When it was completed in January 2011, the videowall in the newly constructed Translational Research Building at the University of Pennsylvania was reportedly the second-largest of its kind in the world—and it almost didn’t happen. The AV consultant began the building’s systems design about five years before completion. At the time, the university was interested in an high-impact videowall, but physical space and budget relegated it to a wish list. When video manufacturer Christie Digital Systems introduced MicroTiles, which don’t require the wall depth of traditional display cubes, Spotlight Award–winner Advanced AV was called in to integrate a whopping 180 of the MicroTiles into a seamless wall 9 feet high and nearly 27 feet wide.
The videowall is connected to the building’s fiber-optic network, which also extends to a 240-seat auditorium and various meeting and training rooms. High-definition Sony cameras in rooms throughout the building can capture presentations and stream them to viewers on campus or around the world. They can even send them to the videowall. In fact, though the school wanted the videowall to be capable of entertaining visitors, it also wanted it to be functional. Therefore it includes an integrated video camera so that faculty, students, and presenters can stand in front of it and hold live videoconferences.