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Munich Airport installs NEC videowall

Munich Airport wanted to replace the old-style flight information boards in its Terminal 1, and turned to NEC Display Solutions for 12 of the company's narrow bezel 46" LCD monitors. Display Solutions Europe is helping airport passengers get to their flights on time with the installation of a high-resolution video wall in Munich Airport’s Terminal 1.

Munich Airport wanted to replace all of its old LED flight summary boards with more modern technology that would deliver a new era for passenger information systems through a flexible, bright high-resolution display. Each video wall is made up of 12 NEC X462UN ultra-narrow bezel 46-inch monitors, delivering a total display area of over seven square metres, ensuring travellers can instantly see the information they need at a glance.

Terminal 1 accommodates 11 million passengers each year, so the technical requirements for the project were precisely defined by Munich Airport to ensure that it was economically and ecologically efficient, whilst delivering a great customer experience. In addition to the conventional flight details, the airport wanted the freedom to display other passenger communications, such as airport promotional material and destination information to help improve the overall customer experience when travelling through the airport.

Installed by local partner InoNet, the controlling server, dubbed Mayflower II, gives Munich Airport the ability to control the video wall in any way it chooses, including segmenting the displays in any configuration required, giving substantial flexibility and choice in what information to display and how to present it. Furthermore, in the event of a problem, the IT team is automatically alerted via the controller’s built-in email alert feature, rather than having to wait for a passenger or staff member to report it.

Each video port of the PC supports full HD (1,920×1,080) resolution. Via a graphical user menu, each connected display can be configured individually or combined together to form a composite display. Display bezel sizes are included in the configuration software and automatically subtracted from the picture, delivering a nearly seamless image across the video wall.

The video wall’s mounting system has been specially designed to make it easy to remove and easy to replace individual displays within the video wall, whilst NEC’s calibration software means that the display’s colour and brightness is consistent across the whole video wall. If one display was to fail, then the video wall can be quickly re-calibrated to ensure that the image quality remained intact.

Airport displays have more stringent requirements than many other public display systems due to the necessity for round-the-clock operation and having to operate in the harsh environment of the airport itself. In developing the video wall, NEC says that it needed to ensure the entire solution met with IP54 conformity, and needed to be able to operate on emergency power. This requirement gave Munich Airport peace-of-mind that the video wall wouldn’t fail under stress and that it can even provide information in the event of a power failure.

Energy-saving solutions for such projects are often a prerequisite as well. The NEC X462UN displays have a typical power usage of only 200W even when running at the high brightness that modern airport terminals require. A three stage in-built heat management system maintains a low operating temperature for improved longevity. For Munich Airport, this means that operating costs are kept to a minimum, and its investment is being protected for the long term.

“The new attention-grabbing video wall is helping us to inform, direct and entertain travellers in a way that wasn’t possible before,” said Hans-Jürgen Benke at Munich Airport.
“The entire system is robust and easy to maintain, while the flexibility and control of the entire solution means we can easily adapt it to display the most relevant and compelling information for our customers.”

“Airports can be a particularly challenging environment for public displays,” said Richard Wilks, Aviation Business Development Manager EMEA at NEC Display Solutions Europe.
“Not only does the signage need to be clearly visible, but also able to instantly update passengers of up-to-the-minute information changes on flight times, cancellations, gate changes or security communications. NEC’s video wall installation at Munich Airport highlights not only the full breadth of NEC’s digital display solution capabilities, but also the benefits it brings to the airport’s ability to enhance the passengers’ experience.”

“Digital signage has changed massively in the last few years, and this installation highlights how users are increasingly expecting to be provided with up-to-date information in a way that is easy to read,” said Susanne Gomez at InoNet Computer. “By selecting a proper system integrator, people can be assured that they are getting the best combination of displays, back-end systems, connectivity and content, as well as the support and maintenance to ensure it always runs smoothly.”