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Watt Family Innovation Center Rooftop Terrace - Clemson University

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Watt Family Innovation Center Rooftop Terrace - Clemson University
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Planar Outdoor LED Video Wall Brings Dynamic Feature to Clemson University Rooftop Terrace

Built in 2016 on the Clemson University campus, the Watt Family Innovation Center is the school's most technology-enhanced academic building, featuring the latest in information technology and special facilities. The mission of the Watt Center is to create an environment where collaboration among students, faculty and leaders from industry and government agencies generates ideas and solves complex problems.

When the four-story, 70,000-square-foot facility was built, Planar display technology was installed throughout the interior, with nearly 200 displays deployed in the main lobby, the brand center, the main auditorium, classrooms, collaboration spaces, the facility's boardroom, and other areas. Roughly two and a half years later—in the fall of 2018—the Watt Center opened a terrace on the top floor of the building's east side. When it came time to amplify the new terrace venue with display technology, Clemson again went with Planar.

Installed by content management system provider Hypersign, the solution is a 13-foot-wide, 8-foot-high Planar® FX Series LED video wall with a 2.9mm pixel pitch (FX2.9) in an 8x5 configuration.

'Bigger, better and brighter'

Prior to the addition of the Planar FX Series LED video wall, an outdoor LCD product from another vendor was installed on the terrace. However, in the high ambient light, the visibility of the display proved inadequate. "It wasn't bright enough—you couldn't see it in the shade or when it was overcast," said Susan Reeves, operations and support manager for the Watt Family Innovation Center. "We had another one installed, still no good. Then even a third one, which was no good either. After that, we turned to Planar."

The Planar FX Series LED video wall is much more suited to the rooftop outdoor conditions, Reeves said, with the brightness of the display overcoming direct sunlight reflecting off the white tiles of the venue. "It's bigger, better and brighter," she said. "The LED video wall performs exceptionally well in the sunlight. And it makes a statement—we can see it driving on the road half a mile away."

Hypersign founder Neil Willis said the front serviceability of the Planar FX Series LED video wall is a huge benefit. "It's easy to maintain and manage, and we could install the mounting structure directly onto the brick wall of the venue, making it less than four inches off the wall and ADA compliant."

A vibrant amenity space

The addition of the Planar FX Series LED video wall adds value and appeal to the rooftop terrace, creating opportunities for entertainment, events and more. "It's really a dynamic feature that supports all types of uses—from meetings and presentations to sports viewing and weddings," Reeves said. "At dusk, the LED video wall turns the terrace into an outdoor movie theater."

The display is powered by Hypersign's content management system that allows users to control content for the video wall— and all other displays in the Watt Center—from a web interface. "The outdoor installation was just integrated into the ecosystem already in place," said Willis. "It's a great example of how good hardware and good software can come together to serve a customer."

The system provides the university with the versatility to do almost anything as far as content, according to Reeves. "We can easily switch between digital advertising, campus messaging and PowerPoint slides," she said. "We can also transfer anything from the building up to the terrace video wall. So, if one of our instructors wants to be creative and hold an outdoor class on the roof, that can be done. The color and brightness are excellent and its very responsive for motion video. The 2.9mm pixel pitch is perfect for the space—the screen looks great from all viewing angles. The LED video wall gives a whole new look to the terrace."