Museum / ExhibitionJapan
Background of Installation
In December 2018, Konica Minolta Planetarium Co., Ltd. opened KONICA MINOLTA PLANETARIA TOKYO, a new direct operation planetarium facility located at Yurakucho Marion in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. It is a new sensation planetarium theater complex with two dome theaters, multipurpose digital dome theater (DOME1) and full dome planetarium theater (DOME2), a VR attraction “VirtuaLink”, a café, and a gallery shop.
Konica Minolta Planetarium Co., Ltd. offers diverse planetarium solutions, from the development and manufacture of optical and digital planetarium systems to the construction and management of related facilities, as well as tailored content creation. These products and services cover a range of scales and a variety of content for both education and entertainment.
Konica Minolta Planetarium Co., Ltd. started to operate its own planetarium theater, Konica Minolta Planetarium MANTEN in Sunshine City, in 2004, followed by the Konica Minolta Planetarium TENKU in Tokyo SKYTREE TOWN in 2012. At the time of the 15th anniversary of starting the direct operation, Panasonic supplied KONICA MINOLTA PLANETARIA TOKYO with projectors, displays, and audio equipment to facilitate a stunning mix of performance art, live music, and projection entertainment taking audiences to a new realm beyond conventional planetariums.
Highlights and Features
Multipurpose Digital Dome Theater (DOME1)
High Brightness Projectors Immerse Viewers More Deeply
The greatest feature of DOME1 is its overwhelming dome projection which covers the entire space from floor to the dome zenith at up to 8K resolution. Images are projected by seven PT-RQ13K 3-Chip DLP™ 4K+ laser projectors—four on the top, three on the bottom, and all concealed behind the screen. Supported by 10,000 lumens of brightness, the super-high-resolution images immerse in way that conventional planetariums can’t achieve.
Unlike other planetariums, DOME1’s imaging is handled by the digital projectors only without the optical planetarium projector. The space saved allowed installers to secure a wider staging area and a more flexible seating arrangement. Inside DOME1, a spacious arena accommodates the performance-art aspect of different show programs, which is augmented by music, full dome projection, and lighting. These elements combine to draw the audience into the show’s narrative.
Planetarium Full Dome Theater (DOME2)
Multilingual Audio Service Supports Flexible Integration
A multitude of speakers in DOME2 are ranged about the audience and driven by digital power amplifiers, which steer sound around the theater and place the audience at the center of a true-to-life experience.
To cater to international guests, the dome offers a multilingual audio service supporting four languages. Visitors can be guided through the show program with the assistance of audio available in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. A control box is recessed in the arm of all 170 seats, while Panasonic’s Digital Mixer is fine-tuned to virtually eliminate delay.
A highlight in DOME2 is the Galaxy seats that visitors can stargaze in total comfort. Even with no arms and a shape that allows viewers to fully recline, the seat includes a wired control box in its side. It can be easily reached for audio guidance just as comfortably as with a standard seat.
In addition to the main projectors, a single high-brightness 1-Chip DLP™ PT-RZ870B laser projector is installed in both DOME1 and DOME2. These projectors display a commercial message before starting the planetarium shows.
VR Attraction “VirtuaLink”
High Brightness Projectors for Clear Projection Under Lights
VirtuaLink is a VR attraction visitors can experience in a virtual space of 3D 360 degrees with up to 24 people together. Panasonic 3-Chip DLP™ PT-RQ13K 4K+ projector also displays galaxy images on the upper wall. Because the room is under interior lights all the time, high brightness is a critical factor in projector selection. Panasonic’s 3-Chip DLP™ PT-RQ13K 4K+ projector provided an ideal solution.
Panasonic has also supplied flat panel displays that are used for displaying the VR images on the monitor.
Fifteen years ago, we, Konica Minolta Planetarium, launched our first direct operation planetarium at MANTEN in Sunshine City to highlight the entertaining aspect of a planetarium, which traditionally served as an educational facility.
Establishing another new facility, PLANETARIA TOKYO in Yurakucho, we faced a big challenge in creating new contents people have never experienced before. Our first step was to choose a new projector considering what kind of things we want to show to our customers and what kind of devices can achieve the goal.
Panasonic brought PT-RQ13K to the planetarium dome in our factory in order to demonstrate it. When I saw the image of PT-RQ13K, I was deeply impressed with the projector’s unparalleled brightness and immersion.
Conventional planetariums use an optical planetarium for displaying realistic stars and a digital planetarium for displaying images such as sky, landscape, and so on with high contrast projectors. However, the demonstration gave us an idea to use those bright projectors for immersive performance. In DOME1, the PT-RQ13Ks’ bright images have allowed us to deliver full dome projection and a whole new experience beyond the realm of the planetarium.
Another reason we chose Panasonic was reliability. During the selection process, we visited the factory of Panasonic to see the projector reliability trials. We realized that Panasonic were manufacturing reliable products when seeing they responded sincerely to the product development.
The multilingual audio service, which we had already adopted at Konica Minolta Planetarium TENKU in Tokyo SKYTREE TOWN, was again installed on the grounds that the company showed flexibility in meeting our requests, such as installing the controller in the Galaxy seats and allowing operability regardless of seating. Furthermore, multilingual guidance used to have a slight delay from the image, but even that problem is solved with the installation of Panasonic Digital Power Amplifier WP-DA114 and Panasonic Digital Mixer WR-D01. We are happy to offer our planetarium experience with increased realism.
Finally, we would like to offer the new attractive planetarium to more visitors with Panasonic’s reliable systems.
Konica Minolta Planetarium Co., Ltd.