Clarity Matrix Video Wall is Focal Point of Newly Renovated Student Recreation Center
Planar has expanded its presence at the University of Oregon by providing an LCD video wall – the University calls it the Media Wall – for the newly renovated and expanded Student Recreation Center (SRC). A similar Planar video wall was installed in the University's Hatfield-Dowlin football complex.
The new Media Wall, an array of Planar's 55-inch ClarityTM Matrix LCD Video Wall displays, is a focal point of the SRC facility, occupying a nearly 320 square foot space in the entry area just in front of the climbing wall. The 32-unit array was installed by the audio-visual integration firm, CompView (based in Beaverton, Oregon), which also handled installation of the Hatfield-Dowlin video wall.
"We wanted to continue moving away from the use of paper-based, static communication, says Bryan Haunert, Associate Director of the Student Recreation Center. "Further, we wanted a platform that was dynamic, and would give us the ability to show multiple forms of content at any time—virtually anything we believed that would provide a wow factor for the SRC as a whole, but also would resonate with any specific audience we might want to reach at any time. The Media Wall gives us that platform."
Attracting attention, making a bold statement
CompView specified the 55-inch Clarity Matrix LX55HDS displays for an eight-wide by four-high (8x4) arrangement that is located 10 feet off the floor. "Even at this height, the Media Wall has the size and image quality to attract attention and make a bold statement," says John Cathey, Systems Integration Sales for CompView. "In terms of impact and performance Planar's solution sets a very high bar for large scale video walls in public spaces such as this."
"Besides the fact that the Media Wall comes from an Oregon-based company – which brings with it many inherent benefits – it is engineered with many value-added features," Cathey says. "For starters, we like its thin profile and ultra-thin bezels." With Clarity Matrix , the total mounted depth is less than four inches and the tiled bezel width is 5.5 mm. "Both dimensions are significantly larger on competitive products, which makes those products more intrusive and less appealing both visually and architecturally."
A second important attribute is the sustainable nature of the Media Wall, a feature that is in keeping with the University's overall environmental consciousness. The Media Wall supports this by virtue of how it is designed. While the video wall is comprised of 32 individual displays, it is not necessary to provide power to each of these individually, in the form of dedicated power outlets. Instead, every display is daisy-chained to the next, and power is taken from a single source located in a rack room some 125 feet away from the video wall. This, indirectly, simpli es the electrical infrastructure, and with each display only drawing 231 watts of power, total power consumption is well within targets desired for the Media Wall.
In addition, the Media Wall is installed on the unique Planar® EasyAxisTM Mounting System. This is a pioneering support structure that speeds and simplifies the mounting and alignment of displays in the video wall while also capitalizing on the ability to remotely locate several of each display's electronic components such as power supplies and controllers. "As a result, the BTU level – or heat load- of the video wall is kept to the very minimum, at a level that is significantly lower than that of other such video walls," says Cathey. "For the University, this means lower heat output and lower cooling costs – factors which contribute to the high LEED1 score that was set for the SRC, another sustainability goal," Cathey adds.
An additional benefit of the EasyAxis Mounting System is the ease of serviceability it provides. With EasyAxis, any individual display can be tilted out at the bottom and removed, either to facilitate its own maintenance or replacement, but also to make it easy for technicians to gain access to any other panel as needed. "This approach is much better than with other video walls, where if we need to service one display, we usually have to power down and dismantle either sections of or an entire video wall. In either case, we'd need to bring in a lift to get up to the video wall, but with EasyAxis, the process would be much quicker and easier, and the area would not be significantly disrupted by the presence of maintenance equipment," Cathey says further.
Delivering the desired "wow" factor
As the University's Haunert says, a key goal of the Media Wall is to provide a dramatic, attention-getting signage platform in the space; "a wow factor," he says. This is achieved due to a number of factors including the sheer size of the video wall, as well as its nearly seamless surface, brightness (500 nits), contrast ratio (3500:1), resolution 1920 x 1080) and color handling capability.
"Another major contributor is the content exibility it gives us. We almost always depict aspects of the many SRC programs in the outer quadrants of the video wall along with live broadcast feeds in the center section. This not only lets viewers see the full breadth of what we o er in SRC, but it allows us to also entertain them in a very effective and memorable way." This, he said, is a dramatic improvement over traditional static signage and further makes the Media Wall a compelling communications asset.