Planar Displays Help University Achieve Excellence in Athletic Experience
The University of Michigan has long been known and admired for how it supports its teams and engages with fans. That commitment is ongoing and is particularly evident at the Crisler Center, the iconic home to University of Michigan Wolverine basketball as well as many other indoor sports. As part of an extensive renovation that began in 2010, Crisler Center has been transformed into a model of excellence in athletic experience. In particular, through significant investments in digital communication, the arena is now unique in how it connects with Michigan’s teams, fans, and the Ann Arbor community.
This connection is reflected in a wide array of interactive displays from Planar that create excitement, increasing game attendance and directly support the university’s recruiting and revenue generation efforts. With extensive support of Dimensional Innovations of Overland Park, Kansas, Crisler Arena has been equipped with Planar PS-Series LCD displays and Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall displays installed throughout the arena’s concourses and in the William Davidson Player Development Center for basketball. Dimensional Innovations planned and implemented a range of interactive platforms – from individual stations to multi-display video walls.
“This array of digital communication platforms from Planar gives arena visitors of all ages the ability to join in the celebration of Michigan Athletics in a way that is different and more exciting than it would likely be today on any other campus,” says Justin Wood, Vice President and Practice Director for Dimensional Innovations.
Planar PS-Series delivers superior interactivity and reliability
Among the displays on the concourse are 17 Planar® PS-Series displays (PS4652) – each 46 inches in size – called Individual Sports Interactives. Fans can use these displays to explore any single Michigan sport - in photos, video or text - see stats on a recent game, learn about upcoming games, purchase tickets and more. Planar PS-Series displays are also used to create several Kids Zone Interactives where younger fans can, among other things, make a customized Michigan bobble-head photo or compare their jumping ability or “wingspan” with that of a Michigan player.
To create excitement and interest as fans enter Crisler Arena, a 55-inch Planar PS-Series display (PS5552) was installed to tell the story of “The House That Cazzie Built”, a reference to the legendary player who led the Wolverines to three consecutive Big Ten Conference basketball titles (1964–66) and to two Final Four appearances (1964 and 1965). The highly responsive touch technology that Planar built in the Planar PS5552 contributes to its appeal as does its 450 cd/m2 brightness and 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Curtis Walker, Technology Project Manager for Dimensional Innovations, says the company chose the Planar PS-Series for a number of reasons. Included, he says, is reliability; this owes to the Planar PS-Series’ commercial-grade LCD panels, LED backlight technology, 24/7 operation and durable metal bezels. At the same time, the Planar PS-Series displays feature an ultra-slim profile that Walker says makes it easy to integrate into the surrounds built to house the interactives throughout Crisler’s concourses.
Clarity Matrix chosen for its tiled bezel width and high image quality
Planar’s Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System was chosen for video walls in Crisler’s Hall of Honor, a touch-screen digital “library” of Michigan’s storied athletic history. Clarity Matrix is installed in two five-wide-by-three-high (5 x 3) arrays of MX46HD displays, each offering touch access to five fans simultaneously, for the purpose of exploring a wide range of content including player profiles, titles and awards won, historic game images and film footage. The interactive experience also lets fans put up a virtual shot from the arena floor, or direct a virtual quarterback in a football game.
Clarity Matrix also is a focal point in Crisler’s new William Davidson Player Development Center. The center provides the first dedicated practice space for men’s and women’s basketball. A three-wide-by-one high (3x2) Clarity Matrix array of MX46HD displays forms the lobby’s Day in the Life Wall, which depicts a collection of historic photos, each representing an aspect of life on campus and the experience of playing basketball at the university.
The ultra-slim tiled bezel width (5.5 mm) of Clarity Matrix was a huge factor in its selection. “They make the video wall appear as if it were one continuous monitor, which really shows off the content,” says Walker. “Also, here and in the Hall of Honor, the Clarity Matrix offboard electronics design really pays off. Being able to remotely locate controllers, power supplies and other components keeps heat away from the video wall which minimizes the likelihood of failures and contributes to a panel life that is longer than that of any other LCD product that we know of in the marketplace.”