Mall's Massive Matrox-Powered Video Wall Drives Demand for Advertising Screen Time
Kamppi Center uses Matrox Mura MPX video wall controller boards to capture, display, and control content across 108m² screenBy Ryan Szporer, Matrox Graphics Inc. and Sami Käyhkö, Craneworks
One of the busiest places in all of Finland, Helsinki’s Kamppi Center shopping mall, just got busier with the addition of a massive 14.4-meter-high Matrox Mura™ MPX Series-powered display wall.
With metro and bus stations on the bottom floors, the modern mall—already in a centrally located Helsinki district—has a daily footfall of approximately 110,000 people. Seeking to replace a six-year-old LED installation and better engage shoppers, Kamppi Center contracted integrator Craneworks.
The local digital signage firm in turn went with a 108m² Mura-powered digiLED outdoor screen, three times the size of the original and the first installation of its kind for the supplier, according to Craneworks managing director Sami Käyhkö.
Searching the web for different controller workstations, Craneworks tested and evaluated several systems, ultimately settling on just as unique of a solution: an HP Z600 workstation powered by a Matrox Mura MPX-4/4 video wall controller board, which features four HD outputs and four HD inputs all on one card.
Inputs include two Mac® mini media players for redundancy, one local DVI input, and one live feed. The live feed is then converted from different external video sources (HD-SDI, composite, VGA) to Mura, which then scales the content itself. Mura also switches between the content for different advertising campaigns.
“We needed to have a scaler that was able to crop portrait video and partially split it to two different outputs,” said Craneworks project manager Jukka Vuoristo. “This was crucial, as we needed to handle PC and video signals through one device.”
A Great Buy
Minimizing the need for multiple solutions, Matrox Mura MPX video wall processor cards proved to be a very cost-effective choice for Craneworks overall. Comprising different capture & display, video capture, and SDI SKUs, Mura MPX Series boards can be combined within single controller systems to meet specific channel requirements and drive video walls of almost any size for a variety of applications.
Many control options are available, ranging from the user-friendly Mura Network API, which helps in the development of third-party software options, to Matrox MuraControl™ for Windows® for easy layout creation/switching and input management.
“Our digital signage player software does basic layout and input control and we use MuraControl for Windows for remote layout management for special live event purposes,” said Vuoristo, who also praised Mura for its easy and straight-forward setup, wide selection of inputs and outputs, and its architecture, which is the most scalable in the industry.
Open for Business
Currently attracting about 700,000 customers each week, the shopping mall has continued to enjoy great success since the wall was installed. It has paid itself back in only one year’s time, with advertising screen time being in high demand and featuring everything from ads and social media feeds to interactive games.
Another benefit was the adjacent Narinkkatori Square in front of the screen developing into the location of choice for a wide variety of events, including live opera shows, music video launches, and marriage proposals all using the screen. According to Käyhkö, the screen has also boosted up the Finnish outdoor sales market.
What the Future Holds in Store
Käyhkö added that Mura is a frontrunner for “projects where programmability and flexibility are needed.” Vuoristo meanwhile foresaw Mura as a potential solution in the future for Craneworks in control rooms and operations centers requiring “lots of inputs and easy management with an iPad.”
“Normally, control rooms and operations centers want to easily change between different layouts,” he said, referencing another Mura MPX Series software control option, MuraControl for iPad®, a free-to-download app requiring just a tablet device and a standard network connection.
In specific regard to Kamppi, Craneworks also manages the LED screen’s day-to-day operation. Käyhkö said they would probably have their hands full… were it not for Mura.
“Matrox Mura boards make it easy to build attractive signage layouts incorporating live content feeds, signage content from Mac mini media players, and different backgrounds,” continued Käyhkö.
“We have a lot of special campaigns at Kamppi and we often get different kinds of live video feeds that we have to scale and place on the screen with different background materials. With Matrox Mura, we’re able to take advantage of scaling and input switching. We get the freedom we need from a programming standpoint.”
For More Information
Matrox Mura MPX Series video wall controller boards are building blocks of high-performance, scalable installations that meet even the most demanding requirements of system integrators. Featuring both high-definition outputs and high-definition inputs, Mura is key to the assembly of everything from small-scale, single-board presentation systems to large-scale, multi-board configurations for use within control rooms or as digital signage. New fanless models eliminate background noise and build further upon renowned levels of reliability. High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) compliance meanwhile enables the playback of copy-protected content.
Matrox and Matrox product names are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of Matrox Electronic Systems, Ltd. and/or Matrox Graphics Inc. in Canada and/or other countries. All other company and product names are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of their respective owners.