Museums and aquariums have their work cut out for them these days. Even exotic aquatic displays (read: cool fish) have to compete for attention with the phones in most visitors’ pockets and a general expectation that everybody must always be entertained.
When Georgia Aquarium underwent a restoration project that required on of its galleries to be reconstructed and therefore temporarily closing its “The Wall of Fish” exhibit, it realized that leaving that space without an engaging vocal point wasn’t an option.
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The aquarium turned to LG Electronics for a digital signage solution to recreate a live exhibit with video wall displays. During construction, 36 of LG’s 55LV77A-7B 55-inch full HD video wall displays deployed inside of an emptied acrylic aquarium, which formerly housed “The Wall of Fish” exhibit, provide stunning lifelike picture quality and an immersive experience, according to LG.
“During construction of our new Sea Lion exhibit, we had to remove life support systems (LSS) that supported the Wall of Fish exhibit, leaving nothing but an empty acrylic box,” said Ryan Palley, senior manager of audio/visual at Georgia Aquarium.
“LG’s video walls provided the best solution with lifelike picture quality capable of duplicating the feel of a live exhibit, to maintain the underwater experience while entertaining and informing.”
More from LG on the Video Walls Solution
The installation process faced several unique challenges, namely the space allotted for the video walls. The in-house audio/visual team installed the 36 LG displays, in two 6×3 matrices, inside of a former fish tank that measures 16 feet deep and is separated by a partition in the center. The tank only allowed five feet of working room to install mounting structure, brackets, power, data and displays. With this limited space, the team was challenged to identify creative ways to install product without causing any damage to the tank and its waterproof design. The team implemented a floating support system that uses carpet pads to protect the product and the acrylic wall on which they are installed. The LG displays were carefully lifted and lowered into the tank given the narrow confinement, and then mounted with Crimson video wall mounts. The sleek design of the LG displays worked to the team’s advantage – the super slim 3.5mm bezel-to-bezel depth allowed the displays to be seamlessly integrated into the aquarium’s environment. Another key benefit of each unit is their light weight – weighing only 50 lbs for easy installation in any setting.
On Picture Quality
To achieve the level of picture quality and operational reliability desired, the aquarium chose the LG 55LV77A-7B to display Full HD 1080p content on each display in crisp, clear pictures. LG’s IPS panel technology ensures excellent color saturation and contrast, resulting in a display with superior picture quality that can be installed at virtually any angle or height, while still maintaining the integrity of the image. Given the dimensions of the tank, the in-house team needed to create a 32:9 aspect ratio to showcase content in 2K resolution. The content transitions between the vivid colors and fluid movement of living corals, swimming sharks and macro invertebrates. Additionally, the LG video walls are used to communicate marine conservation messaging to help educate and inform visitors.
On Return on Investment
Designed for continuous operation in a public setting, the video walls’ LED screens display IPS technology and provide a temperature tolerance of up to 230° Fahrenheit (110° Celsius). This helps alleviate a common overheating problem that affects picture quality with some other digital signage screens. The Georgia Aquarium opted to control the LG video walls using a RS-232 system to operate a total of 11 hours a day. The RS-232 system automatically powers on the video walls 30 minutes prior to the aquarium opening, and powers off 30 minutes after it closes. “We’ve benefited greatly by reducing our electrical consumption with the LG ENERGY STAR® certified displays,” said Palley. “We also chose to display the video walls in low lighting, cutting approximately 200 amps of energy for lighting alone – not to mention eliminating the energy typically needed to support aquatic life in the tank where the screens are installed.”
On End Result
The video walls became an integral solution of the signature experience the aquarium offers, which is grounded on entertaining, engaging and educating. The video walls have also been well received among staffers, as they require very little maintenance, a testament to LG’s amazing display of reliability. “The LG video walls are the first visuals that our visitors see when they walk into the Georgia Aquarium. It was imperative to choose the right signage and above all, the right partner, that could work with us to display our content and maintain a high quality experience for visitors,” said Palley. “We’ve been very impressed with this installation and want to continue to push the envelope with more exhibit enhancements such as this.”