Massive Clarity Matrix Video Wall is Central to City's Crime Management and Reduction Efforts
Intelligence-led policing has played a key role in reducing crime in Memphis. It is made possible in part by a massive video wall that captures and displays live video - from a city-wide surveillance camera network – and a variety of other information from the center’s PC network. The officers and command staff in the Memphis Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center use all the displayed data to monitor crime hotspots throughout the city. The video wall consists of 36 Clarity® Matrix™ LCD Video Wall System displays (MX55HDU) - in a 13-wide by two-high array (13x2) - installed in a unique curved video wall design – spanning more than 130 feet across the front of the center.
The video wall makes it possible for officers and staff to better see and manage the response to any criminal activity caught on the surveillance network, helping patrol officers manage crime situations and enabling Memphis to more effectively address its crime reduction objectives.
Ideal replacement for legacy rear-projection video platform
The Clarity Matrix LCD video wall replaces a rear projection video wall that had been in place since 2008. The decision to move to the Clarity Matrix was based on the diminishing capability of the older platform; “notably the extent to which certain displays had lost their original brightness, and also the rising cost of consumable elements including display lamps,” says Sergeant Joseph Patty, the center’s Video Surveillance Manager.
Working with SkyCop, Inc., a provider and integrator of high-tech audiovisual surveillance systems, the decision to implement Clarity Matrix was made and installed 2015. Sergeant Joseph Patty says that the video processing capability of Clarity Matrix – made possible by its Clarity® Visual Control Station™ (VCS™) Video Wall Processor– is a huge factor in the Clarity Matrix video wall’s favor. “The Clarity VCS supports feeds from multiple sources, and allows us to put any piece of content from any of these sources – different surveillance cameras, maps, cable TV news – anywhere on the video wall we want to. It ensures that a single officer can get a big-picture view of something he’s seeing on his own PC, or content from any officer’s PC can be put on the video wall and shared with all other officers on duty at the time. So, in either case, we’re better able to see a crime that’s either developing or in process, and better equipped to see how best to resolve it.”
Planar is fully hands-on in installation effort
The nearly 550 square-foot video wall is installed with Clarity Matrix’s Planar® EasyAxis™ Mounting System, a six-axis mechanism that simplifies installation and alignment and guarantees a perfectly flat and consistent visual platform. “Getting perfect alignment across such a large video wall - and particularly one that is curved like this – would be daunting if not nearly impossible says Greg Nuckles, Chief Operating Officer of SkyCop.
“But Planar EasyAxis enabled it to be done more quickly and easily than we ever expected.” He continues that Planar’s support commitment was a major enabler as well. “As soon as we told them of this project, they were onsite with us helping to spec it out, and then they came back and jumped in with us to get the video wall installed, aligned and up and running properly. It’s huge for a manufacturer to make such a commitment.”
Solution equipped for demanding control center environment
Another critical factor of the Clarity Matrix video wall, Patty says, is that it is proven technology. “We designed the Real Time Crime Center to serve us well into the future and we needed a video wall technology that has been shown to perform reliably in demanding control centers like ours. Unlike other video walls we investigated, Clarity Matrix is all but guaranteed to perform at a very high level in an environment such as ours, and do so for a long time, even in extended 24x7 duty cycles.”
Contributing to that performance and reliability is Planar’s unique off-board electronics design, one in which components such as power supplies and controllers are installed not on the video wall itself, but away in a remote rack room. “This delivers huge benefits for the integrator and the customer,” says Nuckles. “Offboarding takes heat-generating components away from the video wall – which preserves the lifespan of the entire system – and also significantly reduces the cooling required in the video wall space.”
Further he says, “If necessary, we can replace a power supply in the rack room in just a few minutes – usually with just one technician – so we don’t have to dismantle the video wall for such a task and in the process cause disruption to the officers’ workflow. The takeaway is that we have a massive, extremely useful visual platform that works extremely well in a demanding environment, is very easy to maintain and its service requirements don’t impact our officers’ ability to do their jobs.”
Visual quality significantly improves crime scene visibility
Lastly, both SkyCop and the crime center officials give Clarity Matrix high marks for its visual quality. The video wall is a technological leap ahead of the previous rear projection display system; with its 1920 x 1080 native resolution, 800- nit brightness, and 3500:1 contrast ratio. “Also, with its ultra-narrow tiled bezel width (3.7mm), any image on it – even one that is stretched across the entire 36-display array – is virtually seamless, so everyone who needs it has eyes on a scene, at a level of brightness and clarity that wasn’t remotely possible before.”