News & Blog > Christie Eclipse Wins Prestigious THEA Award

Game-Changing Christie Eclipse Projector Wins Prestigious THEA Award

Christie has been taking the worldwide audiovisual industry by storm with its revolutionary and utterly game-changing 4K HDR 6-DLP RGB laser projector, the Eclipse. 

Last fall Christie was pleased to announce that the Eclipse had been named recipient of the Thea Award for “Outstanding Achievement – Technical Innovation” by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). This prestigious award was presented earlier this month in a virtual presentation after the scheduled live award ceremony was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Founded 29 years ago in 1991 the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is an international association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences, serving the communities responsible for entertainment in theme parks, museums, hospitality, retail, and other venues. Like the TEA itself, the Thea Awards were created to bring recognition to achievement and excellence within the themed entertainment industry. From a modest beginning in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence. The name of the award is a play on three words: The first is “Thea,” the Greek goddess from whom all light emanates. Thea was the mother of Helios (the sun), Eos (the dawn) and Selene (the moon). The second key word is “Theater,” a word which itself derives from the goddess Thea.

Christie’s target markets for the Eclipse include the professional AV industry, with a heavy focus on theme parks, simulation, and planetariums, as well as the high-end home theater industry. Hence it is not unsurprising that it has captured the attention of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).

The TEA Awards Committee noted that the Christie Eclipse “is a true step into the future of projection, particularly for our themed entertainment industry. This projector has been developed by a Christie R&D group that has for many years focused on projection advancement designed to meet the specific needs of our themed entertainment industry. It is appropriate that this group be celebrated for their specific contribution and continuing interest to support our industry with uniquely relevant technologies.

 Larry Paul, Executive Director, Technology and Custom Solutions, Christie, and the product manager for Christie Eclipse, says, “We designed Christie Eclipse to enable attraction designers, planetariums and giant screen theaters to immerse guests in content in a way that hasn’t previously been possible. We’re thrilled to be recognized with this award.

Bryan Boehme, Executive Director of Enterprise Sales and Global Business Development, Christie, said, “We’re deeply honored to have Christie Eclipse named to receive the prestigious TEA Thea Award and for TEA to recognize not only the product but also Christie’s innovation and dedication to the global attractions industry. We are tremendously proud of Christie Eclipse – it’s the culmination of years of research and development, working closely with our partners, which has resulted in a product that is unmatched in the industry.

Developed over a five-year period by 90 Christie team members the result is the best video display in the world as of right now. The Eclipse is being referred to by many as “The Holy Grail” of video projection. Its stellar performance is not only out of this world but in its own universe.

Black Levels

The Eclipse’s most talked about feature is its bonkers contrast and black levels. Christie’s major breakthrough here is their highly successful and patented implementation of dual-modulated DLP DMDs. The Eclipse is a 6-chip DLP projector. Two sets of 3-chip DLP DMDs are used in tandem. The first set is used for the primary image resolution and fidelity. The second set is optically coupled to the first and functions as a pre-modulator, providing zonal light modulation at the pixel level. The resultant effect is pixel level luminance control, as experienced with OLED TVs and other emissive displays, but with projection. Genius. Blacks are true black, being a complete absence of light; and the sequential contrast measures in excess of 20,000,000:1! 

The combination of this insane contrast performance coupled with the wide color gamut of the pure RGB laser light source in the Eclipse, which far surpasses DCI-P3 and achieves towards the full BT.2020 color space, results in the best HDR video performance ever achieved by any video display to date.

Mind-Boggling Features

This is by no means the full extent of the Eclipse’s mind-boggling features and capabilities. By utilizing laser diodes of a wide variety of different wavelengths in conjunction with dual-modulated DLP DMDs Christie has entirely eliminated laser speckle. The Eclipse is also capable of up to a 120 Hz frame rate with 4K resolution with 2D video and unrivalled 3D performance with 60 Hz frame rate into each eye at 4K resolution. Additionally, Christie View Multiplayer Gaming is a unique feature which offers the ultimate multi-player gaming experience. By making use of active shutter glasses two players experience the full screen at 4K resolution and 60Hz frame rate each, but perceive their own full screen independently of each other.

The Eclipse is aptly named because it quite literally eclipses all other video displays. Christie in developing the Eclipse sought to achieve the highest possible quality with respect to all aspects of video performance; and in doing so they took the limitations of video projection and through novel invention and ground-breaking product development smashed those limitations to smithereens. The THEA award for “Outstanding Achievement – Technical Innovation” is therefore extremely well-deserved. Christie very, very well done.