FedEx Field is home to the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. The nearly 92,000 seat facility - built in 1997 - relies on a sophisticated multimedia platform to enhance the in-stadium experience, support the facility's branding and promotion efforts, and meet the many needs of the networks which broadcast home games on television, radio and online. This platform is managed from the stadium's control center, in which operations engineers and staff rely on a video wall from Planar Systems to ensure that all video and audio is delivered at the highest level of quality.
FedEx Field is among the elite sporting facilities in the country, delivering high definition (HD) video content on many levels - including live footage from cameras, feeds from broadcast trucks, airing of promotions, highlights, game entertainment packages and all other video distributed throughout the stadium. This content is staged, readied, scheduled, distributed and monitored by control center staff working in front of the Planar Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall.
Operational since the Redskins' first 2010 pre-season game, the Clarity Matrix video wall was specified and installed by Communications Engineering, Inc. (CEI), a leading broadcast and multimedia systems integrator based in Newington, Virginia, just south of Washington, DC. Planar's Clarity Matrix video wall met CEI's requirements for picture quality, resolution and brightness. Taking the location and size of the control center into consideration, CEI designed a Clarity Matrix configuration of six displays, arranged in a three-wide-by-two-high array (3x2). The video wall sits in front of the operators' control console which overlooks the stadium field through a large glass window. Clarity Matrix has a brightness level of 700 nits, so the information being displayed is easy to see and read despite the high level of light coming into the control center through the window.
Other factors contributing to the video wall's exceptional image quality include 300:1 contrast ratio, 1366 x 768 resolution, ability to display up to 16.7 million colors, and a 178-degree viewing angle. Further, Clarity Matrix is engineered with an ultra-thin bezel that results in just a 7.3mm gap between each display, which presents operators with a virtually seamless view across the entire wall. In addition, Clarity Matrix was designed with a unique mounting system that gives it a total depth of less than five inches—an important feature given the space limitations in the control center.
The Clarity Matrix's EasyAxis™ mounting system delivers other key benefits as well, including the ability to precisely align the six Clarity Matrix LCD panels easily and quickly. Should any screen require maintenance, the EasyAxis mounting system provides a service mode, in which surrounding LCD panels can be raised, providing access to any LCD panel, without the wall having to be shut down. Finally, the EasyAxis mounting systems takes advantage of Clarity Matrix's simple interface board design, which distributes power, video and control signals off-board, away from the LCD panel. This keeps depth, weight, heat and points of potential failure to an unprecedented minimum.
FedEx Field control center operators must be able to view every element of content that will be distributed throughout the stadium. The Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall supports this requirement in several ways. First, the system was specifically architected for uninterrupted operation. This is made possible by the optimized thermal design of Clarity Matrix and its high MTBF components. Further, the off-board power supply units are redundant, and each one supports multiple LCD panels. Thus, should a single power supply experience a failure, the remaining units will ensure the wall's continued operation. Lastly, image processing software enables control center operators to continuously monitor and control all video signal quality.