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Medgar Evers College, The City University of New York

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Medgar Evers College, The City University of New York
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Clarity Matrix Video Wall is key tool for recruitment, marketing and community connection

Medgar Evers College, in central Brooklyn, New York, calls itself a college of the community. A senior college of The City University of New York, Medgar Evers cites its deep commitment to the nearly 7,000-member student body, which is comprised of many local youths who are the first in their families to attend college. This commitment is reflected in the college's efforts to promote the possibilities of higher education and to proudly showcase these opportunities in its new Welcome Center.

A new and vibrant space within the college's library, the Welcome Center tells the Medgar Evers College story through a state-of-the art video wall provided by Planar Systems. This nearly 120 square foot digital signage platform displays images of and information about the college's namesake - the civil rights activist, Medgar Evers - along with a rich stream of content that invites viewers to learn what's going on throughout each college day, and inspires them to join a college that can put them on a path to achievement and success.

"Any college that wants to connect to its community and communicate to all its constituents - inside and out - as we do, will be well served in this effort with a Planar video wall such as that which we have installed in our Welcome Center," says Jamilah Fraser, Assistant Vice President of Communications and Public Relations. "This video wall is a key component of our overall communications strategy and our efforts to bring students into the college, and keep everyone informed about our opportunities, activities and initiatives."

Video wall integrates well with clean, modern look of Welcome Center space

The college selected a four-wide by four-high (4x4) Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System with G2 Architecture. The Clarity Matrix video wall features 55-inch LCD displays (MX55HDS) installed on a prominent wall in the Welcome Center that is visible from outside through a nearly floor-to-ceiling glass wall. A partner heavily involved in the selection and design of the video wall was Ikon.5 Architects (Princeton, New Jersey). According to Michael Herbst, Architect with ikon.5, Clarity Matrix met the need for a video wall with a clean and modern look, consistent with that similar look which defines the Welcome Center space itself. "The Clarity Matrix video wall really enhances and enlivens the space. The video wall resonates with students who are so used to the digital media experience," Herbst says"

Clarity Matrix also was a fit as a result of its slim profile and narrow tiled bezel width. "We wanted a video wall that would install close to the mounting surface - which is slick, clean concrete - and would provide a virtually seamless picture," says Richard Joseph, Communications Design Specialist for Medgar Evers College." The Clarity Matrix video wall accommodates that requirement with its total installed depth of less than four inches and a panel-to-panel gap of just 5.5 mm - two of the slimmest such form factors in the industry. As a result, the video wall appears to be very integral to the architecture and design of the space, and the lines or gaps between the displays are so subtle that they don't distract from any content being displayed.

Currently, Joseph says, the content is largely a rotating set of still images, of Medgar Evers, the college, and activities taking place. Soon, the content will be expanded to include digital signage, video, full-motion graphics, and feeds from PCs, and social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and more. Jamilah Fraser adds that they also plan to feature advertising on the Clarity Matrix video wall. "This will include ads from nearby restaurants and other retailers that will create an additional revenue stream for us."

Clarity Matrix features deliver performance and flexibility

With this range and variety of content, Clarity Matrix's image quality is important. Clarity Matrix ensures this in the screen brightness (up to 800 nits), resolution (1920 x 1080), contrast ratio (3500:1), 10-bit color processing, wide viewing angle (178 degrees) and ambient light sensing a factor since the video wall faces light coming in through the glass wall of the Welcome Center. Also important is the image management flexibility of Clarity Matrix. "We'll be able to place content wherever we want it on the video wall, scale it up or down, and have it comprised of different images and information that all can coexist on the video wall at any time," Joseph says.

Clarity Matrix earned high marks for its operational capabilities too. Among these are its commercial-grade design that equips it to operate 24/7 for many years. Also the EasyAxis™ Mounting System allows for the remote location of components (taking heat, complexity and potential points of failure off the LCD panel), and provides convenient, tilt-out front access to any panel, thereby eliminating the need to power down the video wall to service any individual display. Further, Clarity Matrix keeps costs down by not requiring either additional cooling at the video wall itself, or the need to install a power source behind every display.

"Taken together, the features and capabilities of the Clarity Matrix video wall give us a digital platform that we know will last for many years, will support our growing range of content, and will give us an impactful, cost-effective communication, marketing and branding tool," Jamilah Fraser says.