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Canon’s Realis SX50 Power Naval Simulators For MarineSafety International

Dec 8, 2005 8:00 AM

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Canon Realis SX50 Multimedia Projectors provide full-size displays for the Bridge Wing Simulator at MarineSafety International’s Norfolk Training Center.

Simulation demands realism, and at MarineSafety International’s Norfolk Training Center, where captains and crew members of tankers, ferries, cruise ships, and military vessels are trained in ship handling to the highest degree of readiness, only the ultra-precise images of the Canon’s Realis SX50, the world’s smallest and most lightweight LCoS (Liquid Crystal On Silicon) multimedia projector, will do.

“The better the imagery, the more realistic the experience,” says Capt. Brian Boyce, director of MarineSafety International, Norfolk, Va. “Until the Canon Realis SX50 LCoS projector came along, we couldn’t get the brightness, resolution, and black level we needed in a lightweight, cost-effective unit. Our simulators are demanding environments, but the Realis SX50 met all our criteria. Once we tried one out, we were extremely happy with the image. The contrast in black level, for example, allows you to bring up a night scene and be able to see just what you’d expect to see in a moonlit situation.”

A total of 18 Realis SX50 projectors met the exacting image-projection standards of the maritime simulators at the Norfolk Training Center. The Realis SX50’s SXGA+ (1400x1050) resolution images are made possible not only by genuine Canon optics (in the form of a 1.7X ultra wide-angle Lens) but also by Canon’s patented proprietary AISYS (Aspectual Illumination System) technology, which achieves both the high brightness of 2500 ANSI lumens and a contrast ratio of 1000:1 while also reducing projector size. At only 8.6lbs., the Realis SX50 is the smallest, lightest SXGA+ LCoS projector in the world. In addition to providing seamless imagery and enhanced motion-image performance, the Realis SX50 projects even the smallest details clearly and distinctly. Canon’s Realis SX50 puts this performance into an extremely compact package that’s a perfect fit for the Norfolk Training Center.

“The Canon projectors are a key component in both of our bridge-wing simulators, the principal feature of which is that they’re full-scale and highly realistic,” Boyce explains. “Seven Canon Realis projectors go to seven 6’x11’ screens covering 225 degrees, where students carry out individual skill training for critical tasks like docking or giving orders on how to steer the ship. It’s a huge, wraparound image. If you’re in a harbor scene, for example, the simulator’s Realis SX50 projectors show a visual scene just as if you were on the ship, and the software responds to your speed and commands, as well as presenting environmental forces such as wind and current.

“When we built this center, we used then-state-of-the-art TV-type projectors, which weighed about 350lbs. each and were as big as a couple of orange crates,” Boyce explains. “We replaced them with the Canon Realis projectors, which weigh less than 9lbs. and aren’t much bigger than a cigar box. Obviously, they are much easier to handle!”

Versatility is a hallmark of the Canon Realis SX50, which is capable of displaying true 16:9 720p HD broadcast images, and converting interlaced 480 (NTSC) and 575 (PAL) video to progressive-scan imagery with special 2:3 pull-down conversion circuitry. First and foremost a data projector, the Realis SX50 features multiple image modes that provide myriad display options, including standard, presentation, sRGB, and cinema modes. At the center of everything is a Canon high-performance 1.7X optical zoom lens that can project a 100in. image on a screen from 9.8ft. away.

“The Canon projector’s throw was short enough to fit into the existing theater without having to use mirrors, which adds to its convenience for our facility,” Boyce says.

The Realis SX50 projector includes multiple input jacks and connectors, and it can accept a wide variety of digital and analog computer-display formats. Other inputs include DVI video and all major component, composite, and S-Video inputs. All connectors attach from the side of the projector housing, making for a more convenient and attractive presentation environment. Suitable for front or rear projection, the Realis SX50 projector measures 11.26in. wide by 11.18in. deep by 3.78in. high.

“The Realis SX50 projector was a very timely development on Canon’s part,” Boyce concludes. “The next time we need a small projector, we’ll go with Canon’s LCoS unit for its brightness, resolution, and portability. They hit a home run.”

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