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IAC's Video Wall – When Size Matters

Monday, March 11, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Vincent Luciani, AITP Association Director
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On the west side of Manhattan, in the iconic and magnificent Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building resides the highest resolution video walls in the world.  These video walls, consisting of over 50 million pixels, overlook both the West Side Highway and IACs reception area and they represent the latest in video technology. The walls are the centerpiece of IAC's grand lobby, which is host to numerous 3rd party high-profile events such as fashion shows, product launches, and television and movie filming each year.

I am Vincent Luciani, CIO at IAC, as well as AITP's co-chair of Association Development Service Area and a long-time member AITP's Long Island Chapter. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to oversee and work with this engineering marvel on a daily basis.

The walls consist of over 600 tiles from Prysm, Inc. each measuring only 20” wide by 15” inches high. But to give you a sense of scale of the larger of the two walls, take a look at that 50” flat-panel television in your living room. Now imagine stacking 5 of them on top of each other, and placing 33 next to each other and that the seams between them in less than a millimeter. When complete, you would have a 10' high x 120' wide colossus with a pixel count of 22,720 x 1,920.

 

The smaller wall is 10' tall, by 20' feet wide, or about 1/6th the size of the larger and is behind our reception area welcoming guests with a high-definition look at our various brands, along with geographical IP data represented on a globe.

Now, you may wonder what can be displayed on such a large wall and what sort of technology is required to support and output that kind of resolution. First, the technology driving the video walls is a collection of high-powered computers consisting of Vista Systems' Spyder X20s, Dataton Watchout and a complex video and audio routing and switching network, all working seamlessly to create an amazing visual experience.

As for the content itself, IAC plays video "modules,” creative pieces of video art which relate to our numerous brands. This content runs 24x7 except during 3rd party events, when the client will generally create content specific to the event. Depending on the complexity of the content, it could take a week or more to render the video due to the size of the wall. In addition to the canned content in rotation, we have the capability to displaying output from numerous different sources such as DVD players, computers, Xbox, Wii, and satellite TV, just to name a few.

In addition to 3rd party corporate events, IAC has developed a unique partnership with New York University's (NYU's ) Interactive Telecommunications Program. Each year, NYU graduate students are offered full access to develop, test, refine and then present their newly-created video content to a lobby full of amazed NYU educators and industry professionals. In fact, during this year's program, NYU students established a new Guinness Book of World Records category of "most simultaneous game players on a single screen.” Read more.

So what does it take to keep this mammoth digital canvas operating? We have a full-time A/V engineer who is responsible for the day to day operations and overseeing the wall's maintenance. We have relationships with select vendors capable of generating content for the wall and to whom we refer our clients. We also have a staff of planners to oversee each event, and a resource of audio and video experts who are capable of repairing the wall if and when it's required. For more information, please visit www.iacbuilding.com.


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