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New Orleans Airport

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An information transformation is taking place at many major U.S. airports including Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). Here, Planar and partners such as Clear Channel are changing the way retail advertising is presented to travelers and airport visitors. They're also collaborating on new entertainment systems; notably, on ClearVision, Clear Channel's revolutionary in-airport television network.

Leading-edge solutions, such as Planar displays and the ClearVision network, greatly enhance the experience of visiting and traveling through an airport such as Louis Armstrong New Orleans International. These are innovative, reliable and affordable technologies that can be counted on to keep people informed and entertained, and to deliver retail advertising and promote airport businesses and services in a very engaging and effective manner, according to David Thibeau, president of Mtek Kiosk, Inc., the systems integration firm involved in the MSY project.

At MSY, the technology deployment kicked off with the installation of nearly 50 of Planar's latest large format LCD displays. Approximately 20 of the company's new Planar® UltraLux™ Series 70-inch and 80-inch displays run Clear Channel's retail client advertising in concourses and baggage claim areas. At approximately 25 gate areas, 46-inch Planar® PSSeries™ displays, deployed in ceiling and wall mounts, and in state-of-the-art freestanding versions, run the new ClearVision entertainment system. This first-of-its-kind system provides travelers with a diverse, 18-hour-a-day line-up of top network shows, news, weather and sports programming from more than 140 content providers, along with local TV programming and innovative promotions of airport concessions and service providers.

Planar UltraLux Series for Advertising

Planar UltraLux Series 70-inch and 80-inch large format LCD displays feature a state-of-the-art, edge-to-edge glass design and best-in-class 24x7 performance - perfect for digital advertising. Clear Channel selected Planar UltraLux Series displays for MSY because it believed this modern, industrial design would help attract passengers' attention in the busy airport. "These displays have a beautiful, sleek look that is very different from what people are used to seeing in the airport setting," says Faith Roland, Public Affairs Director for Clear Channel Airports. "Your eye is drawn to them and then to the exquisite manner in which they present the content, so the advertising makes a stronger and more lasting impression on you."

Planar UltraLux Series displays measure three inches in depth and weigh between 170 lbs. and 225 lbs., depending on the model. "These factors are important for several reasons," says David Thibeau of Mtek. "The slimness brings Planar UltraLux Series displays well within the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) – which means the displays don't protrude into a concourse, baggage claim or other public area where someone could bump into them. And because they weigh much less than other displays, it is easier, faster and cheaper to install them, benefitting both the integrator and the airport."

Both MSY and Clear Channel wanted a display that could withstand the rigors of the high traffic environment and still deliver a very high quality image. Planar's ERO™ (Extended Ruggedness and Optics) option addresses this need. Optically bonded glass completely covers the display screen, providing protection and enhanced durability. "We also like that it enhances picture contrast and minimizes glare, which makes the advertising content really pop out," Roland adds.

Clear Channel chose a floor-mounted version of Planar's UltraLux Series displays for what it calls its Ad-e-Motion application in one of the MSY concourses. Here, three 70-inch Planar UltraLux freestanding displays are positioned in portrait mode close to each other in a single line. As travelers pass by, their content changes in sequential fashion. "The unique positioning, combined with the eye-catching freestanding design and changing content, helps make this advertising approach work very well," Roland says.

An ideal platform for ClearVision

For the deployment of ClearVision at MSY, Planar's PS-Series line of LCD displays filled the bill. Affordability was a key factor in the displays' selection."The Planar PS-Series is one of the most cost-competitive display lines in its class on the market," says Thibeau. "Planar has done an excellent job of engineering a quality product that will accommodate tight budgets and still meet the demanding needs of an entertainment platform like ClearVision."

At less cost than other LCD displays, the Planar PS-Series displays deliver 24x7 operation, readily accommodating ClearVision's extensive program schedule. The displays provide the full range of commercial connectivity on which ClearVision relies, and compatibility with many types of media players. Their image quality with 500-nit brightness maximizes ClearVision content, and Planar's three-year advance replacement warranty, make them the ideal platform for this unique application.