PLANAR’S CLARITY MATRIX MAXIMIZES EXPERIENCE AT ARENA
When the newly renovated Chesapeake Energy Arena opened in the fall of 2011, fans visiting the home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder saw striking improvements that enhance their arena experience and show this facility to be one of the most technologically advanced arenas in the league.
Throughout the arena, static back-lit signage has been replaced by dynamic digital displays from Planar Systems. 163 Planar displays in a variety of configurations maximize the experience for arena guests. The Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System represents “a highly visible and important part of a more than $100 million modernization,” says Brian Byrnes, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Amid the wide visual variances of arena lighting, the Clarity Matrix MX46 displays provide a bright and engaging attraction. The image quality and brightness of Clarity Matrix far exceed the arena’s old signage, offering an eye-popping 1366 x 768 high-definition resolution, 700 nits of brightness and a 3000:1 contrast ratio.
“We are always working to engage fans and connect them to the entirety of a dynamic fan experience, even before they take their seats,” Byrnes says. “Clarity Matrix provides a terrific tool for presenting our brand, partner programs and unique team-oriented content with its big, bright and robust imagery. These displays look crisp and sharp regardless of the viewing distance or angle.”
The tileability of Clarity Matrix was a key factor as well. The displays can be mounted adjacent to one another —separated by a mere 7.3 mm—to create a virtually seamless canvas. This feature is particularly important in the arena’s grand entrance. Here, banks of Clarity Matrix displays— each in a three-wide-by-one-high (3x1) configuration— hang back-to-back from the ceiling.
A unique arrangement like this creates an attention-getting platform for live and preproduced video, graphics and text, which can be used to both engage and inform fans about the current game or upcoming events. “These displays also provide a powerful marketing platform that can be used to enhance the identity of our advertising partners,” Byrnes added.
Planar’s innovative EasyAxis™ Mounting System was essential in areas such as the landing of the stairwell leading to the arena’s suite level. Here, the EasyAxis system allows a 4x1 configuration of screens to be mounted close to the wall.
Byrnes said that Clarity Matrix provided a level of flexibility and fluidity that was lacking with the back-lit signage. “On the one hand, we now have this vibrant messaging platform that gives our guests the sense that they’ve stepped into an up-to-date, cosmopolitan venue that mirrors the transformation of our community,” he noted.
“On the other, the technology lets us sequence our messages; we can greet guests on the way in and show our appreciation for their attendance at the conclusion of the game. That kind of message customization makes a big impression on the fans and adds to the positive experience we strive to create.”
Lastly, Clarity Matrix delivers a strong return on the public funds that helped pay for the arena renovation, Byrnes says. Each Clarity Matrix display has a 50,000 hour life span, and the video walls in the arena will be easy to service and maintain, thanks to the front- and rear-access afforded by the EasyAxis Mounting System. “The costeffectiveness and reliability of Clarity Matrix demonstrates our dedication to providing our community with a first-class venue and consumer experience,” Byrnes adds.