Functionality Beats Wow Factor, For A Change, In Use Of Big Sony Premium LED Wall
October 26, 2021 by Dave Haynes
Here’s a case of a premium fine pitch video wall going into a business for functional reasons, as opposed to many of the Wow Factor jobs that are mainly intended to impress viewers in places like corporate lobbies.
It’s a curved Sony Crystal LED wall being used by an aerospace contractor to review drawings and 3D visualizations, in a briefing room likely far removed from the curious eyes of company visitors.
It’s a 32-foot by 9-foot curved Crystal LED, which interestingly is never described in the press release as microLED – a term Sony has applied to its product even though LED nerds would suggest it doesn’t meet that technical definition (Samsung, LG and others have also played a little loose with the term for their premium LED products).
The “Is it really microLED or not?” is 100% a nerd argument, and customers will select and buy based on how a display looks and works, not the words used in the specs.
In this case, the unnamed Sony client (these guys would sell into NASA and the military, presumably) can’t be named, but Sony was allowed to go into some detail about how the video wall is used.
The engineers needed detailed, immersive images for design reviews. The project team and stakeholders needed an impressive environment for internal and external design briefings. That required more than a mere video wall. It demanded cutting-edge 3D display technology from Sony, combined with unsurpassed design, integration, and virtual reality expertise – provided by Mechdyne – to enable all of the varied use cases and multiple image sources.
The centerpiece of this project is a curved 32’ x 9’ 8K Sony Crystal LED direct view display system; one of few curved Crystal LED walls in existence. The extra wide aspect ratio required special programming to ensure display of complex CAD models in their native format. Modular in nature, Crystal LED technology accommodates virtually any size or aspect ratio. The LED’s 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio displays beautiful depth of colors for extraordinary image quality. The extra wide viewing angle ensures all participants have an equally incredible experience. The technology can be used in a vast range of applications, but the true-to-life colors, textures and resolution enabled by Crystal LED technology are particularly prized by the virtual design industry, which relies on fine details and analysis for precision and accuracy. The large screen allows multiple users to view and collaborate while viewing 3D virtual reality designs; something that is not as intuitive and user friendly if head mounted VR systems are used by a group.
Mechdyne integrated and programmed the installation to accommodate varied use cases. The included windowing system is capable of displaying 2D and stereoscopic 3D content from multiple sources anywhere on the screen. Programmed with Mechdyne’s Meeting Canvas software, the video wall can display up to four HD inputs and four UHD 4K inputs simultaneously. In addition, the system is virtual reality enabled by 16 motion-tracking cameras. A user’s position and orientation is monitored in real-time in order to change imagery to present the correct image perspective as the user moves. Imagine being able to move your head to look around the corner of a virtual door. The design also includes support for finger tracking to monitor the position and orientation of a user’s hand relatively to the on-screen components.
Enhancing the impressive, immersive quality of the environment, Mechdyne engineers built the display into the main wall so that it appears as part of the structure. A custom frame and base bring the panels as close to the floor as possible, creating a portal-like effect. Ancillary flat panels are installed elsewhere in the space and at the entrance way, while 7.1 surround sound floods the room from unobtrusively positioned speakers. Completing the installation: a control station from which a meeting facilitator can create and manage dynamic working sessions and presentations.
At the outset of the project, Mechdyne’s in-house team of control programmers reviewed use cases in depth to ensure that the windowing software and user interface met the client’s unique needs. “Advance staging at Mechdyne’s Technical Center verified the integrity and operation of the system before installation,” says Chad Kickbush, General Manager for Mechdyne’s Integrated Systems Business Unit. “The system was made fully functional, including integration of the display, windowing software, custom-user interface programming, and computer power to run it all.” Multiple display/windowing presets were also prepared. The client performed an FAT, factory acceptance test, to approve the interface and functionality prior to shipping. Offsite staging also enabled Mechdyne to perform the onsite integration rapidly, accurately and with minimal disruption to the client’s day-to-day operations.
Sony and Mechdyne collaborated closely with the client – and with each other – to create this first-of-its-kind Crystal LED installation for 3D simulation in the aerospace arena. “The compelling visuals provided by Sony’s detailed Crystal LED display were further enhanced through collaboration with Mechdyne, who implement cutting-edge technology in a way that amplifies its inherent power in supporting premier government clients and applications,” says Sander Phipps, National Account Manager, Visualization and Simulation at Sony Electronics. “Our Crystal LED offers a breathtaking large-display experience, and when it’s paired with Mechdyne’s mind-blowing expertise in 3D, it makes the canvas truly come to life in ways that inspire and enable our users.”