ChallengeChoose the video projectors for MiCo, the largest conference centre in Europe, accommodating up to 18,000 people in around 70 conference rooms.
SolutionTo purchase 36 Panasonic projectors, including thirty PT-RZ770 and six PT-DZ21K2.
"The Panasonic video projectors are tried and tested. Our choice was influenced by the performance of their contrast ratio and the chromatic accuracy of the images"
MiCo was designed by an architect Mario Bellini, and is a conference centre owned by the Fiera Milano Group, the world leader since 1994. This centre hosts more than 500 events every year: conventions, conferences, gala dinners and product launch events.
MiCo was restructured in 2015 and became the largest conference centre in Europe and one of the most important in the world. It accommodates up to 18,000 people in around 70 conference rooms, equipped with video projectors, audio installations, simultaneous interpreting facilities, video cameras, CCTV, Wi-Fi and fixed control rooms.
The technology and audio/video installations have been the focus of an ambitious modernisation programme which is aimed at providing an all-inclusive in-house service, combined with the latest ultra-flexible facilities.
The projectors, all of which feature DLP™ technology, were supplied by Panasonic. These were 30 PT-RZ770 (7,200 lumen, laser illumination) and 6 PT-DZ21K2 (20,000 lumen, lamp illumination).
Internal management of AV services
“The high number of events organised yearly, on a continuous fast-changing schedule, convinced us we needed full in-house management to achieve a significant competitive advantage,” notes Francesco Conti, CEO of Fiera Milano Congressi. “Keeping a finger on the pulse and providing a real-time response to any request or need ensures our customers receive the high level of service we offer.”
The MiCo Conference Centre includes two different kinds of facilities in order to provide packages for distinct markets: three plenary halls, seating for two to 4,000 people, with an 1,800-seat auditorium, usually configured to suit the customer's needs, and 28 conference rooms, all fitted with Panasonic video projectors, and with the services needed to organise a meeting.
Choice of video projectors
The video projectors were chosen on the basis of their excellent criteria such as colorimetry and their highly accurate calibration functions. The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for Panasonic's Laser Shine technology was equally important.
“Before choosing the projectors, we conducted a final comparative test with two projector brands. One essential feature was the best possible chromatic precision, as many of our customers belong to the medical and pharmaceutical sector and accurate images and high contrast ratio are vital factors for their business,” comments Fabio Martucci, Head of Fiera Milano Congressi AV division. “MiCo has used Panasonic products for years and hasn't faced any problems. The quality of technical support and service is extremely high. This resulted in a decision to choose Panasonic projectors, the benchmark brand on this market.
“The Panasonic video projectors can be distinguished by their quiet operation. In addition, being light and compact makes them easy to install. Relying on a single brand and just two models helped to standardise the supply, consequently giving us a single point of contact for the after-sales support.”
The conference rooms are fitted with thirty PT-RZ770 video projectors, while the plenary halls have six PT-DZ21K2 video projectors, all equipped with DLP™ technology: single chip for the 7,000 lumen PT-RZ770 and 3-chip for the 20K lumen PT-DZ21K2. The PT-RZ770 also uses two laser matrices for illumination, with a guaranteed operating life of 20,000 hours, no need to change the air filter, dust-protection for the optics motor, and instant on/off operation, as well as greater energy efficiency.
The lenses chosen for three to five-metre-wide screens, depending on the rooms, are:
- for PT-RZ770, zoom ET-DLE250 with 33.9 focal length ÷53.2 and 1.8 aperture ÷2.4 and ET-DLE350 with 35.0 focal length ÷50.9 and 2.5 aperture,
- for PT-DZ21K2, ET-D75LE20, with focal length and aperture options similar to that of the ET-DLE350.
The two control rooms, for the MiCo north and MiCo south pavilion rooms, have fibre-optic cabling due to the considerable distances and the need for guaranteed signal quality, in terms of both power and equalisation.
“We've used monomode fibre, with 12-pair optical cassettes and SC/LC connectors,” explains Fabio Martucci. “The installation is configured so that the control rooms function as platforms for relaying the signals from room to room, to extend the video system according to the spaces used. Hence, the rooms are modular and can be paired together.”
The connection from projector to control room for each environment also uses fibre optic, as it provides long-term reliability. The controls for the PT-RZ770 projectors and all A/V devices are connected to a dedicated network so they can also be handled remotely.
Finally, in order to ensure flexibility, extra inputs and outputs are provided on the front of the rack with specific patches to meet the various requirements at the time of use.
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