The Palais de congrès de Montréal, which opened its doors in 1983, has hosted more than 5,500 events and 15 million visitors. Situated between Old Montreal and downtown, the Palais also features a shopping mall in its center with restaurants and boutiques. The striking venue, with its multicolored glass facade, is listed among the architectural wonders featured in the book, “1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die.”
When it came time to revamp the digital signage at the Palais des congrès de Montréal – a 551,520 sq. ft. multi-use convention center in downtown Montréal – it was quickly determined that standard mounting technology would not do. The Palais needed mounts that would blend well with the convention center’s sleek aesthetics, meet stringent safety and performance requirements, and be robust enough to support numerous displays with as little hardware as possible. The Palais also needed a partner that could deliver creative installations that would serve as state-of the-art digital signage for broadcasting rich, tailored content. The Palais turned to Peerless-AV’s advanced mounting technology for help. In mid-2012, Peerless-AV met with Signature Design Communication (SDC), the primary consultant for the project, along with facility managers, project managers and installers.
Plans were drawn up for two innovative custom mounts that would float from the ceilings and feature multiple displays, as well as a video wall utilizing standard mounts and multiple directional signage installations. Peerless-AV’s Custom Products Division - the industry’s only team dedicated to digital signage designed and made to each customer’s exact requirements and specifications - finished the custom signage within weeks, and, by October 2012, the Palais had in place a new venue -wide dynamic signage system and a video wall ready to communicate with 2,500 delegates from 62 countries attending the 18th World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT).
When plans were being made to overhaul the Palais’ outdated legacy IT systems, nothing was off the table. The networks needed to be updated, new applications and IT software needed to be implemented, and all of the venue’s high-quality but outdated CRT TV-based digital signage had to be modernized to relay directional information as well as broadcast news and advertising.
The Palais’ IT modernization project, which got underway at the start of 2012, was to include:
- Upgraded network infrastructure for unparalleled connectivity
- A new e-commerce-enabled Web platform for customers to facilitate event and exhibition planning and foster efficient information sharing
- An event-focused, customizable mobile app that organizers, exhibitors and convention-goers can use throughout the course of their stay
- New digital signage and touch screens for broadcasting rich content tailored to each event
- An event intelligence infrastructure focused on further enhancing the networking experience for convention-goers, and also tracking strategic statistical data for convention and exhibition organizers
The Palais hired a consortium formed by Bell and Cisco to serve as the project integrator for the technology environment and services improvements. A master plan developed and managed by SDC included the implementation of a new digital signage program. SDC established the design, placement, and installation criteria following specific requirements set by the Palais and its facility managers.
For the mounts to support the upgraded digital signage, the Palais turned to Peerless-AV, which had provided mounts for some of the convention center’s original digital signage installations. Peerless-AV’s quality work, and its ability to quickly and expertly design, manufacture and deliver custom digital supports - a capability that few audio visual technology solutions providers are able to offer - made partnering with Peerless-AV an easy decision. Peerless-AV teamed with the Palais’ in-house provider for shows, AVW-Telav, which completed the installations on-site.
Peerless-AV’s Custom Products Division team crafts custom digital signage and advanced technology solutions in the company’s 320,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in the U.S.
There’s an on-site UL certified lab capable of testing installations against loads four times their existing weight capacity, among other industry standards and regulations. The team of engineers, designers, technical specialists and project managers can turn around made-in-the-USA installations that meet a customer’s exact needs in a matter of weeks.
In May 2012, Peerless-AV began working closely with the Palais on the custom support systems required for 34 displays in its digital signage project. This included building custom mounts for two custom-built six-display hanging installations designed as parallelograms, four side-by-side ceiling-mounted units holding eight displays, and one back-to-back/side-to-side ceiling mounted unit holding four displays in accordance with the design layout provided by SDC.
The parallelogram installations were particularly challenging, requiring displays to be mounted into quadrilateral configurations and suspended high above the ground. The Palais didn’t want bulk and preferred that the parallelograms appear almost as if they were floating, with little hardware obstructing any of the screens’ digital content so they could be seen from multiple angles. Equally important was maintenance. Now, if a display ever needs to be repaired or replaced, workers can easily access an individual screen without dismantling the entire structure. Peerless-AV’s custom development team designed one-of-a kind mounts that are low-profile with minimal structure, precise in placement and leverage the company’s patented scissors-like pull-out/prop-open mechanism on each mount for simple access to individual screens and cabling.
Peerless-AV also provided support systems for a modified linear video wall of 10 displays (5 x 2) using Peerless-AV’s award winning DS-VW765-LAND Video Wall Mount.
This mount is particularly well-suited for video walls because Peerless-AV has perfected a technique for hanging display mounts in a perfect grid using its innovative wall plate spacers. The spacers are fitted to the top and side of each mount as it is hung, ensuring that the next mount is installed at the same height and at an equal distance from all the others without time-consuming measurements or error-prone guesswork. The standard mounts used in the 5 x 2 wall also have quick-turn-micro-adjustment knobs so that each display’s position can be fine-tuned - without any tools - at eight different points, including up-down, vertical. left-right horizontal, and in-out tilt of the whole display as well as up-down roll at the display corners, as the wall is assembled. The result is a perfectly flat canvas. The DS-VW765-LAND Video Wall Mounts also feature the same patented scissors-like pull-out/prop-open mechanism for easy service access.
Other standard Peerless-AV mounts used in the project included 28 low-profile wall mounts, four flat panel dual screen mounts, and seven ceiling mounts. All comply with OSHPD regulations and are engineered for strength, durability, and easy installation.
All of the new custom and standard signage specified by SDC used Samsung’s UD55A, a 55” LED LCD display set in an ultra-slim chassis with super-thin bezel widths designed for near seamless video walls that offer high-impact and space-saving installation.
The Palais’ new mounts are:
- Sleek and aesthetically compatible with the convention center’s contemporary architecture
- Made of North American steel and exceptionally strong
- Fully compliant with the seismic safety certification required by the state of California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD)
- Built with Peerless-AV’s unique features such as wall plate spacers and micro-adjustment knobs that make installation and maintenance easier and less costly
- Designed and strategically positioned for maximum viewing by venue visitors
The Palais’ modern digital signage, now showing throughout the venue’s impressive halls and rooms, was in place in time for the convention center’s busy 2012 fall conference season. The project has been such a success that the Palais already has its sights set on the next stage of its IT modernization initiative, with plans to include Peerless-AV and its advanced technology mounting solutions.