MOUNTING A 100 SCREEN VIDEO WALL WITH UNICOL
Oslo Central Station employed a 100-screen videowall to provide travellers with digital information for arrivals and departures as part of a modernisation programme across the Norwegian public transport system. AV-Design AS integrated what was hailed as the largest optically enhanced LCD videowall in Europe. The 100-screen monster, dubbed G-Wall, covered an area of nearly 60m2 and replaced a display powered by Auorescent tubes and installed in 1999.
Forty-six inch LCD TFr bonded screens from manufacturer, GDS Displays were chosen for the videowall. The IP65 rated screens were used because of the risk from brake dust reducing screen life. They boasted narrow bezels with the manufacturer claiming that from a distance the gaps between the units were all but seamless.
Jernbaneverkerket (JBV) manages Norway’s railways and wanted to install the display to improve information for its passengers and, by using a digital solution, allow it to easily adapt the content depending on the situation. The videowall installation came amid a period of modernisation for the Norwegian railway with politicians eager to improve services and replace equipment that was overdue maintenance or insufficient for modern demands. With a more efficient and transparent system, it was hoped that commuters - tired of being delayed on their journeys to work or arriving home late in the evening - would stop using private cars and return to the train network, thereby relieving a traffic overload. AV-Design were chosen for the Oslo Central Station project after successfully delivering a similar system at The National Theatre Station. In both projects, AVDesign used customised Unicol videowall mounts to meet the challenge of mounting such large displays.
LYS&AV-Teknikk (LAV), a Norwegian supplier of Unicol products, was involved in both projects. The company’s Finn Kvalheim explains: “Early in the spring of 2011 we were contacted by our dealer AV-Design regarding Unicol mounts for an installation of twenty- five 46” screens, to show public information, at the National Theatre Station.
“The end customer was JBV who had already chosen the screen from ltalian manufacturer, GDS. Each screen, in a rugged lP housing, weighed 45kg and had a depth of almost 40cm. This was a challenge and not suitable for ‘off-the-shelf mounts, particularly as the end user wanted a front-serviceable solution.” Unicol developed a hybrid solution based on their Adapta-Wall product and the videowall was mounted by AV-Design in July 2011.
“That installation was the pilot for JBV’s future public information systems and for the display which was planned for installation at Oslo Central Station in the summer of 2012,” continues Kvalheim. “The five-by-five [National Theatre Station] installation proved to be successful and AV-Design were invited by GDS to quote for the 100 screen project - in a format of five high and twenty wide for Oslo Central Station.
“AV-Design was awarded the contract in March 2012 and started looking for a large empty warehouse to do a pre-installation for a factory acceptance test. All products were ordered and Unicol made some useful modifications to the previous hybrid design based on the experience from the five-by-five installation. These modifications gave more adjustment capability, which was very useful for precise alignment.”