AV/IT TEAM: Ryan Hunter, (pictured), lead AV professional for Advanced Technology Spaces; Konteh Farrar, AV Services manager.
GOALS: The James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University (NC State) serves a big purpose for students, but it’s also open to the public. When the library was built more than 10 years ago, multiple video walls were installed simultaneously and they ran virtually nonstop, 24/7. Over time, they ended up requiring repairs and needing to be replaced.
CHALLENGES: The parts and support needed to replace the aging system were no longer available, and the AV team had to start planning to replace these walls within one year.
Ryan Hunter, lead AV professional for Advanced Technology Spaces at North Carolina State University’s libraries saw Sony’s video wall in action at InfoComm and thought it looked incredible, but at the time, the technology was still out of reach. “It was a level beyond what everybody else was able to provide at the time, and as far as I'm concerned, it still is,” he said. “We weren’t able to use the Crystal LED (CLED) at first because it was only a rear-serviceable product, but I always kept it in the back of my mind. Once I found out a front serviceable version was available, I pitched it to our group.”
Sony Crystal LED (CLED) video wall
FINAL INSTALL/USER BENEFITS: Hunter considered various manufacturers and when it came down to image quality, Sony ended up being the general vote. “We were also sold on the CLED because of its 4K resolution and the fact that it supports current 120 refresh rates and a high dynamic range (HDR),” he said. “Its simplicity is another high point. Being able to expedite that repair time is another huge benefit because in the event of an issue, our video wall will not be down for nearly as long as it used to be.”
The team installed one CLED video wall in the space known as the iPearl Immersion Theater. The iPearl Immersion Theater’s video wall serves students and the public. Its resolution is 4,000 by 1,620, and it measures approximately 20 feet by 8 feet. The video wall is also displayed on a curve, giving viewers an immersive experience from many different angles. Individuals can experience a speech in virtual reality and the image quality, paired with sound effects, can make them feel like they’re attending the speech in person. It also works as a digital exhibit space for student, faculty, and community projects; and special events.
Due to its flexible support of digital content creation frameworks and game engines such as Unity and Unreal, the Crystal LED opens the door for students to come in and build projects, further empowering their creativity.
[ Check out more from The Class of 2023: The AV/IT Teams of Higher Ed ]