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In the Club

Aug 20, 2014 9:12 PM, By Tim Kridel

Integrating AV for Atmosphere

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To understand why Homedia had to work on the fly, it helps to know the displays’ history. Homedia had installed them a year before at Daffy’s Times Square clothing store, where Hirschberg’s team and Visual Apex won the Samsung Innovator of the Year award.

“When they went out of business, I was able to buy 21 screens back from the liquidation sale and resell them to Slate at a deep discount,” Hirschberg says. “I added four more screens to give them a total of 25 screens.

“We knew that they wanted four 2x2 and one 3x3 videowalls upon the approved sale. However, we did not know exactly where each wall was going to go and how we should engineer the space to accommodate them until we delivered the screens,” he says.

But when the team showed up onsite one day, they found that the bar was already framed out. Having to make do with what was in front of them—a wall slightly too deep to use the beautiful Peerless 765 landscape brackets as originally intended— Hirschberg and his team pulled the displays out slightly so they would appear flush. All of the videowall displays have 5.5mm bezels, which is great for minimizing the crosshatch effect but require kid gloves during installation.

“Those bezels are extremely delicate,” says Hirschberg, who has used slim-bezel Samsung displays on other projects. “It’s nerve wracking. If they rub the wrong way, it can pop the screen, and you have to call Samsung to get it replaced. On the plus side, they’re very good about replacing them.”

Game Changer

All 25 Samsung displays throughout Slate were configured as videowalls, so it helped that they have onboard video processors— one of the biggest selling points for Hirschberg.

“You can comfortably, in my experience, output up to a 5x5 without dramatically losing a lot of resolution,” he explains. “It’s been a game changer. It’s very easy to get the proper aspect ratio with great resolution using an onboard processor. I love it.”

The budget also benefitted, especially for a project with a 30-day window. Every dollar and minute counted, a point Michael O’Halloran, Samsung’s commercial display product manager, underscores when he notes that “it was a huge savings for them because outboard processors can get costly.”

Hirschberg adds: “There was no preplanning, no engineering, prior to the installation. It was all on-the-fly, figure-itout as you go. The end result was one of the proudest jobs I’ve ever been a part of.”

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