PLANAR VIDEO WALLS PROVIDE IMMERSIVE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE
The National WWII Museum was established to tell the story of the war that changed the world- why it was fought, how it was won and what it means today. To effectively tell the story to this and future generations, museum leaders and supporters recognized the necessity of using 21st century technology to connect with visitors and immerse them in the historical event in a manner that both educates and entertains. That recognition led to the decision to invest in video wall technology and the selection of the Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System from Planar.
Three Clarity Matrix video walls are installed in the newest part of the museum, called US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. Mounted on three walls of the massive space, Clarity Matrix was specified by the New Orleans-based entertainment design and technology firm, Solomon Group. Research into the technology options began in late 2011 and concluded with selection and installation of the Planar video walls – 46-inch and 55-inch Clarity Matrix models – in early 2013.
"The Clarity Matrix video walls are a stunning visual component to the US Freedom Pavilion. The detail in the imagery they depict is remarkable. We and The National WWII Museum team could not be more pleased with how well they perform," says Jonathan Foucheaux, Partner, Solomon Group.
One video wall is comprised of 64 of Clarity Matrix 46-inch MX46HD-L panels in an 8 x 8 configuration that show a film called Arsenal of Democracy, which was specifically produced for the museum. "We partitioned this video wall into four quadrants. Feeding each one with a full 1920 x 1080HD video signal provides nearly 4k images that are stunning in visual quality," Foucheaux says. "The second and third video walls are 4x4 configurations of the 55-inch MX55HD-L panels. These video walls, which are similarly fed, run a custom-written interactive exhibit called What Would You Do? They prompt viewers to make their own decisions when faced with real-world situations. The visual experience is especially moving and engaging," he adds.
Slim profile of Clarity Matrix delivers numerous benefits
In addition to its image quality, Clarity Matrix was the preferred solution for the museum because of its slim profile. Clarity Matrix displays each have a total depth of less than four inches which serves two purposes, Foucheaux says. "First, each display mounts closely to the wall, which makes it feel integral to the architecture of the space." Second, even the larger of these two display sizes weighs no more than 60 lbs. "As a result, it made handling very easy and enabled us to complete the installation in about half the time it would have taken with other manufacturers' products. That enhanced our cost-to-install and meant much quicker uptime for the museum."
The mounting system Planar designed for Clarity Matrix was a differentiator as well. Planar's EasyAxis™ Mounting System is a purpose-built solution that mates brackets on the back of each display to a set of six-axis cams that are part of the frame that attaches to the museum wall. "There's nothing else like the EasyAxis Mounting System on the market," Foucheaux says. "It simplifies the mounting process and all but guarantees flawless panel-to-panel alignment. That's especially important on big walls such as these where you want everything to line up perfectly."
Mounting system keeps maintenance costs down
Other benefits accrue from Planar's EasyAxis Mounting System. First, the system allows for the routing of cables from the display to power supplies, controllers and other components which are remotely located, keeping unnecessary heat away from the Clarity Matrix displays. "Also, because Clarity Matrix runs on a low-voltage infrastructure, we were able to handle those and the Cat6 cables ourselves, which avoided the need for and the added cost of an outside electrical sub-contractor," Foucheaux says.
Further, the EasyAxis Mounting System allows any Clarity Matrix display to be pulled out from the front and lifted up, thereby providing access to any adjacent display that may require maintenance. "This means we don't have to power down the entire wall to service a single panel. It's another reason that Planar's Clarity Matrix is the only video wall system that we recommend and carry," Foucheaux says.
Planar is ideal project partner
He concludes by giving high marks to Planar as a project partner. "Doing an installation of this type on a new building is a challenge. But Planar was there and quick to help whenever we needed it. When one Clarity Matrix display was accidentally damaged during installation, Planar sent us a new one overnight and we had it replaced the following day. All the more reason for us to specify Clarity Matrix and other Planar video wall products on future projects."