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Sharp Video Wall at Metropolitan Police Department Allows Community to See the Big Picture

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Sharp Video Wall at Metropolitan Police Department Allows Community to See the Big Picture
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When a police department in a major Midwestern U.S. city needed a renovation of its headquarters, a new 3,000-squarefoot Community Room was created. The designer wanted the centerpiece to be an enormous video screen that would be big and bright enough for everyone to see. Sharp professional displays proved to be the best solution as its slim bezels provide the illusion of one large screen and its brightness outshines ambient light.

Business Environment Challenges

The police department protects and serves one of the most populated cities in the Midwestern U.S. with nearly a half million residents. The headquarters needed serious updating. In fact, it hadn’t had a major renovation since construction in 1932.

For board meetings and community-oriented events, the police department used a small room on the sixth floor. It had a maximum capacity of only 100 people, and had no video screen. A 19" TV had to be rolled in on a cart when needed. The TV was not easy for everyone in the room to see, and the acoustics needed modernizing as well. With more than 2,000 employees and a growing need for community-oriented events, the headquarters was overdue for an overhaul. 

Business Technology Solutions

The police department retained the services of a design team that included Avant Acoustics, to plan a much bigger, high-tech “Community Room” to provide the ultimate AV experience and enhance communications for numerous types of presentations and events. The 3,000-square-foot Community Room offers three times the sitting and standing capacity of the former room and is conveniently located on the first floor. The new location also helps visitors feel more comfortable as security measures have improved as well.

The new room needed a large, permanent presentation screen for everyone in the room to see without straining. A video wall of 16 Sharp 60" Class (60" diagonal) PN-V601A professional displays in a 4x4 configuration proved to be the best solution. The impressive video wall is nearly 10' high by 20' wide. According to Andrew VonFeldt, associate for Avant Acoustics, “The video wall was designed to function as one large display and the PN-V601A had the slimmest bezel for a 60" Class model.”

The PN-V601A display was also chosen to handle the room’s ambient light. The Community Room is much brighter than the sixth floor space as an entire wall is floor-to-ceiling windows. “Based on the time of day, there could be a lot of direct sunlight, so front projection wasn’t a good option, and there was no depth available in this space for rear projection,” VonFeldt says. “The Sharp video wall was really the best solution. The displays are designed for 24/7 operation and have a three-year warranty, which is a plus.”

Building the massive video wall was a challenge for the new Community Room, but was worth the effort, according to Mission Electronics Inc., the company that installed the video wall. “It is a very high video wall with the lowest monitors about 10' off the ground,” explains Scott Strong, project manager. “We built it from top to bottom, working off scaffolding. We used a rope and pulley system to build one level at a time. It’s a rock solid product and the video wall came out really well. It received a very positive response from the city.”

Innovative Results

The cutting edge Community Room was completed in November 2014 and also includes monitors on the dais so meeting leaders don’t need to turn around to see the video wall. Several cameras, microphones and speakers are strategically placed around the room to record meetings for archival purposes and future broadcasts. Tables are movable to configure the room for a variety of meetings and other events.

The police department recently held an open house for the public. During the event, it used the Sharp video wall in the Community Room to run a video showing the difference in the headquarters before and after the renovation. The video wall was also used to show up-to-date progress on the reconstruction of the police department’s East Patrol Division Station.

Overall, the video wall has been a “huge hit,” according to a PR specialist for the police department. “It’s a night and day difference. We are now able to show videos and images on a big screen, which has greatly enhanced our meetings. We host retirement ceremonies, memorial services, even lunch-and-learns for a women’s group where presenters use the video wall to demonstrate products,” she says.