Jones Apparel Group is one of the world's leading retail fashion companies, known for its high-quality, high-style apparel, accessories and footwear for women. In addition to its Jones New York line of products, the company sells more than 40 of the largest and most influential lifestyle brands.
To showcase its marketing of these brands, Jones turned to Planar Systems for a high-quality, high-style video wall. The Planar Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System was installed recently at the Jones corporate offices in the heart of midtown Manhattan.
Jones wanted a premier video wall that would create a fashion-show runway experience—an exquisite digital screen on which each of its brands could see how its products are displayed in any Jones store. "Think of Clarity Matrix as our 'bling'—our means of adding a complementary dazzle to their gorgeous designs," says Susan McCoy, vice president of store design for Jones Apparel. "The video wall lets a designer see how his or her products look in real life; it's as if you are actually in the midst of a runway show."
The Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall was specified by Video Visions, Inc., a Philadelphia-based audio-visual systems integrator. The video wall is installed in an upper floor of Jones' offices, in an area designed exclusively for meetings with brand designers and executives. "Clarity Matrix is a prominent feature of the setting. Its two-by-two (2x2) configuration provides a beautiful canvas on which a designer can see how his or her clothing or accessory looks on display or when it is being worn or used. It accentuates the unique Jones merchandising style that these iconic brands value," says Mary Ellen Milanese-DiStasio, president of Video Visions.
"A product like the Clarity Matrix video wall is as important to us as it is to a company like Jones," Milanese-DiStasio added. "It looks like it was designed for the retail environment. That contributes to its significant end-user appeal, which in turn opens up more and more business opportunities for us."
Clarity Matrix provides several qualities that are particularly important to Jones—none more so than the system's unique "tileability." An ultra-thin bezel makes it possible for multiple panels to tile together, separated by just 3.7mm. "This provides an almost seamless screen which measures more than 235 square feet. So a photograph or video clip can be seen in vivid detail," McCoy says.
Also important is the image quality of Clarity Matrix. Planar designed the system for video wall applications, so it displays images that are crisp and sharp, exceptionally bright (700 nits), and superior to other displays in resolution (1366 x 768) and contrast ratio (3,000:1). "The visual effect is unquestionably dramatic," McCoy adds.
Reliability is equally essential. Jones uses the video wall daily during meetings with brand managers and designers so it's important that each Clarity Matrix panel has a backlight life of 50,000 hours. Also, its controllers, power supplies and other components can be located away from the video wall, thereby minimizing heat buildup that could cause a problem. If a problem does occur, Clarity Matrix is equipped with Planar's unique EasyAxis™ Mounting System, which provides easy access to each of the LCD panels so a single panel can be serviced without impacting the rest of the video wall.
"The EasyAxis Mounting System allows us to precisely align all of the panels in the wall. That is added assurance that every image will look perfect," Milanese-DiStasio says.