kind of trouble and expense involved in producing such a massive image without compromising picture quality needn't trouble us here - what's important is that Lang can do it, and with a degree of panache.

Suspending four pricey projectors from one's front-room ceiling isn't something we as a magazine advise, strictly speaking, but if you get the chance to see it being done I recommend you grasp the opportunity with both hands. Sometimes bigger is unarguably better.