NEWS & BLOG

10
Mar

GBvi to speak at ITEC 2016

ITEC 2016 is the annual forum where representatives from across the military, industry and academia connect and share knowledge about military simulation, training and education community. For more information on ITEC 2016, click here.

Geoff’s ITEC 2016 presentation is titled ‘Optical Blending – Difficult yet Essential for Maximising Dynamic Range of Projection Displays’

 

Here’s a snippet of the abstract…. For full details or to request a copy of the presentation, please contact us

 

Quality projection displays for visual simulation have evolved to use mainstream commercial projection devices, which, together with automatic alignment solutions, have dramatically reduced time required for their installation, alignment and maintenance. However, one bugbear has remained in the form of projector light leakage when displaying dark scene content.

Electronic blending solutions exist that produce excellent results for bright scenes but, for continuous background intensity levels in dark scenes, one must use infill techniques that sacrifice precious dynamic range. Often, solutions are commissioned that sacrifice up to 75% of the possible dynamic range, on the basis that ‘it’s the best you can get’. Often, this trade-off is not even apparent to the end-user, who therefore understandably assumes that the resulting performance really does represent the state of the art, which in turn limits the useful application scope of an expensive simulation system. Optical solutions to blending multiple channels can solve this problem, offering the promise to increase the utility and hence value of visual simulation training substantially, yet often this option is not even considered – so why is this?

 

Factors limiting the take-up of optical blending include: –

 

  1. Difficulty: implementing optical blending has proven to be surprisingly difficult. While standalone projected image quality of commercially available projectors is often excellent, optical characteristics tend to be unsympathetic to simple solutions. A systematic and well-founded methodology can lower this barrier substantially.
  2. Higher contrast projectors are available: even displays employing some of the more recent high-contrast projectors would benefit from optical blending – almost to the same degree as lesser contrast examples, owing to the enormous perception range of the human observer over a wide range of viewing conditions.
  3. Cost: while cost of the display system is certainly increased by the addition of optical blending hardware, it is a low proportion of visual system cost and the performance enhancement can represent value well in excess of this increase. Optical blending implementations – which place physical masks in the projection light paths – have been around for a long time, but a universal solution for all projector types and scene content has yet to become available. Many solutions give relatively poor performance that can be tolerated for dark scenes such as those experienced in night training, so are actuated out of the light paths for use with daytime scenes. These present logistical challenges to simulator users, where a choice must be made as to what ‘mode’ you are training, or some transition must be suffered while the blending system switches mode. Other solutions cannot withstand sustained light flux without degradation, so again must be actuated, while yet others may cause image sharpness degradation in the blend regions, so must be designed very carefully to limit this impact, particularly with high-resolution projectors.

The purpose of this paper is to inform the simulator operator and trainee community of this key area of visual system optimisation, including its cost-benefit analysis. Included in this will be a review of the mainstream projection technologies and their respective pros & cons, particularly with regard to scene dynamic range and blend implications. This in turn leads to a detailed review of optical blending options, presenting their operating theories and application scope. Finally, a new active optical blend technology is introduced that widens the range of display types that can benefit from high quality optical blending.

25
Feb

Geoff Blackham talks to rAVe about optical blending & Void

Want to know more about our Chronos Optical Blending Solution, and ‘Void’ – our brand new infinity display experience for attractions and leisure simulation?

Watch the rAVe pubs video interview with our Founder & MD, Geoff Blackham, at ISE 2016 in Amsterdam.

19
Jan

GBvi Completes Delivery of Specialist Multi-Channel Optical Blending for European Fast Jet Simulator

Sussex, England — 19 January 2016 — UK-based expert in display technology innovation and multi-channel projector blending, GBvi, has completed delivery of a five-channel Chronos optical blending installation for a European Fast Jet Simulator installation.

The company was awarded the contract by Antycip Simulation in August 2015, after a year-long commercial relationship.

Antycip Simulation markets, distributes and supports a range of commercial software solutions for the modelling, simulation and training communities. GBvi was chosen to provide Chronos, its proprietary high performance film/glass blend mask solution, for a seamless multi-channel digitally projected display.

Antycip Simulation’s requirements detailed display design validation and the specialist need for wide-angle lens compatibility, among other key contract requirements.

Riccardo Rovelli, Area Manager for Italy and Germany, at Antycip Simulation notes, “Antycip Simulation uses GBvi technologies in a range of fast-jet and helicopter simulation applications – their experience, dedication to innovation and exceptional support, help us meet the technical and design challenges clients present us with”.

He went on to say, “It’s critical to our projects, that our technology partners maintain unrivalled levels of accuracy and attention to detail in both system design and delivery. I’m very pleased to say that GBvi is an excellent partner, in these regards, and far exceeded our expectations.”

Geoff Blackham, Founder and Managing Director at GBvi explained, “This was a notably exciting project for us. Our team employed several design customisations including projector alignment boresight pattern generation, specialist mounts, custom blend masks, HUD filter assembly and warp mesh generation. Our engineers were fully integrated as part of the team with Antycip Simulation and on-site at the end client, for successful simulator integration.”

GBvi supported both the projection display and blend installations. A key feature of the Chronos optical blending technology is its fast installation time and full customisation process. GBvi completed blending installation in just one day on this contract – a phase that can typically take several days.

“We were chosen as providers of the highest quality blending system available in the market and for our positive customer support reputation.” Blackham continued. “This successful project illustrates that we offer valuable scope well beyond product supply – we are delighted to have been a part of the installation team on this project.”

For more information on GBvi and their range of optical blending solutions and display technologies, visit www.gbvi.co.uk

### ENDS ###

About Antycip Simulation

Antycip Simulation is the European leader in the distribution and support of professional level COTS modelling, simulation and virtual reality solutions, to military, public and commercial organisations. With over two decades of experience, its work helps clients to become better at what they do. Antycip Simulation is headquartered in Paris, and has regional offices in Oxford, and Milan.

About GBvi

GBvi (gbvi.co.uk) has a long standing heritage in the field of display systems design, specialising in optical blending solutions for multi-channel projection environments, with no limit to display size, screen shape or projector count. The company works with an extensive network of integrator partners, resellers and designers with a focus on the markets of simulation, entertainment and attractions.

Their range of technologies and services supports even the most challenging displays; especially those requiring uniformity, clarity, invisible projection blend regions, true-to-life digital experiences, infinity displays, and ultra-black environments.
18
Jan

GBvi at ISE 2016 with 7thSense

This year, the biggest yet for ISE 2016 in Amsterdam, GBvi will be exhibiting for the first time in partnership with 7thSense Design.

The annual show will take place from Tuesday 9th to Friday 12th February at the Amsterdam RAI and is expected to attract over 70,000 visitors.

On show, we will have our brand new product release ‘The Void’ – being premiered for the first time. Designed for attractions, classrooms, science centres, museums, this versatile infinity viewing pod system is built for the next generation of immersive experiences. Drop by the stand to find out more.

We will also be actively seeking international reseller partners for Chronos optical blending technologies.

You can find us on the 7thSense Design stand in Hall 10 (10-Q116). You can navigate your way around the show in advance via the interactive floorplan.

Get in touch if you would like to arrange a meeting during the four day show.

11
Jan

Reflections on CES 2016…

Although I was unable to make it to CES this year, I’ve followed it closely to see what flashy new developments have made their way to the show floor. Dramas aside (such as one stand being raided by US marshals) there were some fascinating technologies on show.

Snazzy gadgets, such as Lenovo phones (no longer using the name Motorola) which will come with Google’s Project Tango made an appearance. Project Tango being a must see for anyone with an eye on augmented reality technology.

Drones and droids made a big appearance in this year’s show, featuring the latest Star Wars droids of course, but also a rather spectacular autonomous shuttle drone by EHang, that can automatically transport a person to a designated location.

There was also Bragi’s wireless earbuds, which appear to be filled with features that set them aside from other audio devices in their capabilities. Well worth a look (or listen)!

And of course, there was a considerable weight of cutting edge display technologies. Perhaps most eye-catching of all the display technologies on show was Panasonic’s transparent displays. Although the technology has existed for some time, it’s fascinating to now see it marketed amongst the consumer electronics community.

As well as a decent range of 4K LCD and OLED displays by Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic, there was also an emphasis on ‘Super UHD’ (Super Ultra High Definition), with LG’s stonking new 98” 8K Super UHD LED TV being one of the highlights. Is this a sign that displays may simply surpass 4K? How long will it be before ‘Mega Super Ultra High Definition’ hits the market?

22
Dec

I/ITSEC 2015 – and the move away from lamp to solid-state projection

In December I was lucky enough to get to I/ITSEC and meet once more with many friends in this industry. 

I/ITSEC (see iitsec.org), a perennial event that’s always right after Thanksgiving in Orlando, is a conference and exhibition specifically focused on Training & Simulation.

For us at GBvi the main interest is projection displays – projector companies, systems integrators and related technologies.

DLP projectors continue to dominate in dome and high-light-output applications and indeed continue to improve, for example with motion blur performance, wobbulation to increase addressability (a subject for another blog, perhaps…) and ultra-short throw lens options.

A notable trend that many have commented on is the move away from lamp illumination towards solid-state – LED and laser phosphor illumination to be specific.  LED illumination has been around a while now and has successfully occupied niche applications in simulation visual systems where the very stable output and low maintenance overhead is of most importance, while the relatively limited light output is enough – particularly in cross-cockpit collimated visual systems.

Laser phosphor projectors extend the benefits to higher-output applications such as domes, as several thousand lumens are now available per unit.  So lamps beware – the writing is on the wall!

A notable non-trend, however, is that DLP projectors are stuck with relatively low native sequential contrast (full white to full black).  Considering that laser phosphor illumination is likely to substantially reduce lifetime related issues with LCOS projectors – its main weakness – and that LCoS still has the edge with native pixel counts (‘resolution’) and sequential contrast, it seems that competition between these projection technologies is set to continue, at least within the T&S market.

Watch this space…..

16
Dec

Happy Christmas from GBvi

Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2016 from all of us at GBvi – we look forward to another year of great partnerships and collaborations.

20
Aug

2015 Electrosonic Open Day

GBvi will be at the UK HQ of Electrosonic in Dartford on the 9th and 10th of September for their annual technology open event.

It’s shaping up to be an exciting event, with many new technology demos and workshops scheduled.

For more information on the event, click here.

29
Jul

The Importance of Optical Blending

Video projectors have limited sequential contrast. This means that, in dark scenes, background leakage light is always visible.

When multiple projectors are overlapped and electronically blended to form a larger image, there will be unwanted double-intensity background leakage. This becomes most apparent when dark-scenes are projected.

The image is an exaggerated example, showing how ‘leakage’ black levels cause unwanted bright-ups in the overlap zones, and the importance of optical blending.

GBvi Optical Blend Illustration