The world’s busiest airport is dishing out a big portion of Southern hospitality to passengers streaming through its gates. The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), with audio-visual support from Electrosonic, has opened a new welcome centre in the heart of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA). Boasting four 4K videowalls that operate 24/7, the welcome centre captures the attention of new arrivals with dynamic visual content and information designed to make their stay a success.
Located adjacent to the domestic baggage claim and local transportation, the new welcome centre offers greater accessibility and more visibility to passengers arriving in Atlanta. “The ACVB had a small booth with overhead monitors before. This is a much larger space with new display solutions that really pop,” said Tom Rowat, project manager for Electrosonic. “Everyone coming to baggage claim or connecting with ground transportation is going to see it.”
“Tom and his team provided top-notch service and design from the onset of the project,” said J. Andrew Green, content creator at Green Media Works in Atlanta, who were also hired by the ACVB to provide original content for many of the displays. “The system Electrosonic installed provided exactly what was wanted: It’s simple to use, very powerful and it just works!”
Busy airports always offer a logistical challenge but “good design going in by our sales engineers, a good crew and good support from HJAIA made the install very smooth,” Tom reported.
Electrosonic installed four videowalls in the welcome centre using a total of 40 55-inch Samsung UD55E-P ultra-narrow bezel LED monitors. A 6×1 wall tops the entrance, a pair of 3×3 walls lines the sides and a 4×4 wall fills the rear of the new centre.
“Projection wouldn’t work in this environment because of the background light level in the terminal,” explained Tom. “In addition, these are all 24/7 displays and lamp replacement would have been expensive, so we opted for a solution featuring Samsung and BrightSign products. Samsung is on the leading edge of 4K displays, and the BrightSign 4K242 video players are very flexible in distributing full UHD resolution across the monitors.”
Four BrightSign 4K video players serve as sources for the four videowalls. The players are located behind each of the walls eliminating the need for a large equipment rack and expensive extenders. Electrosonic provided a Crestron control system whose operator interface at the site offers individual monitor control and the ability to bring up test patterns on the videowalls for colour balance and monitor alignment.
Electrosonic also designed a remote camera viewing system, featuring a 24/7 Internet connection and TeamViewer app, to facilitate off-site maintenance and content updates.
“Ceiling-mounted confidence cameras are pointed toward the videowalls so if there are any technical issues, our local full-time service technicians can use TeamViewer, look at the cameras and check the network connections as if they were on the job site,” said Tom. “Green Media Works also can use TeamViewer to upload new content and see what it looks like on the videowalls without actually being there.”
Green Media Works manages all the content displayed and creates a good deal of the original programming. “A lot of pixels are active in the welcome centre space,” said Andrew. “From my standpoint, it’s very important how great content looks when it makes it through the last mile to the screen. And the videowalls are crisp and beautiful.”
The 4×4 videowall at the rear of the welcome centre, which measures 16×9 feet, features “a series of beauty and cinematic portraits: big scenic shots of skylines with dynamic clouds and aerial views of cities,” said Andrew. “Single 4K shots transition and a grid screen with multiple vignettes give visitors more information about specific neighbourhoods and attractions.”
One of the 3×3 videowalls runs a compilation video created by the state of Georgia, which has partnered with the ACVB in the welcome centre. The other 3×3 wall features equal portions of additional state content and original content from Green Media Works, including a page showcasing dynamic Instagram feeds from #weloveatl.
The 6×1 videowall, which measures 24 feet wide, is also shared equally with the state. It loops Georgia and Atlanta visual branding and scenics, and offers welcome messages for visiting conference attendees.
“This is a project that’s ongoing as the content grows, changes and evolves to incorporate advertising, new technologies and updated visitor information,” noted Andrew. “Electrosonic has been one step ahead throughout the process. Often as content providers, we’re brought in only after a system is installed. Electrosonic had a test system up and running in their Orlando facility that gave us time to familiarise ourselves with the products before installation.”
Andrew also gives kudos to the remote Internet connection and camera system. “It’s invaluable,” he said. “When we’ve had some content issues to work out, I was able to do it all via the web interface and TeamViewer.”
He added that:Andrew “Everyone has been very impressed with the quality of the install and how the content is presented. I have already recommended Electrosonic to colleagues – something I wouldn’t have done had our interaction not been painless and smooth. I look forward to the opportunity to work with them again.”
Electrosonic provides spare displays, as well as remote monitoring and system maintenance to keep the technology always looking its best for Atlanta’s visitors.