CitySpace is the University’s iconic sports facility which has a vast array of services available to students, staff and members of the public throughout the year. Overlooking the City Campus it is home to a wide range of sport, fitness and wellness activities including the BUCS (British Universities & College Sport), Team Sunderland clubs, Elite Athlete Support, community and outreach and is now a new home to the Sunderland Students’ Union social space.
The University of Sunderland Students’ Union have recently taken up a residence within the CitySpace building. They had initially planned to share the existing Video wall, but the decision was made to invest in another dedicated video wall which would negate any content or scheduling clashes that would inevitably arise when sharing a display. Having had previous experience providing a range of video walls for the University - including at Hope Street Xchange, Sunderland Gateway and the aforementioned 9 screen wall in the café area of Cityscape - Roche AV were approached to provide a solution for the Students’ Union. The display would not only provide a space for digital signage to welcome students and relay information but could also double up as a back drop for a stage area for SU hosted events and talks at CitySpace.
Before the project:
We presented the University with options on a traditional 9 Screen Video wall vs that of a more modern LED Wall. The LED wall option was selected due to the following Key Features:
- The Resolution was “True Pixel for pixel”, meaning there were no grid lines when compared to a more traditional video wall solution which relies on multiple panels.
- The long-term maintenance of the LED Wall was found to be more cost-effective and easier to manage than a Video Wall.
- Though more of an initial outlay than a Video Wall, the LED Wall was within budget and would give that Wow Factor with its completely bezel-free design.
LG was selected as the LED brand of choice, and a 163” UHD Direct View LED panel as the product of choice due to the competitive price point as well as keeping brand continuity across the University’s AV infrastructure. The Switching and Control components, Crestron and Kramer, were also selected as key brands that are used across the University. The governance needed to be simple & intuitive, and as there are currently a lot of supply chain issues it was crucial the chosen solution was readily available. The Kramer VP440X Video wall switch and PT871/2 transmitters/receivers were chosen as the switching and distribution components based on the inputs and resolution required as well as the favourable lead times on the hardware. The powerful and robust JBL Control 30 Three-Way High Output Monitor Speakers were specified based on the performance requirements for the space. All the hardware selected for this project came down to 3 key factors… Commonality of Brands across campus, availability despite supply chain issues and Functional spec based on the clients requirements. In terms of signage software, Onelan was chosen as the signage platform with a Net Top Box and streaming license supplied along with a training package to ensure the display was fully utilised from a content perspective.
After the project:
The stunning 3.6m wide LED wall showcases all the benefits of this cutting-edge display technology and will be grabbing the attention of all who visit CitySpace for years to come. Since installation, the LED wall has been used during a variety of events from Lunar New Year Celebrations to Awards Ceremonies...
(Before/After CitySpace shots and Events Photography: Kai Valentine / Anna Kemp / Katherine Cooper)
"It was a pleasure to work with Roche AV and, in particular, Craig Pickard, who went on this journey to better student experience with us from the beginning. From proposing the best solution to working with us to ensure we have the appropriate training to operate the screen, we are delighted with our experience. And it's not just us, student reactions are also highly positive. We already see a wide variety of usage by student societies, we're hosting film screenings nights, and it helps us to reach our students in ways that weren't previously possible. We're looking forward to working with the Roche AV again soon, and we hope the LED screen will support us in our mission to shape student lives and give them the best experience for the future." - Frank Sverha, Marketing and Communications Manager, Sunderland Students' Union.
“We are absolutely delighted with the finished LED wall which is as breath-taking as the CitySpace building itself! All the Roche team from System Design through to the Installation Engineers did a phenomenal job and we are really proud of the end result. The LED Wall boasts a seamless display that is not only brighter but more energy-efficient than a traditional Video Wall. This project really showcases the benefits of this technology as a viable solution that offers cost-effective long-term maintenance whilst also improving the aesthetics compared with using multiple video wall panels. We hope to be involved in many more LED wall projects and are keen to continue to support the University of Sunderland with their audio visual requirements moving forwards” - Craig Pickard, Director of Projects and Innovations.