Passengers walking through the rotunda on the concourse between Delta Terminals 2 and 3 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York have discovered a jewel of an installation for Delta Airlines featuring video display, playback and control by Scharff Weisberg.
Dubbed the Delta Diamond, the lozenge-shaped glass installation was created by Cigar Box Studios. The transparent structure is divided across the middle to offer two different experiences. One side shows a simulated BusinessElite class cabin with its comfortable custom seat alongside a cabin wall with windows; the other side houses a 3×3 videowall displaying a looped promotional video about Delta’s $1.2 billion expansion and upgrade of Terminal 4 at JFK. Cigar Box Studios designed the installation to be shipped in its entirety or in two halves and tour airports nationwide.
Scharff Weisberg met the challenge of a tight deadline and trips past airport security to deliver technology that met Cigar Box Studios’ needs and would be flexible enough for future content changes. MKG, which does experiential marketing for Delta Airlines, provided the installation’s concept design.
“We have a long-standing relationship with Scharff Weisberg; we’ve collaborated together on many projects, always successfully,” says Michael Girman, general manager of Cigar Box Studios in Newburgh, New York.
For the videowall Scharff Weisberg provided nine NEC X462UN seamless LCD panels in a 3×3 configuration. Medialon MIP HD players display a variety of HD video clips across the nine screens. A Medialon Showmaster control system turns on the display in the morning and turns it off at the end of the day.
“Cigar Box Studios wanted a seamless look for the videowall and the diamond provided no room for projection,” says project manager/engineering Barry Grossman. “We had used the NEC X462UN LCDs before; they work well and are very reliable.”
Scharff Weisberg also selected the Medialon MIPS players for their durability. “They work up to 18 hours a day,” Grossman notes, “and they integrate easily with the Medialon Showmaster.”
The control system is contained within the narrow space separating the videowall from the simulated BusinessElite cabin wall. “We started with a two-foot gap between the two, then it got smaller,” Grossman recalls. “To get inside you have to climb a ladder and slither between the cabin wall and the videowall. But that’s par for the course for an installation like this where there’s no space to spare.”
On the other side of the Delta Diamond the Medialon Showmaster triggers the BusinessElite seat to extend and retract every few minutes. City Theatrical created the custom interface between the Medialon control system and the airline seat. Medialon also controls the dimming of lights in the cabin to simulate nighttime and the changing lighting outside the cabin windows.
A DMX interface by Scharff Weisberg controls the Delta Diamond’s LED lighting system whose fixtures were largely supplied by Cigar Box Studios.
“We only had two-and-a-half weeks from concept to installation. Only Scharff Weisberg could have met that schedule,” says Cigar Box Studios’ Girman. “And only Scharff Weisberg could guarantee delivery of the key components. In addition, because the Delta Diamond is built to play anywhere in the US, we needed to contract with a company that had national resources. Scharff Weisberg can provide us with support wherever we go.”
Lars Pedersen was Scharff Weisberg’s account executive for the installation. John Healy was the lighting project manager. Chris Keitel of Three Byte Intermedia and Alex Bright of Scharff Weisberg handled the videowall programming. Drew DeCorleto was the lighting lead, Patrick Denny did the media encoding; and Paul Clements and Hector Vega did the installation.
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