June 14, 2023 - More and more airports are adding curved video walls for an immersive entertainment and information experience.
"It creates an immersive experience when walking into the space," said Alex Wade, Project Manager, Ford AV. "Enveloped by the imagery, it captures the visitor's attention immediately highlighting the content and messaging – simply because it surrounds you."
And it's not just happening at busy commercial airline hubs. Cargo facilities like Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport are getting in on the trend.
Perot Field is home to a variety of aviation clients, including the U.S. military, FedEx, Amazon, and several private charters. And even though cargo is its main purpose, it still sees a lot of visitors each year.
"Pilots will go out of their way to stop here because Fort Worth is such a popular destination," said Wade. "The goal of this project was to create an upper level, amenity-based pit stop, and also a destination. There are theatre rooms, fully stocked refrigerators, and conference rooms. It's a place to come and relax. Also, if you want to come for your flight early, it's a place to hang out."
The project includes four video walls. The main wall is a 7×6 configuration with 1.58 mm pixel pitch Absen Acclaim Plus LED cabinets. There's also an Absen N Plus series curved LED display showing basic flight information (wind, temperature, etc.), and two more niche displays set in custom millwork.
Any time you're dealing with an LED video wall, precision and accuracy are imperative. All trades involved – data, electrical, millwork, drywall, wooden backing – need to be within 1/16th inch and often less.
Adding to the complexity of the Perot Field project, two of the walls were curved and at different radiuses. That meant the mounting structures needed to allow finite adjustments to meet the unique millwork at each location.
"The Draper mounts came with tons of adjustability – left-right, up-down, and Z, and that was really what we needed," said Wade. "The number of times you get a perfectly uniform radius on a wall, well I've never had a project where that happened. The Draper product we used was extremely easy to install and gave us the adjustment we needed. This project definitely benefited from Draper's innovation in their product line."
Initially, Draper was not part of the specification. However, the Pro AV rep firm Mizzen Marketing made the recommendation.
"We turned to Draper not only because of their manufacturing capability but additionally their level of communication and collaboration with Absen," said Lisa Peveler, President of Mizzen Marketing. "Careful planning and engineering would be required to bring the design to fruition, and we knew Draper was up for the task."
"This project is a perfect example of our strength as a manufacturing partner," said Grant Wylie, Director of Product Management for Draper AV Mounts & Structures. "We have a breadth of custom design and manufacturing capabilities not available at many of our competitors, and that allows us to be very cost-effective while maintaining an extremely high level of quality. We also have a depth of resources that allows us to deliver a solution on time and when it's needed."
Wade agrees, and says Draper is his first call for any and all custom curved display mounts.
"I've been on job sites where you just can't get this last display to line up," said Wade. "You've done all you can. You go and shim behind it. You add washers. You're there until 6 or 7 o'clock at night and you don't know when you're going home. By using custom products like these Draper mounts, it was really as simple as adjusting the screws. From an install mindset, I want my guys working with Draper every time."
By Terry Coffey