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Case Study: Circa, Los Angeles

The new Circa development in downtown Los Angeles is a traffic stopper. The twin 35-story luxury residential towers, on the corner of Figueroa and 12th Streets, are wrapped with three giant LED screens covering an eight-story parking structure used by patrons of the adjacent L.A. Live and Staples Center. While LED screens of similar size have been seen in Times Square, the Circa screens marked the debut of the LED display “spectacular” market in L.A. Circa’s screens comprise more than 18,000 square feet of exterior LEDs from SNA Displays; the convex and concave design of the screens mirrors the unique curvature of Circa’s architecture. The displays feature a 10 mm pixel pitch and contain over 17 million pixels. The massive LED screens went live with a dynamic NIKE commercial featuring tennis great Serena Williams.

SNA Displays chose Christie Terra as the switching, scaling and signal extension solution for the 4K content. Terra consists of a lineup of transmitters, receivers and a controller. Together they represent an all-new AV solution for the transport, processing and control of audiovisual content, including 4K@60Hz video formats, over 10G Ethernet networks, based on standardized SDVoE (Software Defined Video over Ethernet) technology. (Christie is a founding member of the SDVoE Alliance).

“The Circa screens will display a diverse array of content 20 hours a day,” says Stewart Ives, Director of Systems at SNA Displays. “Located downtown across from the Staples Center, the screens are definitely high-profile. They just have to work, hour after hour on a daily basis.”

SNA Displays had been considering another solution to handle the screens’ three 4K feeds, but that other technology required the use of two duplex fiber cables per device, Ives recalls. “The Terra units only required one duplex fiber cable so we could use the second cable for a confidence feed to a rack in the field,” he explains.

“Terra also has virtually zero latency for video source transmission,” says Ives. “That means we’re able to display content in real-time. StandardVision, LLC, which operates the display, can do a live shoot on the street and see it in real-time on the LED screens with no delay.”

The Circa screens use a Terra Transmitter and Terra Receiver for each of the three screens plus one Terra Controller for the system. The control room is located four floors up from the content distribution room on the lower level of the parking deck. Utility 1G network ports on the Terra receivers are also being used to supply local control connections. This avoids the need for another network cable to be run to each endpoint.

Terra also offers flexible control of the displays from other than the centralized location.

“I can remote in and take over the three screens,” notes Ives. “The screens can be remotely operated from the street or from any other network drop or location a Terra device is located.”

The Terra Controller and Terra Manager Control interface allows the team to quickly and easily prepare customized system layouts for easy recall, on-the-fly adjustment, and easy switching among events.

US custom signage integrator YESCO partnered with SNA Displays for fabrication and installation of all secondary steel structural components along with the installation and integration of the electronics for all digital assets.

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