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 mark 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 a total of more than 17 million pixels.
The massive LED screens went live with a dynamic Nike commercial featuring tennis great Serena Williams. But they are intended to generate more than advertising revenue: The screens are designed to create visual excitement and energize downtown LA’s South Park District.
SNA Displays chose Christie Terra as the switching, scaling and signal extension solution for the LEDs’ 4K content. Terra consists of a lineup of transmitters, receivers and a controller, which represent an all-new AV solution for the transport, processing and control of audiovisual content, including 4K@60Hz video formats, over 10G Ethernet networks. Built on standardized SDVoE (Software Defined Video Over Ethernet) technology, Christie Terra provides unprecedented performance capabilities including the delivery of zero-frame latency, artifact-free video over readily available and affordable 10G components.
“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, and Terra gives us the confidence that it will deliver screen content hour after hour on a daily basis.”
To handle the screens’ 4K feeds, SNA Displays ultimately opted for a single-duplex fiber cable option, freeing up a feed for other use. “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’s Multi-View monitoring function is used as foldback.
“Terra also has virtually zero latency for video source transmission – a big differentiator in the marketplace,” 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.”
“Terra gives a lot of flexibility to the ownership group for activation,” emphasizes Pat Green, Senior Director of Systems at SNA Displays.
The Circa screens use a Terra transmitter and 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. “Using the Terra controller our team is able to remotely bypass the built-in content management system and access the three screens,” notes Ives. “The displays can be operated from the street or from any other network drop or location where a Terra device is located, greatly adding flexibility to the process.”
“What makes Terra special is the Controller and Terra Manager Control interface. It allows us to quickly and easily prepare customized system layouts that we can quickly recall, and we can also change what each device does on the fly,” says Green. “We can display one event and quickly switch to another event – it’s easy to do. The Terra Controller certainly stands out in this regard.”
Christie is a founding member of the SDVoE Alliance, a group of companies leading in the transition of the AV industry to IP-based solutions. The alliance brings companies together around a standardized hardware and software platform. SDVoE network architecture is based on off-the-shelf Ethernet switches, which offer cost savings and greater system flexibility and scalability compared to traditional approaches.
“SDVoE’s standardized infrastructure and 10G Ethernet is part of our road map,” says Green. “Although the Circa screens are displaying only 4K content now Terra will be accepting of other displays and networks natively as time goes by.”
The Circa development is symbolic of downtown LA’s resurgence. With concerts, conventions and other well-attended venues in the area, the neighborhood around the Circa property draws more than six million visitors annually.
YESCO, a leading U.S. custom signage integrator, 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.
About Sansi North America (SNA) Displays
Sansi is one of the largest LED manufacturers in the world, with over 26 years of LED experience and more than 245 patents across multiple LED technology markets. SNA Displays is on the cutting edge of emerging LED technologies and custom systems integration and has fabricated, managed, implemented and installed some of the largest and most recognizable LED spectaculars in the digital display industry. Discover more at www.snadisplays.com.
Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. is a global visual and audio technologies company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio Inc., Japan (JP:6925). Consistently setting the standards by being the first to market some of the world’s most advanced projectors, complete system displays, and cinema audio solutions; Christie is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. From retail displays to Hollywood, mission critical command centers to classrooms and training simulators, Christie display solutions and projectors capture the attention of audiences around the world with dynamic and stunning images, accompanied by awe-inspiring sound. Visit www.christiedigital.com.