Many of today’s mission-critical control rooms rely on high-resolution video wall solutions to enhance situational awareness and facilitate faster, better response to incidents, from traffic pile-ups to power outages to natural disasters. During the past decade, these visual collaboration platforms have undergone significant advancements in technology, evolving from lamp-based DLP® projection cubes to more efficient LED-lit video walls. Considering the high power consumption and maintenance of lamps which required frequent changes – all at once and even at great expense – it’s no wonder that the industry wholeheartedly embraced LED as the best way to maintain high image quality and consistency for the lowest TCO.
Control rooms in the utilities, security/surveillance, traffic/transportation, oil and gas, and other critical infrastructure markets have reaped the rewards of LED light sources for many years now. These include long lifetime, color fidelity, color stability, multichannel alignment and blending and low maintenance. However, with the potential of an even more efficient light source – laser illumination – looming on the horizon, the industry eagerly anticipated solutions that could boost image quality and reduce costs even further.
Fueling a laser revolution
Already hard at work on laser illumination technology since the early 2000s, Barco demonstrated a prototype laser projector for digital cinema at Moody Gardens, Texas in early 2012, before a stunned audience of movie aficionados and engineers, who quickly realized the exciting possibilities of laser for large screen cinema. This pioneering achievement ushered in a new era, and since then, Barco has continued to innovate in the laser projection arena, launching the first commercial RGB (Red-Green-Blue) laser-powered digital cinema projector in 2014, followed by LP (laser phosphor) models for meeting rooms, cinema and live events. And, that was just the beginning.
With the deep technical and market expertise Barco has developed over the past 20 years, it is rapidly driving the transition to solid-state laser illumination in the projection industry. Offering unprecedented brightness levels and vibrant colors, as well as a very low total cost of ownership (TCO), laser is quickly becoming the illumination technology of choice in many environments. Since the launch of its Flagship Laser projector for cinema, Barco has focused on bringing RGB laser illumination to the control room – leveraging all of the laser know-how acquired in the digital cinema world to power up a brand-new, laser-illuminated video wall series.
Laser powers the 24/7 control room
The Flagship Laser series for 24/7 control rooms − a 10th generation Barco video wall − elevates video walls to a whole new level for critical infrastructure applications with its 100,000 hour lifetime. The images produced by Barco’s new ODL-721 Flagship Laser are unprecedented: laser-sharp images, vibrant colors, and never-before-seen brightness, without compromise to viewing angles. Not only can operators see every minute detail, but the control room can operate under any lighting conditions – eliminating the need for operators to work under a cloak of darkness!
High-resolution image quality and low TCO rolled into one
Harnessing its advanced technologies in optics, thermal management, and direct-coupled laser technology, Barco has created a video wall that delivers twice the brightness compared to mainstream LED-lit video walls, while consuming only half the power of existing LED-lit cubes, and boasting more than 11 years of worry-free operation in 24/7 mode. Operators experience unmatched color accuracy, focus and contrast levels, so dynamic data is precisely rendered, making it ideal for displaying everything from detailed network information to digital map boards to topological overviews of service areas. The video wall’s full redundancy offers the ultimate peace of mind for transportation and security centers, where crystal clear data is necessary to ensure a fast, accurate response.
The energy efficiency of the ODL-721 rates at three times that of the previous generation LED-lit video walls. Each watt of power supplied to the ODL-721 converts to 7.5 lumens as compared to just 2.3 lumens in the previous generation LED-lit wall. The result: every cent you spend on powering your Barco ODL-721 video wall produces three times more brightness than before!
With all the demands of the control room environment – 24/7 operation, 100,000+ hours, guaranteed redundancy, image accuracy, and ultra-long lifetime – if Barco can succeed in this arena, it stands to reason that they can develop a laser projection solution for any application. So, what’s next? It remains to be seen, but we can rest assured that new innovations are underway as we speak.
See us at InfoComm and Display Summit!
Please join us as we showcase all the ways Barco can help you enhance situational awareness and operational efficiency in your 24/7 control room. Visit us at Booth #C8720 at InfoComm, June 8-10 in Las Vegas! Come early for Insight Media’s Display Summit, where Lutz Nehrhoff Von Holderberg, General Manager for Large Video Walls at Barco, will present on the topic “Laser Illumination Technology for 24/7 Operation.”
Hans Dekeyser - Vice President Strategic Marketing, Barco
Hans is currently Global Vice President of Strategic Marketing for the Industry & Government division of Barco, encompassing the control rooms and virtual reality applications. A high-tech industry veteran, Hans has a 17-year track record of achievement in marketing, sales, after-sales services and general management. Most recently, he was Vice President of Sales mainly for the control rooms business in North America, but has also led the simulation and air traffic control businesses.
Bill Beck – The Laser Guy
Bill Beck is a photonics visionary with diverse start-up, general management and technology marketing experience, having founded two companies dedicated to furthering laser illumination technology. As “The Laser Guy,” Bill helps Barco commercialize and further develop laser projection for Cinema and other applications in key markets. He holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a member of SMPTE, LIPA, ISDCF, EDCF, OSA and NEFC.