Audiovisual equipment renewal

An Updated Space Odyssey

Space for Life - Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan

Montreal, Quebec, 2020

Opened in 2013, the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan is one of four must-see attractions that make up Space for Life, the largest natural science museum complex in Canada. A treasured Montreal landmark, the planetarium features twin hemispheric domes measuring 18 metres around, housing the Chaos and the Milky Way immersive theatres. 

Six years after the opening of the planetarium, Space for Life asked the experts at XYZ to update the audiovisual equipment and lighting in the theatres. This involved installing new ultra-high resolution projection systems, integrating new servers and upgrading to Digistar 7, the industry-leading astronomy and education platform developed by Evans & Sutherland. 


Having successfully assembled the interior infrastructure for the two domes for the initial 2013 opening, the XYZ team was acutely aware of the magnitude of the task at hand. The challenge was a sizeable one, and the timeframe, very tight. All in all, it took close to 2,000 hours in just over a month to complete the project.  

The simulation experience in the Milky Way theatre was enhanced using a new projection system, with six new Sony VPL-GTZ270 4K laser projectors. The high contrast and deep black levels were perfect for stargazing and delivered an incredibly realistic result.  

The new facilities in the Chaos multimedia theatre included four Christie D4K40-RGB laser projectors, which cover a larger surface and provide unparalleled levels of brightness, perfect for vivid, high-contrast images and content of all kinds.  

The new servers controlling the projection systems in the domes are equipped with an automatic syncing system supplied by our partners at Evans & Sutherland. The result is a pristine-quality image every single time. The new system is also compatible with real-time 4K x 4K streaming for hosting special events or producing new shows.  

The XYZ team was also in charge of designing and integrating the maintenance lighting systems and high-quality show lighting in both theatres.  


  • Audio
  • Video
  • Lighting
  • Control systems


Equipment supply
Calibration and programming