The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened The Met Breuer in March 2016. Housed in the iconic building designed by the renowned Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer, The Met Breuer is The Met's new space dedicated to modern and contemporary art. In The Met Breuer, today's modern display technology has come together with architecture and design aesthetics that first came into public view when the Breuer building was constructed almost 50 years ago.
Able to integrate with Museum's architecture
The idea behind this new technology – a Planar® DirectLight™ LED Video Wall System – was that a digital platform was an effective and impactful way in which to draw attention to the Museum, showcase exhibitions, art and artists, help visitors in purchasing tickets to the Museum, and communicate The Met Breuer's programming as well as at The Met's other two locations: The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. The Planar DirectLight LED video wall was the ideal solution as it could fit into an existing recess in the main lobby wall, and would install without any mechanical components that could damage the historical interior architecture. Also, when not in use, it would appear as an unobtrusive black matte surface; looking as if it were almost one with the surrounding wall.
Perfectly matching the needs of the application
A partner in selecting and implementing Planar DirectLight was Big Show Consulting and Management – based in New York City–a firm with decades of experience serving museum, restaurant, entertainment, casino and other markets. Big Show's Billy Kneissl, Director of Systems Engineering, brought his team together with Paul Caro and his team at The Met to select the appropriate LED solution. They agreed on the Planar DirectLight DL1.9 – a 1.9mm pixel pitch for easy, crystal-clear viewing close up or from a distance
–in a configuration 30 feet wide by six feet high.
"Planar DirectLight is perfect for several reasons," Kneissl says. "It enables us to create the large video wall that Paul and his team wanted, but in a configuration that precisely fit the height and width constraints of the mounting space. Also, the ultra-fine pixel pitch meant that The Met's content – which includes small-font text, highly detailed art images and motion graphics – could be viewed easily whether a person is standing right in front of the video wall or at a distance from it."
Further contributing to the image quality is the Planar DirectLight's use of black resin LEDs and its Planar® MicroGrid Shader™, which combine to produce deep blacks and high contrast that result in clear pictures.
Considering image quality as a whole, Caro and Kneissl echoed the importance of Planar DirectLight's 1.9mm fine pixel pitch. Brightness – adjustable from approximately 900 to 1,200 nits – factored in too. "The 80-degree viewing angle was key as well; you need that to be able to take in a video wall like this whose width is 30 feet," Kneissl says. And not to be overlooked is the video wall's multi-source viewing capability. This allowed the Museum and Big Show to create and display different content on four screen zones during the day. After hours, one or two pieces of content are shown at a time across the entire video wall. Since the video wall can be seen from outside the Museum, the presentation of screen-wide content catches the attention of passers-by, creating an attraction-factor.
Another feature is the Planar® EasyAlign™ Mounting System, to which Planar DirectLight LED modules attach. This Planar innovation delivers a total mounted depth of less than four inches. "This accommodates the approximately five-inch depth of our stone wall recess," Paul Caro says. "Its six-axis mechanism also enables you to achieve a completely flat display surface, and it provides you with front access to the video wall, which we had to have—there is no way we could get to the back of an LED display since we're installed in a stone niche. But with Planar EasyAlign, we can get to any display from the front for service or routine maintenance," Caro adds.