Times Square is known for its flashy, larger-than-life digital spectaculars, but interior digital signage makes an eye-popping statement inside of its stores and businesses, as well.
When Oakley, Inc.—a company that designs, develops, and manufactures sports performance equipment and lifestyle pieces (including sunglasses, watches, apparel, and other accessories)—wanted to refresh its Times Square retail location, the company knew it was going to need to include digital signage.
Oakley is owned by Luxottica, a leader in the design and manufacture of premium eyewear, which reached out to Triangle Sign & Service about outfitting the retail location with high-definition digital displays.
Luxottica officials provided Triangle Sign with a few digital pictures marked up in red pen to indicate the three areas where they wanted the displays.
“And that’s all the information that we had to try to execute some sort of video displays in the three areas of the store,” says Steve Altshuler, president of Triangle Sign & Service in Baltimore, Maryland.
To help on the project, Triangle Sign brought on Gallery™ Digital Signage Solutions of Fairfield, New Jersey. The two companies have worked together on many jobs, with Triangle Sign providing the expertise in design, production, and manufacturing, and Gallery bringing in its talent on the digital side.
Triangle Sign and Gallery Digital came up with three different video walls to install in the store: a 1x7 video wall stretching across a soffit facing the entrance and two video walls in the window of the store—a 2x3 wall facing the outside, and a 2x2 facing the inside of the store.
1x7 Video Wall. The client wanted a video display on the long soffit that spans the width of the store and faces the front entrance.
“It’s a highly visible soffit where they wanted to put content right in the customer’s face right when they walk in the store,” says Altshuler.
The display is made up of seven forty-nine-inch BDL4988XL Direct LED Backlight with Full HD displays from Philips. The displays feature 450 nit brightness and a very thin bezel of less than 3mm so the screens appear as one video wall.
The layout allows for multiple pieces of content to be displayed across the seven screens or for one piece of content to be streamed across the entire video wall.
The installation of the seven displays was fairly standard, with Gallery Triangle Sign using low-profile standard VESA (Video Electronic Standards Association) mounts and M6 screws. Seven recessed clock outlets (one for each display) allowed the power to be recessed into the wall so that the displays could sit flush to the wall (pictured below).
A unique element of this project is that the wiring and media players were all located down in the basement—150 to 200 feet away from the displays—so the client could more easily access and service them when needed. This required installers to use special extenders to run the wires the long distance from the media players to the monitors.
Oakley used its own content management team to create content for all of the new digital displays. It also used its own media players.
“We had a bit of a challenge in making sure that the media players that were supplied by their vendor were compatible with the hardware that we were supplying,” says Altshuler.
All of the installation work, including the displays in the windows, had to be done between midnight and 8 a.m. to avoid disrupting business in the store. Installers conducted the work on ladders, and it took about a day to install the 1x7 video wall.
Window Displays. While the 1x7 video wall provided a pretty straightforward installation, the video walls in the window were anything but.
“There was absolutely no place whatsoever to mount those displays,” explains Altshuler. “We worked with Gallery, met with them on site, and had to get really creative to come up with a custom mount that we built here at Triangle that we would be able to mount these displays to.
“The other challenge that they had for us was they still wanted to be able to access those windows for cleaning in the future, even though these displays are flush up against the backside of these windows.”
The custom solution was an all-aluminum stand made from a swiveling pole with the screens mounted on both sides to a large aluminum frame that comes out from the pole. When it comes time to clean the windows, the client can just swing back the frame to access the windows.
There are six fifty-five-inch High Brightness LCDs with Super Narrow Bezel DS55LX3 from DynaScan facing out into the street from behind the window. These displays feature 1500 nit brightness.
On the other side of the frame are mounted four of the same 49-inch displays that were used on the 1x7 video wall. All of the displays feature thin, less than 3mm bezels.
The screens were all mounted to the aluminum frame via VESA mounts with M6 screws.
“I don’t think we could have accomplished that with any off-the-shelf product,” says John Miller, director of technical sales and product development at Gallery Digital. “The traditional mount manufacturers don’t have an articulating mount that can go in a window like this to support a video wall that would be both forward and rear facing.”
The two window displays were installed afterhours in two days.
Oakley was excited to see the final result of the three sets of video walls up and running—and so were Triangle Sign and Gallery.
“To be able to pull off a project like this, in such a small timeframe with little impact to the store’s operations,” says Altshuler, “really was incredible.”
By Ashley Bray
All photos: Triangle Sign & Service.