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Clarkson University

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LED Video Wall Upgrade Heightens the Student Experience at Clarkson University

Clarkson University is a private, national research University and proven leader in technological education and sustainable economic development through teaching, research, scholarship and innovation. Founded in 1896, its main campus is located in Potsdam, New York and additional campus operations in Saranac Lake, Schenectady, Beacon and New York City.

In the center of Clarkson’s campus is the Student Center, a 60,000-square-foot LEED certified building which serves as the hub of campus activity and a place where students can spend time between classes, hold club meetings and participate in different activities. The largest space within the building is the Student Center Forum, a three-story amphitheater-style atrium that includes a stage, bench seating and three levels of surrounding balconies. The multi-use space is used for a variety of purposes and entertainment including concerts, shows, lectures and awards ceremonies.

When the Student Center was built in 2010, a video wall was installed for sports viewing, screenings, presentations and to support events. After 10 years, when the video wall had reached the end of its lifespan, the University decided the time had come to upgrade and engage system designer and integrator Video Visions to consult on a new solution.

Video Visions proposed an LED retrofit featuring the Planar® TVF Series LED video wall. “We recommended the Planar TVF Series because we’ve had great success with that line on other projects,” said Video Visions President Mary Ellen Milanese.

Based on viewing distances in the forum, Video Visions presented two Planar TVF Series options: an LED video wall with a 1.8mm pixel pitch and another with a finer pixel pitch—1.5mm. “The University asked if it was possible to compare them to determine whether they wanted to spend more for the finer option, so we reached out to Planar who sent a specialist to the campus with a demo of each,” Milanese said. “The client was able to view both options side-by-side in their environment. They immediately decided to go with the 1.5mm pixel pitch. This is just one of the reasons why we really enjoy working with Planar.”

Following Clarkson’s decision, Video Visions installed a nearly 14-foot-wide, 8-foot-high Planar TVF Series LED video wall with a 1.5mm pixel pitch (TVF1.5) in a 7x7 configuration. “The new LED video wall is stunning—it’s phenomenal all the way around,” said Josh Fiske, chief information officer with Clarkson University’s Office of Information Technology. “The Student Center Forum is core to the student experience on campus and the LED video wall is the centerpiece of that. We are wicked happy with the installation.”

Simplified design

The Planar TVF Series features 27-inch cabinets and a stackable, cableless design that makes the video wall easier to fit in more spaces, compared to other LED video wall solutions. According to Milanese, the ease of installation was a big part of what made the project successful.

“We were working with size parameters—we had to retrofit the existing installation that had a cabinet built around it,” she said. “With the Planar TVF Series, we could easily make it fit without having to completely recreate the entire enclosure. Our engineering and installation teams love the Planar TVF Series—they know the product like the back of their hand. That’s a testament to Planar’s training programs, which are wonderful. Our technical and engineering staff tend to lead with the Planar product line because of the support they always get.”