As the cable access provider for the City of Haverhill, Massachusetts, HC Media is a non-profit corporation developed to provide residents and other non-profit institutions access to the medium of television. Recently unveiling its new Studio 101 located downtown in the Harbor Place building, HC Media wanted to create a captivating visual display that would excite the entire community and illuminate the revitalised downtown district. Working with Fishbrook Design Studio, the digital display needed to be bright and powerful with a distinct 90-degree design capability, so they chose FLEXLite NXG 3.9mm LED video from PixelFLEX.
“HC Media Studio 101 is a new studio and performance space designed as both a live recording and educational facility for the community of Haverhill,” began Matt Belfiore, HC Media director of operations. “With the studio being in a prime downtown location, we wanted the community to be able to see what was happening inside so about 50% of the building is wrapped in windows. We knew we needed to have digital signage that could play to the cars and pedestrians passing by, and we wanted to incorporate colourful moving graphics and video content which is why PixelFLEX was an ideal solution.”
“Our design uses this glassy, ground floor space on the busiest corner in town to put the process of inventing and producing new media on display,” added Matthew Juros, principal Fishbrook Design Studio. “With all the windows, we really wanted to draw the attention inside, instead of digital signage outside. Looking at the options available, we knew that LED video would be incredibly punchy and vibrant, and the FLEXLite NXG worked perfectly in the design.”
With fully front-serviceable video panels, plus seamless right-angle corner capabilities, FLEXLite NXG is one of the highest resolution LED video displays on the market today. Available in 2.6-6.25mm pitch options, plus a 6.25mm full outdoor IP65 version as well, the FLEXLite NXG 500mm x 500mm video tiles are calibrated directly out of the box to ensure perfect colour and brightness to help realize the full potential of any LED video design.
“Matthew and the team at Fishbrook Design really did a great job identifying the perfect solution for our new studio,” continued Belfiore. “I initially had the misconception that LED video would be a more costly option, but once we started speaking with PixelFLEX and saw what the FLEXLite NXG could do, we knew this would give us the better ‘bang for our buck’ and the install looks absolutely amazing.”
Now getting started on the install at HC Media Studio 101 with the assistance of MediaLight Inc., the FLEXLite NXG LED video tiles would be mounted on an interior wall eight-feet away from the exterior windows. Additionally, as visitors walk into the main entry of studio, the design team also wanted the FLEXLite NXG to take a 90-degree turn leading into the new studio space.
Juros explained: “The LED video wall is installed 12’ 8” above the finished floor and it rests on a seven-inch base recessed in a shallow alcove so that the surface of the panels are coplaner with the wall itself. The full wall facing the exterior windows measures approximately ten feet in length, then when you walk in the front door, the video does a 90-degree turn and goes for another five feet in length. During the entire project, it really seemed that PixelFLEX understood exactly what we were trying to create, and it was a very simple process to install the system.”
As the installation of the LED video was completed, the team next focused on the control and content generation aspects of the design. Wanting to make sure the system was easy to control, the design features a proprietary plug-and-play option, as well as the potential to run content from the convenience of a laptop as well.
“For the driving of the system, we have a proprietary PixelFLEX driver installed in the control room rack where we can simply insert a USB drive with whatever content we need to display, or we are also able to run the HDMI from the driver into a laptop and control from there as well,” continued Belfiore. “For the content, we wanted to do a lot of movement and colour with contrasting lights and darks and when we put the first piece of content on the screen everyone was extremely impressed. As a Public Access station, we are very excited to be able to bring something of this magnitude to the community and it really has the potential to set a wonderful tone in downtown Haverhill.”
Now complete, the new HC Media Studio 101 is in full production, broadcasting from the corner of Merrimack Street and Main Street in downtown Haverhill. As focal point for the rejuvenated area just off the banks of the Merrimack River, the FLEXLite NXG LED video design is proving that LED video is the ideal solution for truly engaging digital displays.
“Our focus at Fishbrook Design was to create the most dynamic canvas possible for HC Media to generate the content needed, and it’s exciting to watch their inventive and creative content come to life,” concluded Juros. “With LED video, there is almost unlimited flexibility on what you can create and there is simply no other way to solve what it can do for digital communications or graphics.”