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Grand Hyatt Hotel Cuts Costs and Increases Convenience with Digital Signage Displays

The Grand Hyatt Hotel is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square. For anyone not familiar with San Francisco, this is a prominent location in a highly trafficked area. Much of the hotel’s street-facing wall is made of glass, giving passersby a clear view of the lobby interior, which features a video wall hung high above hotel patrons milling about in the common area below. For the past few years, our aging video wall had become temperamental and the time had come to install a new video wall that would withstand the rigors of 24/7 use. Since the video wall is visible both inside and outside the hotel, it is essential that it operate without interruption to ensure the hotel and the Hyatt brand are represented in the best possible light.

Of course, keeping the project on budget was essential, but equally important was safely navigating the challenge of installing the video wall 20 feet above the lobby floor — during one of our busiest times of the year.  Minimizing disruption and ensuring the safety of our guests was a huge concern. To mitigate risk, we engaged a company called AV Structural, an audiovisual contractor based in Concord, California, that boasts an impressive track record of successfully completing unconventional installations. We explained that the installation was to happen in December and must be completed by the 24th.

AV Structural initially proposed traditional audio visual components including a video wall processor and several video distribution amplifiers, plus HDBaseT extenders. On paper this design would have sufficed; however, the solution exceeded our desired budget by several thousand dollars. AV Structural presented a second proposal that took a different approach, using an innovative mix of the latest digital hardware signage and software. This new proposal called for 24 BrightSign XD1132 players with BrightSign’s BrightWall and BrightAuthor software. This combination of software and hardware allowed AV Structural to create a high-definition 1080p-resolution-per-display video wall, all controlled by a single Apple iPad Air 2.

In order to make maintenance more convenient, we requested that the media players be located away from the video wall itself. To that end, the BrightSign XD1132 units are wall-mounted beneath the video wall and hidden behind a matching wood veneer in a small room under a set of stairs. The entire system is conveniently maintained from this easily accessible equipment area, eliminating the need to access individual components high above the floor or mounted behind the displays.

To ensure flawless operation, the system includes high redundant power, two Crestron Pro3 system controllers, Extron 4K HDMI cables, remote system monitoring, and a dual-network switch to reduce downtime. Using features of BrightWall and BrightScript, the video wall’s functionality rivals that of a traditional video wall processor at a fraction of the cost. Plus, the Apple iPad Air 2 interface provides a very user-friendly method of control for IT and other facility staff. 
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