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DPI and CBS Outdoor join forces for London Underground digital media project

Nearly 145 years old, the London Underground rail system provided significant challenges for the team in charge of modernising the advertising display infrastructure. In particular, the curvature of the tunnel walls meant that the projection screen had to be less than 4mm deep, while the fact that accumulated materials and debris in the railway system would destroy traditional air filters on the precision display devices also had to be taken into account.

The culmination of the consultation process saw the project team specify new XTP HD300 projection devices. The projectors’ inherent geometry correction uses advanced software calculations to precisely align the images to the curvature of the tunnel wall, with filtration issues overcome by sealing the projector to IP65 standards. According to DPI, this means that the XTP HD300 is the first projection system to be officially classified as waterproof and 100% sealed to the outside air.

“We were honoured to have been given the challenge to develop such a unique display,” said Nick Cottiss, DPI’s international sales and marketing manager. “The benefits of digital advertising are limitless, and we are certain the powerful and reliable XTP HD300 projectors will be a valuable asset to the communication offerings of CBS Outdoor. We are already receiving enquiries from other parties interested in other uses of this unique technology.”

According to DPI, the new digital display technology has the potential to reach in excess of 3m commuters each day. Nestl_, Sky, Magners, Paramount, InBev and Dewynters are the official launch partners for a scheme that will enable easy remote updating of commercial messages.

In addition to a total of 23 XTP screens, CBS Outdoor has also installed 181 LCDs and 830 Digital Escalator Panels. Ultimately, some 2000 digital screens are expected to be installed across the Tube network, with the project due to be substantially complete by the end of this year.

In another significant move, all non-digital sites are currently shifting over to ‘dry-posting’, which allows all internal posters to be recycled, removing the need for glue and reportedly saving 96 tonnes of paper per year from landfill.

“The introduction of XTP is a landmark event for London media; I have no doubt in my mind that it is the single most significant media launch since Channel Five,” said Tim Bleakley, managing director, sales & marketing of CBS Outdoor. “It’s the medium for the capital – cutting edge, capturing and captivating consumers, and offering outstanding flexibility for advertisers. This launch has been three years in the making, working with best-in-class partners and consulting the industry every step of the way.”