When the Newseum, an interactive museum of news, celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Washington DC on April 11th, visitors were greeted by a 40’ by 22’ Barco LED wall displaying crystal-clear video of breaking news, historic news presentations, and documentaries.
Dubbed the “Electronic Window on the World,” this giant display is the central feature of the New York Times – Ochs-Sulzberger Family Great Hall of News, and by far the largest electronic display in a museum filled with high-tech gear. “The Newseum is a unique and creative venture,” says Tim Allen, Barco’s East Coast marketing manager. “We are very pleased to have been selected to play a part in fostering and supporting its important mission.”
That mission is to promote a better understanding of the important role that news and free press have played in American life. Its attractions range from an extensive collection of historic newspapers and magazines to a watchtower from the Berlin Wall and a 3,200-year-old Cuneiform brick from Sumeria, the oldest artifact in the museum.
For the Great Hall of News, the Newseum’s designers wanted to present a continuous flow of up-to-the-minute and historical news, using up-to-the-second technology. Bud O’Connor, director of engineering for the Newseum, wanted an LED wall capable of delivering clear, vivid color images at the highest possible resolution. “I was looking for a very large LED screen that would accept and reproduce a native serial digital HD signal,” he said.
Newseum’s ILite 6 XP display consists of 405 individual tiles, with a total pixel resolution of 1944 x 1080—over 2 million individual pixels delivering high-fidelity images to the Newseum’s anticipated 2 million annual visitors. Visitors on each of the Newseum’s indoor levels can view the news from various angles: above, below, and to either side of the screen without image distortion.
“Barco’s LED display is a pure digital device, where some others weren’t. That gives me reliable and reproducible control over it,” O’Connor states. “The path is pure data from my control rooms or DDRs all the way out to the screen. Having multiple levels of software control, we can make subtle and reproducible adjustments when they are needed.”
This impressive screen is Barco’s ILite 6 XP indoor LED installation. The ILite 6 XP is a high resolution (6 mm) display with 14-bit color processing and level 2 calibration delivering unrivaled light output, incomparable color depth and uniformity, and enhanced grayscales that are especially suited for lower-light indoor conditions. Moreover, the ILite 6 XP tile can accept a wide range of incoming signals: analog, S-Video, composite, RGB, YUV, SDI, HDSDI, or data DVI up to SXGA. The display is powered by Barco’s DX-700 video processor and secured on a moveable hoist for serviceability.
“We chose Barco displays because of their high quality and support. They do a great job of reproducing video for us,” concludes O’Connor.