NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Leisure and Museums
THE ODEON LEICESTER SQUARE
LIGHTING UP LONDON’S HOME OF ENTERTAINMENT
NEC Display Solutions has installed one of the largest displays of its kind in a public square, an LED digital display measuring 107 square metres, on the facade of the ODEON Leicester Square in London’s West End. The huge display, the size of half a basketball court, replaces the previous paper poster board and is flanked by two 18 square metre displays in one of the UK’s most prominent locations, which welcomes more than 90 million tourists every year.
ODEON and UCI Cinema Group is the largest cinema operator in Europe and has a longstanding relationship with NEC Display Solutions. All of its theatres across Europe have, over the last five years, upgraded to NEC digital cinema projectors, ensuring that ODEON can deliver the quality experience modern film enthusiasts expect. ODEON plans to extend this digitisation from the projector room into front-of-house, to bring more digital signage and self-service kiosks into theatres, and this recent installation at its flagship Leicester Square venue is the first of its kind.
Leicester Square underwent significant redevelopment in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics, enhancing its function as a backdrop for film premieres whilst retaining the Square’s historic character.
The new screens further this redevelopment, bringing together the heritage of ODEON’s long-standing presence in the square with the most impressive and engaging displays possible.
The installation of the new screens will allow ODEON Leicester Square to instantly change what is displayed, eliminating the need to regularly hire traditional ‘cherry picker’ lifts to change what is displayed on the poster boards, making the screens a more environmentally friendly alternative to displaying posters.
The new screens will also divide into multiple displays, allowing ODEON to screen different content simultaneously, a feature which will be utilised during premieres where live film footage of the red carpet can be screened alongside clips of the film.
The NEC Solution
A project of this scale breaks new ground and brought several challenges. Weighing in at several tonnes, the main screen was built off-site and installed in three separate stages, a technique which enabled the installation to take place quickly and with the minimum amount of disruption. The frame design was crucial to keeping the weight down whilst providing the rigidity to allow the large screen sections to be lifted into place. Visual Technology Limited (VTL), NEC’s contracted Partner for its LED displays, was responsible for the system design, the mounting solution, project management of the installation and post-sales support. Content management was supplied by NEC’s Solution Partner SCALA.
The NEC 10mm Nichia LED module delivers excellent uniformity of brightness and colour, with superb skin tones, across the entire screen. Getting uniform colour consistency of images across a display of this size is a major achievement and is where NEC’s long heritage in public displays really comes to the fore. The LED modules provide excellent viewing angles both horizontal and vertical, so no matter where the viewer is standing, they will experience crisp, bright images. With IP65 rating the screen is protected against the elements for outdoor use whilst delivering up to 6,000cd/m2 brightness for excellent viewing even in direct sunlight. The ambient light sensor ensures optimum brightness levels whilst minimising power consumption and with a high lumen to watt ratio, ODEON are assured of a very low total cost of ownership. Designed for 24/7 operation, the high quality LED modules will deliver consistent performance with impressive longevity. The installation is guaranteed with a 5 year support contract which includes support from the NEC Network Operating Centre (NOC)
Simon Jackson, Vice President, NEC Display Solutions, comments, “This display has to be seen to be believed. It really is an impressive sight, and a tremendous achievement for NEC and ODEON. Given consumer expectations for video content to inform, delight and engage, this type of display sets new standards in delivering a variety of information in real-time.”
The trio of screens will display images for the latest movies and, during events such as premieres, live footage including celebrity interviews will be screened for the passing public to view. Officially launched at the world premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in November 2013, the displays bring a highly engaging instalment to London’s West End.
Andy Edge, Commercial Director at ODEON, comments, “We are really excited to launch the new LED screens at ODEON Leicester Square. It is an iconic film destination that has become synonymous with red-carpet film premieres, so we are thrilled to be able to move the premiere experience into the digital age with these state of the art LED screens. The recent regeneration of Leicester Square has breathed new life in to the area, and we hope that these screens, which are the largest of their kind in Europe, will help re-assert the square’s position as London’s home of entertainment.”