Get the Picture

By James Wood

As we piled into the car, I couldn’t help but feel another twinge of jealously. He was my friend and I was happy for him, I really was. But I was also incredibly jealous that as a senior in high school he got to drive a red 1966 Mustang. If it were a convertible I may not have been able to contain my envy. This day was like any other day, we were headed out after school for track practice. He turned the key and the beautiful engine roared to life bringing an involuntary smile to my face. A moment later it sputtered to silence. He twisted the key in the ignition again, but the engine refused to speak.

The object of my envy was transformed, in an instant, into frustration for all of us. We climbed out and he popped the hood. As we were looking around the cavernous confines of the Mustang’s engine compartment we felt lost. A few times we poked at something or other but we were mostly inept when it came to car repair. A classmate walked by and noticed the hood up. He offered to take a look and we gladly accepted. Within minutes he found that the little metal hook that connected the gas pedal to the engine throttle had broken. With pair of pliers he made a quick bend in the remaining metal to make a new hook and slid it into place. The car lived again, and we were off to practice.

The moral of the story is that linkage is essential. Without the throttle linkage (I learned what it’s called) my friend’s Pony Car was nothing but a parking-lot decoration. There has to be a linkage between what’s on the outside and what’s really driving things.

You might be impressed with the Planar Clarity Matrix video walls popping up (like in the Huntsville Airport) because they’re gorgeous to look at. But we didn’t just make a pretty face for show, there’s power behind the beauty. An array of high efficiency LCD screens, perfectly aligned and each showing full 1080p high definition is nothing short of amazing. Yet without the throttle linkage, this car isn’t going anywhere.

The engine under the hood of the Clarity Matrix displays is the Big Picture Plus video processing system. In Huntsville they have a 21 screen video wall that follows the curve of the building. Stunning to behold, but the Big Picture Plus system allows more than just one big video on such a large screen. You can designate portions of the screen for different purposes. In the airport, they show crystal clear HD news programming, but also set aside some of the screens for arrival and departure display. The possibilities are endless. You can display different camera feeds in your control room. You can keep the numbers for all the markets around the world in front of your eyes.

Planar has linkage figured out. The powerful engine is linked to a striking display wall so everything works in harmony.