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Vista Systems’ Spyder and Christie Projectors Make News At Washington, D.C.’s Newseum

Vista Systems’ Spyder and Christie projectors were selected for the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Big Screen Theater in the newly-opened Newseum. Communications Engineering, Inc. (CEI), a leading broadcast and multimedia systems integrator based in Newington, Virginia, designed and installed the Newseum’s broadcast and audio-visual systems.

A seven-level, high-tech interactive museum, the Newseum traces the history of news reporting from the 15th century to the present. Originally located in Arlington, Virginia, the 250,000-square foot Newseum is now at the Capitol end of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. The main funder of its operations is the nonpartisan Freedom Forum.

“When CEI approached us on this project they wanted a processor capable of handling ‘live news’ with quick and easy programming along with multiple projector blending and support of multiple input formats including HD,â€? comments Vista Systems’ Victor Vettorello.

The Big Screen Theater is located on the fifth level of the museum where it displays historical and breaking news. It features a 90×11-foot screen whose images are provided by five edge-blended Christie DW3K DLP® projectors using ChristieTWISTâ„¢ image warping and blending functionality.

The Newseum will produce new major presentations every two or three months. The theater can easily switch between live PIP’s and major productions on an hourly rotation. The Spyder’s task is to feed video to the projectors, which blend the ultra-wide image. It has 28 total inputs, 20coming from the facility router. It controls the router and routes any source through outputs. The Spyder, in turn, is controlled by a Medialon system.

Presets are saved in the Spyder, and Medialon triggers it to recall various set ups. Inputs are the server playout channels. Medialon triggers the playing of a clip and routes it to the Spyder. Sources include off-air video, terrestrial feeds, cable feeds and graphic inputs. The screen displays one large, continuous image with various PIP’s layered in different sizes and following different paths of movement. Graphic windows are filled with off-air or server inputs.

About Christie
Christie is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in digital projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world’s single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. With its recent acquisition of Vista Controls Systems, Corp., Christie offers the most complete and advanced solutions for cinema, live venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments. For more information, visit

About Vista Systems
Vista Systems was recently acquired by Christie, a global leader in visual solutions for business, entertainment and industry, to create a comprehensive source for imaging processing and projection solutions. The acquisition combines the power and flexibility of Vista’s video switchers and real-time windowing and composition products with the power, performance and reliability of award-winning Christie projection systems. Vista Systems’ switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their Web site at


About CEI
CEI, located in Newington, VA, is a leading, award-winning broadcast and multi-media systems integrator. The company also offers complete equipment service, support and training. Its subsidiary, CEI Sales, supplies products and services to a wide range of clients, and to federal agencies and organizations through GSA. CEI has helped to define the leading edge of systems engineering and implementation for the communications industry since the mid1980’s.