ZEISS Fulldome Systems

ZEISS powerdome VELVET

The ultimate black for brilliant dome projections

  • Introduction

    Unique projector worldwide

    With powerdome VELVET ZEISS offers the world's first and only video projection system with an absolutely black backdrop based on the DLP® technology of Texas Instruments. An in-house design by ZEISS, VELVET fascinates not only by its native contrast ratio of 2,500,000 : 1 – a tremendous leap compared to other projectors offering up to 30,000 :1, but also by its expanded color spectrum. In the projected image, very bright and extremely dark areas are excellently resolved at the same time.

    Video projection now compatible with night sky contrast

    ZEISS developed the VELVET projector specifically for fulldome projection in planetariums. For the first time, VELVET implements the capability, long hoped for by planetariums, of a video projection that can be superimposed on the optical sky without spoiling its brilliance. Thus, astronomical objects such as gaseous nebulae and galaxies for the first time appear as if embedded in the velvety black depths of the universe.

    Innovative optical design

    The leap in contrast to more than two million to one has been made possible by an innovative optical design that excludes stray light and, thus, a gray background from the start. It is with good reason that ZEISS relies on Texas Instruments' DLP technology. More than ten million units installed worldwide testify to the reliability of DLP imagers. Image stability over many thousands of operating hours is an essential advantage for the users. Whereas competing technologies suffer from declining color saturation and contrast after a few thousand hours, DLP chips have a defined color behavior with virtually no loss in image quality.

    Tailored to multichannel dome projection

    ZEISS has furnished its VELVET projectors with further properties that make them especially suitable for use in domed auditoriums. The lamp housing is independent of the projector. This permits to employ one or two lamps. The projector can be installed in oblique positions without affecting lamp life. Brightness matching between the projectors in a multichannel system is effected by controlling the lamps rather than the video signals, resulting in an added gain in multichannel image quality. Off-center projection in an oblique angle to avoid shadows of a central star projector is easily possible.

  • Features

    »True Black Projection Technology«

    The ZEISS VELVET projector is based on the DLP® technology of Texas Instruments. It is the only DLP projector on the market that deliveres absolute black where black is in the image. The contrast is comparable with that of ZEISS glass-fiber star projection. The ZEISS VELVET projectors are the best to match with optical-mechanical star projections. Blends between the image channels are invisible, even in most critical projections.

    Rigid, reliable and stable

    The projector design is of highest quality for longevity and stability. This applies to both, the projector steadiness and the image stability. Oblique installation positions are possible. Lamp change is accomplished quickly and easily. All projectors come with mounts for rigid installation and easy adjustment.

    VELVET for powerdome Theaters

    The ZEISS VELVET fulldome systems are driven by powerdome in a multi-channel configuration. The powerdome image generator consists of a graphics cluster for fulldome video, images and sound generation and to merge opto-mechanical with digital planetarium projections. The internal network serves for the control of all computers and the projectors in synchronization. The graphical user interface and the planetarium control panel allow for live presentations as well as editing and presenting fulldome shows.

  • Configurations
    Two-channel VELVET configuration with planetarium projector, center projection, 10 m dome

    Two-channel VELVET configuration with planetarium projector, center projection, 10 m dome

    VELVET 5-channel

    5-channel VELVET configuration, without starball, 15 m dome

    VELVET Duo

    Two-channel VELVET configuration without planetarium projector, projection from periphery, 10 m dome

    8-channel VELVET

    8-channel VELVET configuration with starball, 20 m dome

    Dome diamter Configuration
    4.5 m to 12 m
    (15 ft to 40 ft)
    dome diameter
    4.5 m to 12 m 8 m to 12 m
    number of projectors 2 2
    central star projector no yes
    projector arrangement periphery  
    next to planetarium projector
    dome tilt 0° to 30°
    dome resolution 2.6k 2.6 k
    12 m to 18 m
    (40 ft to 60 ft)
    number of projectors
    5 6
    central star projector no yes
    projector arrangement dome periphery dome periphery
    dome tilt 0° to 30° 0° to 30°
    dome resolution 4.5 k 4.7 k
    18 m to 25 m
    (60 ft to 82 ft)
    dome diameter 18 m to 23 m 20 to 25 m
    central star projector no | yes no | yes
    number of projectors 7 | 9 9 | 10
    projector arrangement dome periphery dome periphery
    dome resolution 5 k | 5.7 k 5.7 k | 6 k
  • Technical Data
    ZEISS VELVET 1600 projector
    Image format WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Imager TI DLP®
    Brightness 2500 lm
    Contrast ratio 2,500,000 : 1
    Projection lenses DIGIGON 50-72.5 (5+ channels)
    DIGIGON 178 (two-channel VELVET center)
    DIGIGON 108 (two-channel VELVET periphery)
  • References

    VELVET Installations

    City Country Institution Configuration
    Aalen Germany  Driving simulator 2 channels
    Bangalore India Nehru Planetarium 6 channels
    Berlin Germany Wilhem-Foerster Sternwarte
    8 channels
    Berlin Germany Zeiss-Großplanetarium 10 channels
    Bochum Germany Zeiss Planetarium 8 channels
    Drebach Germany Volkssternwarte Drebach 2 channels
    Garching Germany ESO Supernova 5 channels
    Heidelberg Germany Haus der Astronomie 5 channels
    Hradec Kralove Czech Republik Hvězdárna Hradec Králové 5 channels
    Jakarta Indonesia Planetarium Jakarta 9 channels
    Jena Germany Zeiss-Planetarium 8 channels
    Kassel Germany Astronomy Museum 2 channels
    Kolkata India Birla Planetarium 8 channels
    Kreuzlingen Switzerland Planetarium 2 channels
    Laupheim Germany Planetarium Laupheim   2 channels
    Milan Italy Planetarium 2 channels
    Mannheim Germany Planetarium Mannheim 9 channels
    Modesto USA Modesto Junior College 2 channels
    Germany Deutsches Museum 6 channels
    Oberkochen Germany ZEISS Forum 2 channels
    Santiago de Chile Chile Planetario de Santagio de Chile 8 channels
    Stuttgart Germany Carl-Zeiss-Planetarium 9 channels
    Tenggarong Indonesia Planetarium Jagad Raya Tenggarong 2 channels
    Vienna Austria Zeiss-Planetarium 3 channels
    Wolfsburg Germany Planetarium Wolfsburg 6 channels
  • Downloads

    VELVET 1600


    VELVET 1600 brochure


    (PDF · English ·
    8 pages · 2 MB)



    VELVET datasheet


    (PDF · English ·
    2 pages · 570 kB)