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Auckland Museum modernizes the museum entrance mounting colossal video wall
The museum was interested in upgrading the museum entrance's printed poster designs with a dynamic digital technology to promote current and upcoming exhibitions and galleries.

AUCKLAND.- The Auckland Museum, one of New Zealand's most popular tourist attractions, recognized the need to modernize the museum entrance's static information display with a more dynamic, multi-monitor approach. Outsourcing the project to Wallflower® Advanced Digital Signage, the digital signage firm incorporated two Matrox M9188 PCI Express® x16 octal-monitor graphics cards to drive sixteen 40-inch monitors in a four-by-four (4x4) video wall configuration, all from a single PC. The cost-effective digital signage system showcases high-resolution images and video at a total resolution of 7680x4320, providing the museum with an expansive medium to promote featured exhibitions and galleries.

The Challenge
The Auckland Museum, considered one of New Zealand's finest heritage buildings, attracting over a half-million visitors annually, was interested in upgrading the museum entrance's printed poster designs with a dynamic digital technology to promote current and upcoming exhibitions and galleries. The required display solution had to be large enough to captivate audiences in the high-traffic area and the museum's staff readily acknowledged that it should serve as an ideal, all-purpose electronic canvas to meet their digital display needs.

Committed to delivering an exceptional multi-monitor platform, the museum called upon the expertise of locally based Wallflower Advanced Digital Signage with a mandate to build a high-performance video wall solution, with cost effectiveness in mind.

The Solution
The museum already determined that the new installation be prominently featured at the entrance area and there was plenty of wall area for Wallflower to confidently recommend a large display-sized format in the form of a 4x4, 16-monitor video wall.

Wallflower has long-used Matrox multi-display graphics card and external multi-display adapter solutions for a variety of video wall installations, but was interested in using Matrox M9188 graphics cards for this particular video wall deployment. The M9188 PCIe x16 octal-monitor board is not only capable of affordably supporting eight displays, but can also be combined with a second M9188 card to drive even more screens from a single PC running under Microsoft® Windows® 7 XDDM mode*. Wallflower leveraged this multi-display technology, incorporating two M9188 boards to drive all sixteen 40-inch Samsung 400UX-3 LCD monitors at resolutions of 1920X1080 per display. The M-Series cards were easy to install and configure, while crucially providing a solid multi-monitor platform.

To complement the Matrox M9188 boards, Wallflower integrated their proprietary Wallflower Network content-management software. The software allows system operators to intuitively manage their in-house designed multimedia, including information playlists to be run at specific times and dates. More importantly, video sync was achieved via the Wallflower software—without any DirectX support—so high-resolution content can be displayed across all monitors at a total resolution of 7680x4320.

The Result
The state-of-the-art, 12x7 foot video wall now serves as the official welcome banner in the museum's main entrance, instantly engaging, informing, and even entertaining visitors with crisp, clear, and dynamic content. The staff has embraced the easy-to-use digital signage solution while positively noting the tremendous stopping power it has over passers-by.

"There's no better way for visitors to begin a museum tour than to be wowed by our video wall immediately upon entry," said Margi Mellsop, Marketing Manager, Auckland Museum. "This stunning visual platform gives us the proper communication channel to uniquely bring the past to the present, while enhancing our visitors' overall museum experience for years to come."

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