Don't NOC it! Christie launches network operations center for remote monitoring


A significant milestone in digital cinema’s progress was reached on April 23, as Christie Digital Systems USA, a leader in cinema projection, officially launched their new Network Operations Center (NOC) at their impressive new facility in Cypress, Calif.

The new NOC, which could easily be mistaken for the master control for a Mars landing, is housed in a state-of-the-art building within walking distance of the Christie factory. The facility occupies 16,000 square feet on two levels. The centerpiece of the facility, the command center, is dominated by a large display wall composed of Christie DLP® projection cubes. The command center can be staffed by a team of up to 17 trained specialists, who constantly monitor the real-time performance of customer installations across the U.S.

The NOC opening is the latest step Christie has taken in expanding their Managed Services Division, which is comprised of over 180 cinema audio/video and IT experts who are trained to support a wide array of systems. These systems typically contain projectors, visual displays, servers, switches and networking products across the U.S. and Canada. The Christie Managed Services Division with its original NOC was created in 2003 to support the early phase-one digital-cinema deployments. The first NOC was seamlessly transitioned to this new expanded facility this spring.

According to Sean James, Christie’s VP of managed services, “The NOC itself is the hub of Christie Managed Services. We provide turnkey deployment and implementation services as well as remote and local support of both digital and film cinema, onscreen advertising and digital signage nationwide. Christie’s NOC allows remote monitoring of the health and status of customer systems. It also manages the configuration of systems, provides help-desk services to customer staff, and access to local technicians with local parts to provide on-site repair and support.” In addition to the command center, the building houses system integration spaces, dedicated training rooms, and climate-controlled rooms built to industry standards for data and connectivity as well as power redundancy to maintain 24/7 readiness.

The Christie NOC is scalable to serve the cinema and related industries as they grow. Today, the NOC is providing monitoring for over 32,000 digital devices located in 3,780 digital cinema screens and 4,700 pre-show advertising screens in over 850 sites across the U.S. and Canada. Their current customers include: AMC, Carmike Cinemas, Cinedigm, Cinemark, Emagine Entertainment, Galaxy Theatres, Rave Motion Pictures, RealD, Regal, Pixar Animation and Skywalker Sound, to name a few. As the number of digital installations grows, the NOC can be expanded by up to five times the current load, which would be enough to accommodate every cinema in North America.

The NOC can support any device or application that can be accessed via a network, and is not limited to Christie products. Christie’s Managed Services Division is completely hardware-agnostic and support services are provided to customers with a wide range of digital-cinema hardware, including competitive products. Christie’s experience has shown that remote monitoring has clear cost benefits by reducing the need for on-site support. Through the NOC, updates can be remotely administered and nearly 40% of all reported problems have been resolved without the need for on-site technical response. Service contracts are completely customizable to help customers choose the level of service and response time that is right for their application and budget.

Regarding the international market, Christie plans to leverage their NOC investment through similarly equipped branch facilities around the world, all connected back to the Cypress, Calif. master NOC. James explains, “Because we’ve built the core here in Cypress, initial start-up costs for future facilities will be much less.”

Jack Kline, Christie’s president and COO, observes, “The significant expansion of the Christie Managed Services Network Operations Center confirms our solid commitment to the future of digital technology. The NOC reflects our ongoing investment to meet the needs of our customers and our pledge to provide the highest level of technical support to ensure our customers’ success.”