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Datapath x4 ahead of the game at sports store

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Datapath x4 ahead of the game at sports store
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X4 display controllers facilitate new video wall at Innovasport, Mexico City

Innovasport, one of Mexico's leading sports retailers, has rejuvenated its Mexico City store by incorporating a new video wall utilising Datapath x4 control technology. The project was challenging in that the display wall monitors were located in different and unusual orientations to create a unique canvas for the video. Furthermore, the video had to run 24/7 and offer remote administration of the content.

Founded in Monterrey, Innovasport opened its first branch in April 1999. Over the course of the past 15 years, the retailer has maintained steady growth, now commanding a strong presence in north and central Mexico. Recently, the company decided to undertake an evolutionary change that would rejuvenate its brand. This would include a change of corporate image and the presentation of a new store concept based on a digital environment.

Basha, a specialist in point-of-sale marketing solutions, was appointed to help Innovasport revolutionise the sporting goods retail market in Mexico. In turn, Basha turned to Kolo, an experienced provider of high level, creative digital signage solutions.

Unusual configuration

The project demanded the installation of a video wall managed through a media player that handles content remotely and also serves to relay promotional messages. Using monitors in different positions, content was to be delivered in high resolution, thus allowing a better visual appearance and above all a new way to present high level communications. Ultimately, the intention was to provide consumers with valuable information in an attractive format.

Kolo set to work devising a system that comprises ten LG 42WL10 LCD screens mounted in the form of collage (three vertically and seven horizontally) using specially devised brackets. The system is configured by three Datapath x4 display controllers, which split the video in specific portions depending on their size and orientation, thus unifying and sharing a single screen video. Each screen has configured properties of pixel size and position within a total canvas of 1920x1080 pixels.

Optimum solution

"Datapath x4 was the best option considering the position of the screens and the size of the video wall," explains Roberto Hidalgo, Marketing Manager at Kolo. "At the same time we wanted to make a great project using as few resources as possible. This helps ensure we always deliver a good price and rapid project delivery."

The Datapath x4 is a stand alone display wall controller that accepts a standard single or dual-link DVI input which can be displayed flexibly across four output monitors. Each output can represent an arbitrary crop region of the original input image. The output resolution and frame rate does not need to be related to that of the input, as the Datapath x4 display controller will optionally upscale and frame rate convert each cropped region independently. Each output monitor can take its input from any region of the DVI image, since all the required cropping, scaling, rotation and frame rate conversion is handled by the x4 hardware.

Amplified success

The video wall at Innovasport also uses a Datapath dL8 eight-output distribution amplifier for ultra high resolution dual-link DVI signals. The dL8 has been designed and developed to operate with the Datapath x4. Each x4 can accept one dual-link DVI output from the dL8 and select four arbitrary regions from it for display on all standard DVI (single-link)/HDMI monitors.

The whole system at Innovasport is powered by a model XD230 BrightSign digital signage media player, which has the ability to deliver digital video in native resolution full HD (1080p). Likewise, the system is perfectly administrable remotely through the internet via BrightSign Network. Remote functionality includes changing the settings, content display scheduling, and even receiving real-time notification of system status. The use of professional, high specification monitors facilitate a 24-7 working cycle.

Installed at a flagship Innovasport store in the Santa Fe area of Mexico City, the installation and set-up was complete against an 18-hour, time-critical deadline just prior to store opening. According to Kolo, the project is the first of its type to use Datapath x4 and dL8 technology in Mexico.