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The Advisory Board Company

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The Advisory Board Company
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Planar's Clarity Matrix Video Wall is Visual Anchor To Members' Area of Conference Center

Global enterprises – primarily in healthcare and higher education – rely on The Advisory Board Company for research analysis and consulting services so they are able to more efficiently meet the needs of their customers. The company recently turned to Planar Systems and their AV Integrator, Avitecture, for video wall technology to anchor the members' area of its key conference center in Washington. Members visit this center to become immersed in The Advisory Board Company, to learn about the full breadth of its offerings and capabilities, and to meet with the company as it is working with them to implement their respective performance enhancement plans and programs.

"The conference center is where we share our expertise and establish the essential working relationships with our members," says Nyere Hollingsworth, Program Manager of Audio Visual Services for The Advisory Board Company. "The Planar video wall is a compelling piece of the center. It is a large, uniquely-implemented electronic platform that dramatically affirms our dedication to advanced technology as an essential business processing tool. When our members see it, they know immediately that we are forward-thinking, capable and committed to meeting their specific needs."

For The Advisory Board Company, the video wall is a valuable, multi-function communications tool. Its principal role is to present conference center visitors with information pertaining to their specific meetings, and about other activities occurring at the center during their visit. The video wall also depicts branding information about The Advisory Company, shows live news and weather, and provides lecture information when the video wall space is used as a classroom overflow area. "The fact that we can do so many different things with it is a real asset," Hollingsworth says. "In particular, being able to customize it to deliver meeting information for an individual group, along with stunning background imagery of the Washington, DC area, leaves a very strong impression and feelings of enthusiasm about the conference center experience," Hollingsworth adds.

Video wall is integral architectural element

A multi-disciplined team was assembled to design and build the conference center space, and to implement the video wall and create and manage its content. C&G Partners (New York) provided initial consulting services, ultimately became the provider of the video wall content, and was assisted by Synect Media (based in Redmond, Washington) for video wall design and programming for multi-display of dynamic feeds. YCD Multimedia (headquartered in New York) provided the content management engine for the video wall, with Avitecture (Sterling, Virginia) assuming a role in the design process and then handling the key roles of installation and integration. Davis Construction (Rockville, Maryland) constructed the overall space and the housing for the video wall. The input of many in this team lead to the selection of the Planar video wall, and of a unique design, a 12-wide by two-high (12x2) array of Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall with G2 Architecture displays (MX55HDS) installed within a unique slate-wall surround. "We call it architectural AV, and it speaks to the ability of Clarity Matrix to be an integral part of this one-of-a-kind architectural space," says Bill Apter, Senior Consultant for Avitecture.

Clarity Matrix video wall offers numerous capabilities and benefits

Avitecture made effective use of key features of the Clarity Matrix displays. Each display measures about 55 inches diagonally and has a sub-four inch depth that readily accommodates the architecturally-designed slate surround. The displays have a tiled bezel width of only 5.5mm. Many of their components are housed in a remote rack room more than 100 feet away—G2 Architecture makes this distance possible—from the video wall, where just two CAT 5 cables for each display terminate to provide for transmission of power and data.

"There are many inherent benefits," Avitecture's Apter says. "The ultra-thin tiled bezel delivers an almost seamless picture. The video wall itself seems nearly at one with the slate surround; components that could generate unnecessary heat are kept away from the video wall, thus enabling reliable, extended operation and lowered cooling requirements. And because we didn't have to put power outlets behind any display, we saved thousands in labor and materials costs." He adds that remotely locating components also facilitates maintenance and minimizes service time and effort. "No other video wall offers this design and delivers these benefits," he adds.

Planar delivers top-notch engineering and support

Apter says that Planar's engineering and support also figured heavily into the success of the Advisory Board Company project. For starters, he says, Planar provides highly accurate CAD drawings of its displays; the team was able to use these drawings to ensure that there was precise alignment of the video wall bezels with the slate surround mullions. "Because Avitecture didn't need to create architectural drawings specifically to match the video displays to the slate, we saved time and lowered costs."

The Clarity Matrix displays arrived on site having been initially calibrated and color balanced at the Planar factory. Once Avitecture installed them within the slate surround and powered them up, it took their video wall technician less than one day to finely calibrate and balance the 24 panels. "This would have taken much longer with other video walls and we wouldn't have had the assurance, as we have with Planar, that their color balance and calibration would hold, Apter continues." The Advisory Board Company's Hollingsworth echoes this benefit and adds that the image characteristics of the Clarity Matrix MX55HDS displays, such as 800-nit brightness, 3500:1 contrast ratio, 1920 x 1080 resolution and 178-degree viewing, have proven themselves to be the right solution for the conference center project. "We have complex and unique content to depict, which is also rich and beautiful to any viewer's eye. The effect of this video wall is stunning and we are convinced that it makes a powerful statement about the center and our company."