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CDW Technoliner Tour

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CDW Technoliner Tour
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Companies that want to enhance their brands and their connections with customers can take cue from CDW. In 2013, the company debuted the CDW Technoliner™, a custom-built mobile technology vehicle used to present CDW's range of IT capabilities to customers, prospects and partners. A key feature of the Technoliner is the first mobile implementation of a stadium-grade video system; specifically, a three-wide-by-two-high (3 x 2) retractable video wall from Planar Systems that is mounted on an outside wall of the bus and used as a demonstration and entertainment platform when the bus travels to customer sites and to major sporting events around the US.

"With nearly 30 years of experience working with our customers to select and implement technology, the Technoliner is a way for CDW to demonstrate how we have evolved from a provider of products into a total IT solutions provider," says Dean Lamb, Director Marketing for CDW. "The Planar video wall helps make this point in a big way. It showcases our wide range of capabilities and our willingness to take on the most demanding and complex IT challenges."

Showcasing CDW's wide-ranging IT capabilities

Built for CDW by West Coast Customs, the automotive customization company that has become widely known through its cable television show of the same name, the Technoliner, with a big boost from the Planar video wall, shows CDW's capabilities ranging from converged infrastructure management to unified communications to data center design, implementation and management. "It's one thing to talk about these capabilities; it's compelling and convincing when you can show them on a large video wall that rises six feet above the vehicle on a retractable lift," Lamb says.

The public got its first look at the Technoliner when it rolled into Atlanta, Georgia for the 2013 NCAA Final Four basketball championship tournament. Parked outside the arena, the Technoliner and the video wall – Planar's Clarity™ Matrix HX60 High Bright LCD Video Wall– gave viewers a stunning view of the tournament games as well as live feeds of other sports action and a steady stream of CDW content.

Meeting a complex and demanding set of needs

"The Clarity Matrix HX60's support of multiple input sources made all this possible," says Nick Mueller, CDW's TelePresence and Video Technical Architect. "We needed the display's four single-link DVI channels and dual-link DVI input and output in order to display live tournament action as well as video loops, satellite TV and our own commercials." Mueller adds that Planar's Big Picture Plus software that's built into Clarity Matrix HX60 provides flexibility other displays of this type don't offer. "Multiple sources can be simultaneously displayed at any time, and any piece of content can be scaled from a single display to a portion or quadrant of the video wall, on up to the entire video wall. And because of the resolution and image control of the displays, a picture looks beautiful close-up or 60 feet away."

Clarity Matrix HX60's exceptional image quality also owes to its industry-leading brightness (up to 1900 nits) and other key features including its Advanced Performance LED™ (AP/LED) backlight technology, which combine to deliver a picture that holds up even in bright sunlight, and to deep blacks and outstanding contrast. Clarity Matrix HX60 also has ultra-slim bezels that provide for a tiled bezel width of just 6.5 mm. "These features are important because we have great content to put up and we want people to think it looks fantastic on the video wall, which it does," Mueller adds.

Lastly, Clarity Matrix HX60 provided the durability and operational reliability that the Technoliner implementation required. The bus travels practically year round, to locations ranging from the steamy southeast to the soggy, often cold Pacific Northwest, so a wide range of temperature handling was a must. The video wall has an operating range of between 5-degrees and 35 degrees C and all of its components are high-quality commercial-grade; many are redundant as well. A key distinction – one reflected in all Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall products – is the off-board electronics design. Specifically, components such as power supplies and controllers are housed away from the video wall, thus lowering the video wall's heat load. This minimizes the likelihood of heat-related problems, which preserves the life of the video wall and keeps maintenance costs to a minimum.

Impactfully delivering the company's message

"We're using the Clarity Matrix HX60 in a way that Planar probably never anticipated," says CDW's Dean Lamb. "But the display has performed without a hitch, and just about everywhere we've taken it people think it's awesome. It makes a statement in its own right and shows CDW to be an innovator and a leader. That's the message we want to deliver."