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University of Nevada Las Vegas Student Recreation and Wellness Center

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University of Nevada Las Vegas Student Recreation and Wellness Center
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As with other such facilities, The Student Recreation and Wellness Center (RWC) at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) is true to its mission of keeping students healthy while also having fun. But the center delivers on that mission perhaps somewhat more uniquely than others, particularly in its first-floor cardio area. Here students can use elliptical machines, treadmills and other equipment to get in and stay in shape in front of a video wall of 12 large video displays that serve up an almost endless stream of sports, news, cultural and lifestyle programs.

"To even those most dedicated to keeping fit, a treadmill session can get boring quickly. So having the ability to watch a game or even a cooking show, especially on a big screen, makes the time fly by and keeps hundreds of students motivated to work out when they otherwise might not be," says Erin Farrar, UNLV's Director of Campus Recreational Services. "We love these screens as much as the students do because they are industry-leading displays that make a statement about our commitment to advanced technology and bringing content and information to viewers on the very latest digital media platforms."

Clarity Matrix delivers latest in design, performance and reliability

Farrar and other UNLV staffers and planners – including Audio Visual Systems Specialist, Frank Alaimo – selected the new video wall displays choosing Planar's Clarity® Matrix™ LCD Video Wall System (LX55HDS) for a six wide by two high configuration (6x2). The Clarity Matrix video wall reflects the latest in LCD video wall design, visual performance and reliability. Alaimo cites as particularly important, the 3.7mm tiled bezel width of Clarity Matrix. "Planar is a front runner in slim-bezel design, much more so than other manufacturers. The gaps between the screens on our video wall are almost invisible, so the entire video wall looks virtually seamless."

At the heart of Clarity Matrix is a distributed design that takes heat, complexity and potential points of failure off the LCD panel by allowing a number of components – including power supplies and controllers – to be located in a remote rack room. "This design is a breakthrough for several reasons," says Brian Waite, Sales Director for CCS Projects, the systems integration firm which handled installation and integration of the RWC video wall. "Primarily, it meant that we didn't need to install power outlets behind each LCD display, which saved a ton on labor and materials costs and really made for a much faster install. If we were installing another manufacturer's product, it would have taken a lot longer and costs would have been quite a bit higher."

Clarity Matrix also includes the Planar® EasyAxis™ Mounting System. Planar EasyAxis is another industry break-through for the thin video wall profile it allows, and for the manner in which it supports the physical installation and alignment of the Clarity Matrix displays. Planar EasyAxis consists of a set of six-way cams which are used to quickly achieve completely consistent gaps between displays – right, left, top and bottom – as well as a uniformly flat surface across the entire video wall. "Because this system was designed for Clarity Matrix, displays go in easily and there is virtually no need for time-consuming fine-tuning and re-positioning," Brian Waite says. "This means that an integrator is much more likely to hit its labor targets, which ultimately means hitting projected profitability goals as well."

Waite calls Clarity Matrix a great system that's easier to install than other such products. "For these reasons, we'd happily use it on any other project such as this."

UNLV's Alaimo continues that added features of Planar EasyAxis are its flexibility and serviceability. "We want to increase the size of the video wall and bring students the benefit of even larger pictures. We can do this with Planar EasyAxis simply by adding a lower row and mounting the third row of Clarity Matrix displays- and we don't need to add any electrical infrastructure. Also, with Planar EasyAxis, if we need to inspect a display or service a cable or component, it's simply a matter of tilting an adjacent display out and up and we can get the needed access in a few minutes- and we don't have to dismantle the entire video wall to do it. Lastly, because of this feature, down the road, RWC staff will be able to perform this kind of maintenance themselves, thus saving the cost of a service call to us."

Image quality reflects Planar's commitment to exceptional visual performance

UNLV's Farrar gives Clarity Matrix high marks for its image quality; noting that, "it has met or exceeded our expectations in brightness, clarity and ease of viewing. This reflects the attention Planar pays to delivering the best in visual performance, engineering Clarity Matrix with 800-nit brightness, 3500:1 contrast ratio, 1920 x 1080 resolution, and 178-degree viewing angle. These features are important given that the video wall displays 12 different TV feeds, all HD quality. And for special occasions, such as a viewing party, one feed can be allocated to four displays, thus providing a stunning picture with beautiful color, crispness and uniformity.

"The video wall is clearly visible from outside at night, so it really attracts attention. Also, Planar engineered it for extended operation, so we know students will not only see it for a long time, it will stand up to extended usage without costing us a lot to power it, or eat into our budget with unnecessary expenses for components like bulbs, which our older display system did. In our view, Clarity Matrix installed smoothly and looks wonderful. It engages the students and delivers the wow factor we were looking for," Farrar says.