Vista Systems’ Spyders At US Navy’s NUWC and SOUTHCOM Facilities


Vista Systems' Spyders have joined the Navy and are instrumental in two installations featuring the same 4K digital cinema technology used in the entertainment industry.
IGI (Immersion Graphics, Inc.), which is headquartered in Detroit, included Spyder X20 video processors with 16 inputs (8 DVI, 8 video/HDSDI) and 8 outputs for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, Rhode Island and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Doral, Florida.  Their new installations now offer the highest resolution single display visualization solution used by the US Navy.
At NUWC 4K technology is deployed for education, information, training and collaboration with other naval sites, such as the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.  Before the upgrade visualization was done with a three-panel screen, three low-resolution projectors and analog RGB sources.
Now, a 50-seat PowerWall Room with a dedicated media support staff boasts a custom 25x14.7-foot rear-projection screen and a Sony T-110 SXRD 11,000 lumen 4K projector.  Sources include an IGI Visualization Workstation outputting 4K (4096x2160) signals and a 7th Sense Delta Media Server capable of playing uncompressed image sequences  at 4K resolution.  .  IGI wrote custom software, which enables users to manipulate multiple windows on a 55-inch multi-touch panel and implement Spyder to display those windows on the PowerWall.
"Users can pick sources from the multi-touch panel, drag and drop them onto the screen, and resize and reposition them by dragging their fingers along the panel," explains Matt Lamb, Engineering Manager at IGI.  "Using this gestural interface they can enlarge an image, arrange images in pre-set windows or create custom arrangements.  Spyder and our software allow them to do that."
The PowerWall operates in two modes.  Cinema Mode projects the image onto the full width of the PowerWall.  Critical Viewing Mode brings the projector closer to the PowerWall and tightens the pixel density for detailed high-resolution viewing.  Legacy Mode is still offered for the three-panel screen as well.
"IGI has worked with Vista for a long time, and Spyder is known for its reliability and quality," says Lamb.  "Spyder handles multiple 4K windows seamlessly; it's superior to many products on the market.  It's been performing flawlessly at NUWC." 
Spyder is similarly configured at SOUTHCOM, where it performs more operations-based functions.  SOUTHCOM is one of nine unified Combatant Commands in the Department of Defense and is responsible for providing contingency planning, operations and security cooperation for Central and South America and the Caribbean.
"Spyder is also rock solid at SOUTHCOM," Lamb reports.  "It's in use at least 10 hours a day with people looking at very high-resolution intelligence data."
Pat Hernandez is the president of IGI and provided the mechanical design for the projection systems at NUWC and SOUTHCOM.
About Vista Systems
Vista Systems' switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching with real-time windowing and composition. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at