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Carmaker Turns to Planar for Video Walls with 2D/3D Capabilities to Entice Customers, Educate Car Owners and Provide Training For Internal Staff

One of the acknowledged leaders in luxury cars, Audi AG, continually makes key investments to enhance its market position and differentiate itself from competitors. Among the recent investments is 2D and 3D video wall technology deployed in the Audi Driving Experience Center in Neuburg.

As far back as 2008, advanced display technology – especially 3D – was sought after by Audi for its ability to bring realism to the experience of buying, owning and driving a high-performance luxury car. "An Audi driving experience is like no other, and nothing conveys that in the selling environment like 3D," says Wolfgang Vogt, IT NSC for Audi. "We found that Planar had the only 2D/3D video wall solution on the market, and once we saw how beautifully it performed, we knew it was the perfect solution for our new driving experience center."

Vogt says he, others on the company team and outside technology selection partners, chose Planar's Clarity™ Matrix 3D Video Wall with G2 Architecture, specified it for several areas in the driving experience center and oversaw its implementation. A total of 50 55-inch Clarity Matrix displays are installed in single-display settings, and in video walls ranging from nine to 18 displays- some are 2D versions, others with 3D capability.

Company and partners devise multi-faceted plan for display technology

Due to the complexity and multi-faceted nature of the display technology implementation, Audi's team of outside specialists included companies in architecture, AV hardware, video wall design, networking, content management, systems integration, installation, project management and more. Vogt and the team developed a total video wall plan, with Clarity Matrix 3D to be implemented in the center's reception and waiting area, a training room and a briefing room and auditorium. The reception area receives customer and prospect visits. The training room is where customers can learn to drive the cars they've selected and also serves as a systems training space for the center's employees and specialists. The briefing room facilitates internal meetings; and the auditorium is used for internal presentations and meetings and also as an event space which can be rented for outside group functions.

In the reception and waiting area, Clarity Matrix 3D is installed in a four-wide-by-four-high (4 x4) recessed wall, and in four smaller walls (single displays) that are also recessed. The training room utilizes a three-wide-by-three-high (3x3) video wall, and the briefing room and auditorium is equipped with a six-wide-by-three-high (6x3) video wall. In all of these areas, the content is either full HD or ultra HD, sourced from high-end PCs, and displayed in full-screen mode or apportioned to certain screen areas according to the design and plan developed by the team's content creators and managers.

Clarity Matrix with G2 Architecture provides industry-leading feature set

As the Clarity Matrix 3D product is built on Planar's new G2 Architecture, Audi enjoys high quality 2D imagery or flicker-free stereoscopic 3D viewing which is seen through special glasses that create perceived depth in the form of an HD image delivered to each eye. "The result is cinematic viewing that cannot be experienced on any other video wall product on the market today," Vogt says.

Clarity Matrix with G2 Architecture includes a number of other highly integrated features as well. These begin with the system's platform, which is a commercial-grade, direct-view, 50,000-hour LCD panel with LED backlighting (with auto-backlight sensing). Other attributes include 1920 x 1080 resolution, 3500:1 contrast ratio, industry-leading reliability facilitated by diagnostic LEDs, automatic monitoring of display status and health and operational and performance alerts. Also, Clarity Matrix with G2 Architecture operates with fewer components than other similar displays – one example being a single signal converter for four displays – which results in higher efficiency and lower cost.

Vogt gives high marks to the image quality of the Clarity Matrix 3D. "The reception area, in particular, is very bright as a result of both interior lighting and ambient light coming in through the windows. The Clarity Matrix 3D displays perform so well in bright light that our customers say the pictures - which include product promotional videos shot in 4K 3D - are as good or better than what they see in the cinema, which is full HD at best." Further, in video wall configurations, the Clarity Matrix 3D provides a total mounted depth of just 4.2 inches (107mm) and a tiled bezel width of 5.5mm. Also, the display is installed on Planar's patented EasyAxis™ Mounting System, which enables the ultra-slim profile, but also allows numerous components to be located away from the video wall, thus reducing heat, preserving panel life and facilitating easy servicing and maintenance (no need to dis-mount the entire video wall to service an individual display). An added feature of the EasyAxis Mounting System is its six-way, cam-operated alignment system which provides for perfect positioning of each display in relation to others, resulting in a perfectly-flat total viewing surface that supports the top-quality 2D and 3D viewing.

"In this and many other ways, Planar's engineering philosophy very much reflects that of Audi," Vogt says. "Their technological leadership is helping Audi maintain its car industry leadership."