Video: Largest Outdoor 8mm LED Board On Planet

Here’s video from that monster wraparound 8mm LED board that sparked up in Times Square this summer.

Located at 701 7th Avenue (aka 20 Times Square), the wrap-around main screen is 91’4″ high and 186’4″ wide. Manufacturer/integrator SNA Displays says that makes it the largest 8mm outside LED board on the planet.

The NFL will be the anchor tenant in the development.

Cruise Line Uses 25-Foot LED Vortex As Centerpiece

Here’s an interesting example of how three-dimensional visuals and crazy idea can be baked into content and served up on a very unusual display canvas – in this case the central court of a monster cruise ship.

This is a 25 foot tall vortex-shaped LED column in the atrium of the Carnival Vista, a ship in the Carnival cruise line fleet that first set sail a year ago. It has a diameter of 2.5 feet at the bottom, increasing all the way to 26 feet at the top. Called Dreamscape, the digital art piece runs a series of motion graphic visuals on a 6mm pitch curved canvas.

There is a second one like this, a bit smaller, in the ship’s casino.

Technomedia Solutions out of Orlando was selected as the turnkey supplier for the custom central columns and complementary LED ceiling discs. They did the engineering, fabrication, and installation of the LED display feature elements, along with the creation of the mapped content that plays on the sculptures.

For the AV nerd readers: These complex shapes, says Technomedia, are seamlessly covered in custom Mood Technologies 6mm resolution LED displays with video content is served from a VYV media server located remotely in the ship’s Broadcast Center via an optical fiber infrastructure and Novastar LED Display Controllers. The entire system is controlled via an AMX system with custom programmed scheduler.

Technomedia Solutions LLC (TMS) was selected as the turnkey supplier for the custom central columns and ceiling discs. TMS was tasked with the engineering, fabrication, and installation of the LED display feature elements, along with the creation of the mapped content that plays on the sculptures.

Mathematically, engineering an LED video matrix to fit such a unique and complex shape had never been done before and required both custom fabricated LED displays and custom video mapping. If the geometry was not enough of a challenge, at one point the entire project was at risk when it became apparent that, because the column was located within and above a main bar, the entire system would have to meet the strict regulations of the United States Public Health Services (USPHS) to avoid the risk of dirt build up which could contaminate the bar.

Initially, the plan was to utilize flexible rubber LED displays which could mold to the unique shape, however it was deemed unacceptable by USPHS as the rubber would trap dust and not be cleanable. After some quick redesign and testing, TMS was able to substitute a flexible rigid & sealed LED product in place of the rubber which was ultimately approved by USPHS.

As mentioned at the top, while I like what I have seen in video (not yet in person) of that crazy robotic 3D board Coca-Cola put up in Times Square this summer, there are a lot of moving parts hat can lock up and break down. It makes me wonder if many of the visual effects could be done in the content, and this is a good example of how that might happen (watch the video at top).

Projects: 7-Metre-Wide High Street Window LED Kicks Off New Boot

As seen on Linkedin

This is a nice temporary installation in a high street window, in central London, using a one metre tall by seven metres wide fine pitch LED wall to highlight the launch of a new boot by Clarks Shoes.

I like how the design team used print graphics to frame the digital stuff and fill the whole street-level window, which would be expensive and probably overkill if the whole window was filled with LED to showcase a single boot on a pedestal.

The install is by London-based Esprit Digital and is using Infiled LED.


New Video: That Giant Robotic Coca-Cola LED Board In NYC

This is the best video I’ve found to date about that robotic LED board in Times Square. Depending on your musical tastes, you may want to mute this one.

The video is by Hong Kong-based Radius Displays, which appears to be the company behind the overall project and the robotic LED set-up the company says is patented.

The Towering Faces In Chicago’s Millennium Park Have Had Some Work Done

The giant LED towers in Chicago’s Millennium Park have had an upgrade, replacing the original LED set-up with newer display tech, while retaining the integrity of the iconic public art piece.

If you’ve been along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and found you way into a sprawling downtown park, you would have seen two identical 50-foot-high glass brick towers, with a shallow pool in between. Each tower displays huge, looped videos of actual Chicagoan’s faces, with a small spout at the mouth of each face regularly “spitting” out a stream of water.

The original towers switched on in 2004, using Barco displays. The new ones are Panasonic’s – the company working with Threshold Acoustics, a Chicago-based AV consulting firm, on the refresh.

A project case study says:

Although Crown Fountain’s unique LED displays incorporated state-of-the-art technology when they were designed and implemented, LED technology has come a long way in the intervening years. In fact, the fountain itself had not been designed to exist forever without a restoration.

“Crown Fountain was actually developed in the early stages of LED technology,” says Jason Kartak, Senior Consultant at Threshold Acoustics. “Its life expectancy was only expected to be about seven to eight years, but they ended up pushing it to 13.”

By 2016, the technology was showing its age. The displays weren’t as bright—which was especially apparent on sunny days. The colors also appeared less vibrant, and the system required more frequent maintenance—a difficult task because of the way the towers are constructed.

“A lot of diodes and modules were running out,” says Dagan Pratt, Project Manager at Panasonic. “It was time for a refresh.”

From the get-go, Panasonic and its partners knew that their biggest challenge would be upgrading Crown Fountain while preserving the integrity of Plensa’s vision. It had already been determined that the overall look of the fountains would be unchanged. That also meant that the resolution (measured in pixel pitch) could not be significantly increased.

“It was a very difficult project, because you have to work within the constraints of the existing fountain,” says Kartak. “At the same time, to meet the artistic aspect, we had to keep certain characteristics of the old LED wall. We needed to keep the pixel pitch very similar to preserve the artist’s intent.”

Another challenge had to do with the fountain’s function itself. Though the LED panels are separated from the water by the glass bricks, and the LEDs themselves are water-resistant, there was still the matter of finding a way to fit the new LED panels around the “spitting” feature, which the architects refer to as the “gargoyle.”

“This was a tough challenge, because you need to have the panels recessed around the mouth, where the water spits out, but not in such a way that it’s visible to patrons,” says Kartak.

To accomplish this, Panasonic’s engineers combined a custom frame area with reflective mirror tape—crafting a solution that not only served its intended purpose, but also appeared seamless to visitors.

The new system is touted as 25% more energy-efficient, twice as bright, equipped with light sensors (to auto dim on sunny days), and much better in terms of color reproduction.