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Temple University

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Planar's Clarity Matrix Video Wall Puts Spotlight On Science Education and Research Center

Temple University recently opened The Science Education and Research Center (SERC) as part of a key strategy to further establish the university as a center of excellence in scientific education and research. The Science Education and Research Center, at 247,000 square feet, is one of the largest buildings devoted exclusively to scientific research in the Philadelphia region. The seven-story structure includes 52 research labs and 16 teaching labs, open spaces to foster collaboration, and high-tech equipment such as clean rooms and a low-vibration scanning tunneling microscope facility.

Also among SERC's high technology assets is a sophisticated digital video wall in the building's main lobby that is comprised of 35 large (55-inch) displays—Planar's next-generation Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System with G2 Architecture. These displays present a variety of informational, educational and entertainment content from sources that are managed by Planar's Clarity™ VCS Video Wall Controller. They represent the vanguard of a system to extend teaching and learning onto large scale display platforms - in SERC as well as in other facilities on campus - that transform how everything from science to art is presented to students, shared among faculty and staff, and enjoyed by visitors.

"The Planar video wall is clearly a 'wow' factor," says Larry Brandolph, Associate Vice President of Computer Services for Temple University. "But it also sets the tone for the building and will help attract talented scholars and students seeking opportunities for the highest level of exploration and investigation."

Project partners agree on Clarity Matrix as the ideal solution

The Clarity Matrix was recommended to Brandolph and his Temple team by Total Video Products of Mickleton, New Jersey. With 525 square foot of available wall space on the mezzanine level of the lobby, it was determined that a seven-wide-by-five-high (7 x 5) array of the Clarity Matrix video wall displays (MX55HDS) would provide the platform best suited to the needs and interests of Brandolph, his information services organization and the other university constituents involved In the decision-making process.

"We've had considerable experience with the Clarity Matrix Video Wall System so we knew it was right for this project," says John McDonald, Account Manager for Total Video Products, an audio visual solutions provider whose expertise includes systems integration, installation and servicing of advanced, commercial-grade digital signage systems. "But we also believe our approach to projects such as this accounts for their being successful. We listen carefully to the desired functionality of the client and other project participants, and we arrive at a solution together. We're proud of this approach and feel it sets us apart from other firms in our field and leads to the selection of the right video wall solution."

Key features factoring into the system selection decision

Among the many features that distinguish Clarity Matrix in the Temple project is its use of Planar's Clarity VCS, which is a video wall processor with proven capabilities for capturing, displaying and managing multiple sources on a video wall. It's an important element in the total solution considering that the SERC video wall takes inputs from PCs, digital signage sources, media players, and cable television feeds.

"Clarity VCS provides the ability to manage not only a variety of inputs, but to place any piece of content wherever we want to on the video wall," Total Video's McDonald says. "We're not locked into or constrained by a set display format. It's a big decision driver for all of us that we can tie virtually any source into the video wall and manage that content on the video wall where it will be most effective or have the most impact."

Another important feature set of Clarity Matrix is its use of Planar's EasyAxis™ Mounting System and the display's off-board electronics design. "EasyAxis has cams that allow for the quick and precise positioning of each display relative to the others—it's a huge time and labor saver for the integrator. And the off-board design means that no AC power outlets are required behind the displays, a single power supply module can now drive as many as eight displays, and heat-inducing elements are kept away from the video wall thus minimizing AC requirements and giving Clarity Matrix its 50,000 hour life."

Lastly, the Clarity Matrix video wall gives Temple top notch image quality. This owes to factors such as a tiled display width of 5.5mm, and the new G2 Architecture, which provides stunning 4K input capability and 10-bit color processing for better color depth and uniformity.

"In Clarity Matrix with G2 Architecture, we have a digital signage system that helps define SERC as a 21st century facility, and Temple as a scientific research leader," Brandolph says. "No other system currently out there would do this in all the ways Clarity Matrix does, and no other company matches Planar in its technical capability and commitment to customer support."