Project Description

New eco-friendly Samsung UE46A panel takes gold as the Olympic retail site in London as Timberland goes digital.

Westfield Stratford City stands at the gateway to the new London Olympic Stadium. This urban shopping centre will form part of the Olympic legacy, a comprehensive regeneration project of Newham that is claimed by the developer’s to be Europe’s largest urban retail and leisure destination. Home to around 300 fashion, food and lifestyle stores, 50 restaurants and an all-digital 14 screen cinema. Such a high profile development as lead many retailers to introduce new retail design concepts, to engage and entice customers into their stores. Digital technology features in many retailers’ designs and along with the many screens located throughout the shopping centre featuring out-of-home advertising it seems the digital revolution as finally come of age in the UK.

Timberland the leading International footwear and apparel retailer is no exception; they have embraced digital display technology as part of their new global retail concept. The store features various digital systems, 15” ELO touch screens integrated into wall mount POS display panels provide up to date product information on the current in-store collection, a digital create your own boot configurator allows customers to design and order custom made shoes and taking centre stage near the stores entrance is a massive 36 screen video wall.

Timberland turned to retail digital display specialist 53 Degrees Northern Limited to help with the design and installation of the new video screen project.

The brief from the client was to bring a large bulkhead at the front of the store to life, and provide an engaging focal point that could be used to showcase the latest seasonal outdoor experience stories. Through previous projects that we had completed for the client the project team at 53 Degrees Northern Limited know the commitment Timberland give to sustainability and finding an environmentally friendly option was one of the major factors in the decision making process for this project. During the design stage for the project and following in- depth analysis of display options that were currently available it was apparent, there was no clear display solution that met Timberland’s exacting standards. Rod Pallister 53 degrees operations director says, “The decision had been made by the client that this area was going to be a digital display, but no available technology was quite what they were looking for. It was either too bulky for the store design, didn’t provide the resolution or energy saving requirements, too expensive or because of environmental and installation issues completely unsuitable”.

There was however one display option that seemed to be ticking all the boxes. The only problem was it had not yet been released by the manufactures commercially into the market. Pallister adds “when the decision was made to pitch this new screen to the client it was like a leap of faith. We had a feeling Timberland would love the screen and want it for the new flagship store. But at this stage we had no guarantees we could deliver the screen once offered. It could have been a decision that cost us the project. But, been an independent design consultancy I’m a great believer in offering the client all the available information and working with them to make an informed choice that provides them the right fit for the project”.

The decision was made and the client wanted the screen!

This left us less than eight weeks to deliver a working 36 screen video wall using a product that had not yet been officially released by the manufactures, with a provisional delivery date from the suppliers of less than two week before the project needed to go live. So no pressure there then!

What make the Timberland install stand out from the crowed at Westfield!

Apart from the impressive size, the total display measures 6.2m x 3.5m and provides a stunning 11,520 pixel by 6,480 pixel digital canvas, the standout feature that won Timberland over was the eco-friendly credentials offered by this new breed of professional LED edge-lit display panels.

Stratford City boasts some impressive environmental and sustainability statistics, 75% of all Stratford City’s electrical power will be met through an on-site Combined Cooling, Heat and Power Plant (CCHP). Use of natural light, effective insulation, high efficiency lighting, heating and cooling and control of solar gain will ensure the buildings are 10% more energy efficient than required by building regulations. Efficient building design and on-site CCHP will help achieve carbon reduction targets of 50% by 2020.

These impressive stats can be easily matched with the UE46A panels. The screens are extremely energy efficient; they are thinner and lighter than traditional CCFL LCD panels. Each panel is only 29mm deep, weight is just 12kg and typically use just 140watts of power per screen that, when compared to standard CCFL LCD video walls, means they use up to between 40-60% less energy. Reduced heat omissions provide an increased life expectancy for the product add to this the reduced ventilation and cooling requirements the overall energy saving increases significantly. The panels have impressive display characteristics the LED edge lit display produces a vibrant image that really packs a punch given the quoted 420 nit brightness from the specification, high contrast ratio, full HD resolution, (1920 x 1080), a thin 5.2mm seamless bezel.

The new UE panel at 29mm deep is around 77% thinner than traditional LCD video wall solution. The timberland install utilises Vogel’s Professional modular video wall mounts and with a combine screen and bracket depth of only 75mm, this is a full 55mm less depth than the Samsung 460UT-2 panel on its own, (one of Samsung’s current leading LCD video screen screens). The Vogel mounting system is a two part bracket, made up of a wall interface plate (PFW 58xx) and a pair of display interface strips (PFW 5905). The wall plate is a rail system and comes in 4 different lengths 1800mm to 3300 mm, with diagonal mounting holes make it very easy to level the wall interface plate during installation. The display interface strips are 500 mm long has plenty of fixing holes at standard VESA mount fixing distances, adjustment screws allow vertical levelling. Once the displays are in place, the built in service position catch makes it possible to easily connect cables to the displays, this also allows each individual displays to be removed for maintenance or replacement, even if the display is in the middle of the video wall. The installation team at 53 Degrees commented on the ease of installation of the Vogel system with minimum setup time required on site for the first fix stage and once the mounts were in pace the panels simply hooked on the rail system.

The backbone and control for the video wall had to match the performance of these new panels. The solution designed and installed by the 53 Degrees team, provides a fully automated solution which allows for both onsite and remote content changes. The video wall controller supports multi-screen and full screen output, each screen can display separate content or one image can be displayed across the whole array. All the screens are configured to run automatically, they are scheduled to turn on and off each day with no onsite intervention. All of the panels’ major features can be changed or monitored remotely, picture mode, sound, panel temperature, brightness and contrast. Automatic email fault alerts are programmed to be sent directly to our field service engineers. Each screen is fed from the video wall controller via DVI at their native resolution, with all the equipment neatly housed it a 32U server cabinet in the back office area.

Offering his congratulations on a successful installation, Ian Abernethy of Samsung Electronics (UK), commented that “the Samsung UE46 LED video walls installed for Timberland demonstrate outstanding installation skills and project management – delivering a high profile, complicated solution in a limited timescale to meet the demanding schedules imposed by the opening of Westfield Stratford City. This video wall is the first UK projects to deploy Samsung 46″ LED Large Format Displays and we are pleased that Samsung technology was proposed and installed for this prestigious client”.

Speaking about the final installation, Pallister says, “The client is delighted with the results and the impact of the screens speaks for its self. We are obviously very proud to be the first design and installation company to a have installed the new Samsung screens. But our real excitement about the screens centres round the technology and the opportunities this new product offers. This new product represents a major step forward for video wall technology, the picture quality is second to none, the thin light screens provide an ease of installation not seen before and the green credentials make this a stand out display product for anyone thinking of using digital display technology”.

53 Degrees Northern Limited are professional systems designers that work with latest digital display technologies to design and build unique media display systems that get brands noticed. The company offers individual visual experiences for the customer that, in turn, ensures they interact with the brand.