Display Systems Get The Message Out

The U.S. Marshals Service, the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency, knows the power that wanted posters can play in the apprehension of fugitives.
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Planar’s Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall System The U.S. Marshals Service, the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency, knows the power that wanted posters can play in the apprehension of fugitives. That is why the USMS has partnered with Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc., an outdoor advertising firm, to utilize the company’s nearly 1,000 digital billboards to help catch some of the country’s most dangerous fugitives.

The USMS is displaying “hot pursuit messages”— in the immediate aftermath of a crime—on Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital billboards, according to the service. An alert will stay up for the first 30 minutes after it is posted, and it will be shown throughout the day in a procedure similar to Amber Alerts.

This program has been conducted on a smaller, regional scale in California and Ohio, but now has gone national, said David Turk, a Marshals Service spokesman. The effectiveness of the earlier program led the Marshals Service to expand it, he said.

The USMS has been using the Internet and television to circulate the faces of its 15 most-wanted fugitives, and the digital billboards add to that effort, Turk said. “The digital billboards are a new avenue that encourages motorists who have tips and leads to share that information,” he said. The digital displays are “another tool for law enforcement,” he added.

While the Marshals Service has found a use for digital billboards, other display systems are available.

Those systems are:


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Adaptive Technologies Group’s
3 by 3 Video Wall
Adaptive Technologies Group’s HoverTrac is a “3 by 3 video wall” comprising nine 60-inch monitors, said President Paul Allen. “What’s really novel about this is you can take the video wall down, move it to another location, set it back up again, and apply it in a completely different location,” he said.

Rather than try to piece together monitor wall mounts, ATG starts with the frame. “It’s easier to install a frame that is designed for a facility and that is aligned, making its installation quicker,” Allen said. There are three different ways to interlock these frames to create the video wall, he said. It requires the use of “connecting bars alignment,” so a good straight frame can create columns of video walls that are joined together horizontally and flown from the HoverTrac rigging, he said. In addition, the process involved in erecting the video monitors becomes “fairly routine” with practice. Eventually, “users get the learning curve nailed down,” he said.


Chief offers the LVM Series of freestanding carts, which are designed to hold multiple displays to create one large video wall in locations where wall-mounting or ceilingmounting is not an option, said, Nathan Bohl, Chief’s product management manager. The series contains a 2 x 2 system, a 3 x 2 system and a 3 x 3 system, he said.

The LVM Series uses “microzone adjustment” technology that enables height adjustment per screen, so each screen can be aligned to create one large display, Bohl said. Because the screens have to be perfectly aligned, users can fine-tune each corner using the thumbscrews to align the streams, he said. The system is used in control rooms or as display system in lobbies or conference rooms, he added.


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Evertz’s 3000DVT-18X18 Digital Video Tiler Evertz offers its 3000DVT-18x18 Digital Video Tiler, said Jackson Wiegman, product manager, multiviewer systems for Evertz. It is used to handle the scaling and windowing necessary to construct a video wall. The 3000DVT has the ability to accept up to 18 live, real-time video inputs and drive up to 18 displays on a single card, he said.

The 3000DVT takes advantage of the scaling technology and with support for up to 3 Gbps inputs and outputs, the highest resolution sources and displays can be used to create video walls that are larger than 18 displays, Wiegman said. An unlimited number of 3000DVTs can be stacked to create the largest video walls available, he said.

The 3000DVT is a two-slot card that fits in either a 3RU or 6RU rack mount chassis. It is hot swappable and highly reliable, with dual power supplies. In addition, the 3000DVT offers a variety of transitions for changing the content and layouts displayed on the wall. Features like cross fades and zoom-in and zoom-out transitions allow for a polished presentation for public spaces and onset applications. Control over the 3000DVT is made easy using a simple and intuitive “touch friendly” graphical user interface.


LG Electronics offers its WS50 Series of LED screens, which has wide viewing angles, according to a company spokesman. The key to the WS50 Series is “In Plain Switching” technology, which enables the screen to produce accurate color at any viewing angle. “If a viewer is off to the side, they will be able to see with the same picture quality as if they were directly in front of the screen,” the spokesman said.

The consistency of appearance from the side or front is important for display systems because it provides users with versatility for the system’s location, he said. In addition, “Sign Out Technology” is a light-reflecting film that goes on the monitor, he said. Sign Out Technology helps double the brightness, making it easier to see the content that the user is trying to push in areas that have a lot of ambient light.


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NEC’s X463UN NEC produces the X463UN LED direct lit video wall product, said Benjamin Hardy, senior product specialist, display solutions for the company. The X463UN is good for situations where a video wall is needed 24/7, such as a broadcast facility or a government emergency operations center, he said.

The X463UN’s LED lighting is directly behind the panel, producing a more uniform brightness. This is important particularly for video walls, where screens are right next to each other; users do not want a higher brightness in the middle, he said.

In addition, the X463UN’s design includes temperature sensors built into the screen itself, he said. Three sensors monitor temperature thresholds preset into the screen. If the sensors register that the threshold is breached, cooling fans automatically run until the temperature drops below that the trouble point, Hardy said.


Panasonic offers the TH 70 LF50, a professional-grade LCD display, said Carl Demanss, the company’s manager for professional displays. The TH 70 LF50 is available in both 70- and 80-inch models, and it works both horizontally and vertically, he said.

The TH 70 LF50 has extremely high brightness, which is ideal for high-visibility areas such as entryways in airports, even in some semioutdoor applications, Demanss said. The brightness will burn through the ambient light, so users can communicate really bright images to the targeted audience.

The system can contain “touch screen applications” so a user can create an interactive “meet and greet” or use it to present messages or other important information to visitors, Demanss said. The TH 70 LF50 allows the user to provide reliable 24/7 operation without having to staff such locations.


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Panasonic’s TH 70 LF50

Planar offers its Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall System, part of the “Matrix” family of video wall products featuring ultra-narrow bezels LCDs that can be tiled together to make video walls in virtually any size, the company says.

The design architecture incorporates off-board electronics and power supplies, which the company says reduces the weight, depth, heat, noise and points of failure at the LCD panel and places them in a location convenient to service. The Clarity Matrix also has an integrated mounting system that enables users to tile the display close together and provides depth of less than four inches, which surpasses the Americans with Disabilities Act requirement for protruding objects.


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Sony Electronics’ FWD-S55H2 Sony Electronics offers what it describes as “the brightest 55-inch professional display available,” said Andre Floyd, a product marketing manager professional displays for the company. “The brighter it is, the more likely it’s going to catch someone’s attention,” he said.

This display is mostly used for digital signage, such as providing information in lobbies, or it can provide the floor plan for the building to show visitors where there are meetings going on, Floyd said.

In addition, the display is very energy efficient, with the backlighting based on direct LEDs that help create the brightness and produce an extremely uniform picture, Floyd said. The unit uses about 45 percent less energy than an equivalent display, notable because government users place importance on the amount of energy a facility is using, he said. Typically, the amount of power used inside of a facility is tabulated, so based on the fact that these displays use less power and run cooler, they will require less air conditioning and thereby cut costs, he said.


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TVONE’s CORIOmaster TVONE offers the CORIOmaster, which is an “allin- one box” for different configurations, be it video walls or individual monitors, said Dan Gibson, the company’s vice president. The CORIOmaster is modular and can be set up for the exact number of inputs and outputs needed, he said. The system can be configured for four separate layouts; these can include one display system, or up to 20 display systems.

At the user’s option, each display can present the same image or different content, Gibson said. Users are not limited to the same resolution or size. That makes the CORIOmaster suitable for emergency uses, military or law enforcement, according to Gibson. “Command and control are its biggest application,” he said.


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Visix Inc.’s AxisTV digital signage
software in use.
Visix Inc. offers AxisTV digital signage software and the Announce content management software, said Sean Matthews, the company’s president.

AxisTV software provides a friendly user interface. Its browser-based access enables users to access AxisTV’s toolkit to create, schedule and deliver important announcements and alerts across a network from anywhere, according to Matthews. Instructive prompts make importing media files easy and creating a message is as simple as filling out a form, he said.

Announce is a digital signage content management system for institutions that need sophisticated signage. It offers user-friendly, browser-based interface, theme libraries, animated layouts and backgrounds, fill-in and auto-generated templates, CAP-compliant alert notifications, intuitive media management and a media playback engine, according to Matthews.

Announce is operational at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, Texas where the system is used for public information announcements and directions around the hospital. However, the hospital uses Announce not only as a public information component but also as a back office component to deliver information in areas that are not normally open to the public, he said.


Adaptive Technologies Group:



LG Electronics:




Sony Electronics:


Visix Inc.: