Off The Wall: UPDATED WITH PHOTOS

(Originally posted June 28)

I've decided that trying to say goodnight early in this industry is fruitless, and by early, I mean 11:30pm. But when you start making the rounds to bid everyone adieu at that time, you suddenly find yourself chatting another two hours.

But starting at the end of the night isn't very helpful here, is it? Last night was the Barco event at Philadelphia's Comcast Center, where the largest indoor LED screen (and a pretty high res one at that—7,000 Barco NX-4 modules and 10 million pixels, to be exact) is the center of attention in the building's lobby. At 83' x 25', it's sort of hard to miss.

comcast-gears.jpg

You really have to see this. It's a fantastic example of art and technology creating a stunning work of public art, and that's just what it's meant to be—no Comcast logos or branding in sight. In fact, it's called The Comcast Experience, a name that probably does it a tad more justice than "the screen." The content (which can loop unique combinations for up to two years, courtesy of the programming of Alan Anderson of Medialon) was created by David Niles of Niles Creative, who consulted on the project from its early stages and shot all the content in his New York studio.

comcast-runner.jpg

The wall looks like wood paneling to match the rest of the lobby (and it really does look like wood paneling, not like a screen). Then, dare I say, out of the woodwork comes content (everything from a piano virtuoso filmed at various angles taking up the entire screen, to almost 1:1 scale people climbing the walls, to a Van Gogh painting that appears to seep out of the wall for its reveal). What struck me most about the presentation is that the content looks incredibly three dimensional, like nothing I've ever seen before. You can say I don't get out much, but you really do have to see this. It has a 30% higher resolution than IMAX.

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Dana Cory from Barco did a great job hosting the event, and I had a lovely dinner with Serge Nalbantian of Liberty Property Trust (partner of Comcast in this project), Laird Nolan from MIT, and Ken Romaine of Barco, followed by a tour of the control room with Alex Carru from Medialon and Guy Russel from Barco.

The project is actually on the cover of The Philadelphia Inquirer this morning, but nothing in print or on screen will do this thing justice.

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