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Visual Winners

If gambling is the lifeblood of Las Vegas, then the Hard Rock Sports Book at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino puts the real "sport" in betting. At the newly renovated bar and betting facility, customers can take their chances on horse racing, boxing, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, NASCAR, golf and any other sporting event that can generate wager revenue. All that betting activity can also generate plenty of text and images, so when the facility updated its media mix, systems designers specified Vikuiti Extended Resolution rear-projection screens from 3M as the central visual, specifically for the sharp, bright and easily viewable images the screens provide.

"The 'given' part of the Sports Book retrofit project is that we already had two large wall pockets set up for rear projection," said Mohammad Ahmadi, president of Be Media (El Segundo, CA).

"More important than the existing wall pockets was that we needed the very best screen material we could find because the two projectors we selected for the centerpiece were capable of projecting high-definition content," Ahmadi noted. "We needed a screen that displayed that high definition."

Two Vikuiti 48 x 84-inch rear-projection screens with high-definition projectors were installed over the center console of the Sports Book. Combined with the adjoining Sports Bar, the space can accommodate about 150 people, all of whom can easily see the information on the two screens, in any light condition and from virtually any viewing angle.

"We discovered the Vikuiti screens at a tradeshow, and asked to see a sample," Ahmadi stated. "From the very first, we were impressed by the visibility in less-than-dark lighting conditions, and the high-contrast capability. This material is very accurate. There's no 'fuzzing' of the image at all."

At just 1/4-inch thick, each Vikuiti screen at the Sports Book measures 95 inches in diagonal, the largest size available, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Its light weight makes the Vikuiti screen easy to hang, and its versatility makes it suitable for many types of display. The screen can be cut into virtually any shape, including ovals and circles.

In addition to the Vikuiti screens that form the central information display, the installation includes 23 42-inch plasma screens; eight 50-inch plasma screens; an audio system; new switching gear; and an AMX touchpanel-based control system. Other equipment from the existing system was also re-purposed.

Several rooftop satellites pull in programming from a wide variety of sources. As many as 40 racetracks or games are fed into the video systems simultaneously.



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