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Clarity Matrix Video Walls Give Artist A Unique Electronic Canvas

The Armory Show, an annual international contemporary and modern art fair held in New York City, has showcased the most important artworks and artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Included in the work presented in the 2013 show were three digital pieces by the artist Diana Thater, one of more than 40 leading artists represented by the gallerist, David Zwirner.

Thater's underlying reference points are panoramic landscape paintings that coexist with other media including video. Those points were reflected in her 2013 Armory Show exhibit in which a three-set painting, entitled Day for Night, was installed in The Armory on three Planar video walls, including two unique configurations - one occupying the concave corner of a wall, the other wrapping convexly around another corner.

The two corner-based video walls, and a third flat video wall installation were comprised of nine displays, each in a three-by-three (3 x 3) configuration. Thater chose Planar's Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System; specifically, the company's 46-inch MX46HD-L models, with planning, design and installation collaboration from David Zwirner and Planar and systems integration firm, Video Visions, Inc., a long-time Planar reseller partner.

"Advanced video walls such as Planar's – by virtue of their brightness and color saturation - do a wonderful job of accentuating the many and varied aspects of a painting. Clarity Matrix also provided the unique wraparound capability that breaks the flatness of this medium, which really captures attention and draws the viewer in," says Thater. Clearly those capabilities had an immediate impact as all three works and their Clarity Matrix video walls were sold during The Armory Show.

Reliability is a key factor

While it wasn't known if Thater's paintings would sell to commercial or residential clients, among her stated requirements was to have video walls that were proven to be highly reliable so that any type of client would be able to enjoy the artwork in its pristine form for as long as it is owned or held. To provide that reliability, Planar designed Clarity Matrix with features such as off-board controllers, power supplies and other components, which has the effect of removing heat-inducing elements that could shorten panel life. At the same time, Clarity Matrix is equipped with a number of redundant components such that no single point of failure can disable a panel. Further, every Clarity Matrix panel has a backlight life of approximately 50,000 hours.

"All of these features combine to make the product one of the most reliable and dependable of its type on the market, which is why we recommend it so highly," says Mary Ellen Milanese DiStasio, president of Philadelphia-based Video Visions.

Other essential features

Several other features were required by Thater, including the flexibility to accommodate other than simply flat installations; the ability for the displays to resemble wall-mounted artwork; adjustable brightness to accommodate both residential and commercial settings; and for installation in a public environment, a slim profile adhering to standards such as The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Clarity Matrix is a large panel (46-inches diagonal) with a very narrow tiled bezel width (5.5 mm). This met Thater's requirement that it accommodate a single large image in a nearly seamless fashion. Further, Clarity Matrix is engineered with Planar's unique EasyAxis™ Mounting System, which suits it to unusual installations such as the concave and convex orientations in The Armory Show exhibit. Also, EasyAxis gives Clarity Matrix a total mounted depth of less than four inches, which is well within commercial standards such as ADA, and gives the video wall the appearance of a traditionally-hung piece of artwork.

In addition, Clarity Matrix is an industry-leader in image quality and image management. It offers adjustable brightness up to 700 nits, 3500:1 contrast ratio, a high-definition resolution of 1920 x 1080, and the ability to handle seven million colors, which assures artists such as Thater that they will realize any color and level of saturation they desire.

Planar honors its channel partners

For Video Visions, Planar was not only the source of a great product – that would more than satisfy a premier artist such as Diana Thater – it also defined a great partner for the systems integrator. In Milanese-DiStasio's words, "Planar honors its channel partners; doing everything it can to make sure we can get the job done right for the end customer."

She says the high quality of Clarity Matrix speaks for itself. Beyond that, she adds, are factors that differentiate Planar from other video wall manufacturers. Training, for example is extensive and comprehensive, ensuring that Video Vision technicians are intimately familiar with every aspect of the product so installations go quickly and smoothly. "And if we do encounter a problem in the field, we easily can get a real Planar engineer on the phone who walks us through it to resolution; few if any other manufacturers make that commitment."

Logistically, Planar also gets it done right. In the case of Thater's Armory Show exhibit, two of the three video walls were sold to international clients. "Planar works the same way worldwide. So we knew that when we de-commissioned this project and handed it off to our integration partners overseas, they would have Planar partners there to provide the same great support we get here. It's the way you have to do business today and Planar does it like no other company."

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