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JFK ‘Ring of Fire’ Welcomes JetBlue Passengers

The 43-inch monitors display graphics, animation and videos with marketing and passenger information, including details on flights.

If you’ve flown JetBlue into New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport lately, you may have notices the ring of 43 LCD video monitors suspended from the ceiling of Terminal 5 in a large oval.

The Ring of Fire in Terminal 5

The ring of video monitors was designed, engineered and installed by Big Show Construction Management (BSCM), which specializes in managing the creation of themed and interactive spaces.

The 43-inch monitors display graphics, animation and videos with marketing and passenger information, including details on flights and promotions for new routes. The video ring is capable of running anything from one large show to up to five smaller simultaneous shows in its sections: Displays can scroll across all 43 screens, or up to 22 completely different shows can be played in any combination of monitors. Currently, one large show, on a loop, runs about 20 hours a day.

Rockwell Design originally conceived the video ring, which was further developed by Gensler Architects, engineered by BSCM and fabricated by J. Frederick Construction. “We were brought in to provide concepts and budgets for four different kinds of LED and LCD solutions,” said BSCM System Engineer Billy Kneissl. “After a demo of the NEC monitors, they were selected over LEDs for their resolution and price point.”

BSCM did the field surveys, rigging point selection and plotting for the video ring, which was designed by BSCM with Ammann & Whitney, the official structural engineers.

BSCM also created 3D models of the entire structure to ensure it would all come together on the first try.

“It was essential. There is no second chance with this type of install,” said Kneissl. The ring measures approximately 38-by-48 feet and weighs about 18,000 pounds. It is suspended by 244 half-inch stainless steel cables from 480 rigging points.

“The ring was assembled in the terminal space on saw horses,” Kneissl said. “BSCM engineered rigging towers which were built around the ring to lift it into its proper position 18 feet above the floor.”

Project management and site supervision for BSCM was done by Rod Hickey.

BSCM also designed the AV system and its content and control programming. The video ring is run by 22 Logic Supply AOpen DE945 small-form PCs, which are networked by Ethernet and fiber over Netgear switches. Playback software is Dataton’s WATCHOUT. Scheduling and device control is by Aurora Multimedia’s WACI NX+.

BSCM is now developing content for the ring, which won an Apex Award for Public Spaces at the Digitial Signage Expo in Las Vegas.

Big Show Construction Management