It may not be the Aurora Borealis, but the giant Christie MicroTiles video wall engineered by Electrosonic at the LKAB Visitor Centre in Koskullskulle, Sweden, is lighting up the north.
LKAB (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag) is the world’s technical leader in supplying iron ore pellets, acquired from underground mining, to the global steel industry. Its rich magnetite mines are located in the north of Sweden above the Arctic Circle. A new research centre in Koskullskulle includes a visitor centre that welcomes guests to the nearby Malmberget mine. LKAB’s iron ore mining operations are among the most productive in the world and feature automated processes that result in the “greenest” production of iron.
Electrosonic’s Stockholm office was tasked by LKAB consultant WSP with designing and engineering the audio-visual facilities at the visitor centre, including its showpiece video wall comprised of 192 Christie MicroTiles. The video wall dominates the flexible main presentation space, which can seat 120 people classroom style. The wall is arranged in a 16x12 configuration for an image size of 6.5 x 3.7 meters (21.4 x 12 feet). The display consumes little floor space and is bright enough to be used with full room lighting and with natural light streaming through an exterior glass wall at the opposite end of the room. During the Arctic winter, the MicroTiles display is highly visible from outside the building.
A Vista Spyder image processor, configured for eight inputs and eight outputs, feeds the video wall ensuring that all images are displayed at their full resolution and providing flexibility in image placement. The high resolution of the MicroTiles themselves means that no pixels are visible no matter how close the audience gets to the display.
Permanent inputs to the display include a Blu-ray player, a dual-output high specification computer mounted in the source system rack, a digital video tuner (set top box) and facilities for connecting sources like laptops. An Extron JMP 9600 player is used to present a show that introduces visitors to LKAB, its products and processes. High-resolution aerial photographs of LKAB’s operating sites are used as backdrops to formal and informal presentations.
Electrosonic also supplied the presentation room with a comprehensive audio system comprised of a BSS Soundweb DSP controller that accepts inputs from the video sources and from five microphones deployed as needed, plus Crown amplifiers and JBL loudspeakers. A four-channel Bosch infrared system was also installed; it benefits the hearing impaired and may be potentially useful for simultaneous translation.
Two AMX NI-3100 controllers provide overall system control. The user interface is a touchscreen mounted at the lectern and supplemented by an Apple iPad, which enables control from anywhere in the visitor centre.
Adjacent to the presentation room is a board room for management meetings, which Electrosonic has outfitted with basic AV facilities that offer a growth path as the use of the space becomes better defined.
The main display in the board room is comprised of four NEC X551UN 55-inch LCD monitors in a 2x2 array; they feature ultra narrow mullions, sport LED illumination and are bright enough for all ambient light conditions. A Blu-ray player, set top box and two Kramer SID-X1 twisted pair transmitters feed a Kramer presentation switcher. Once again, an AMX room controller with touchscreen user interface provides overall control of the NEC display.