From a technology standpoint, the atrium contains what is described as the world’s largest four millimeter LED wall, which is 83.3 feet wide by 25.4 feet high (25.38 x 7.74 m), and comprises 6,771 Barco NX-4 LED modules. With 10 million pixels mounted in a seamless flat array, the wall provides an extremely high degree of photo-realism — five times the resolution of high-definition (HD) television. LED displays with HD capability installed in outdoor locations such as sports stadiums typically have much larger pixel pitch.
Behind the scenes, Barco image processing equipment includes six DX-700 LED digitizers, seven Encore Video Processors and three MatrixPRO routers.
From an architectural standpoint, the installation marks the first time that audio and video technology at this scale has been incorporated into the design of a major urban building. The LED wall itself includes rectangular cutouts for the lobby’s three banks of elevators.
“There’s never been a screen not only of this resolution, but also of this realism,” said Steve Scorse, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Barco's Media & Entertainment division, North America. “Not only does the screen integrate seamlessly into the Comcast Center as a forum for content, but at times, the content mimics the atrium’s natural wood paneling and virtually disappears,” said Scorse. “The resolution, contrast and seamlessness are such that you can do things with this screen that cannot be done with any other technology.”
“The thought process evolved beyond the idea of just broadcasting content, into a larger art piece that would ultimately complement the building’s aesthetic,” said John Gattuso, Senior Vice President and Regional Director for Liberty Property Trust.
All of the content for The Comcast Experience was designed and produced by the Niles Creative Group. Karen Dougherty Buchholz, Vice President, Administration, Comcast Corporation, said, “The combination of Barco’s wonderful technology and the Niles Creative Group’s artistic content will truly make Comcast Center a destination for Philadelphians and visitors to our great city.”
“It was exciting that both Comcast and Liberty approached this as a ‘new media’ project,” said David Niles, founder of the Niles Creative Group. “This meant that we weren’t just talking about digital signage, but the creation of an extraordinary environment in a public space, to design a spectacular and inspiring visual illusion that blurs the lines between reality and the unexpected. To accomplish this, we designed a content delivery system using artificial intelligence. The system creates unique content on an ongoing basis without human intervention,” noted Niles.
“In addition, the system is modulated by time of day and the activity in the atrium, and hence, the screen’s programming changes fairly dramatically from weekends to weekdays. Barco’s four millimeter LED screen made it possible to create a photo-realistic screen in a close-to-daylight environment.”
The Comcast Experience is located in Comcast Center’s lobby, located at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia, PA.