When defence, security and aerospace specialists BAE Systems decided to add a demonstration room to their Advanced Technology Centre (ATC), they asked us to help them develop a versatile presentation solution that would support inventive and inspiring pitches. Our consultants helped them build two low-cost, high-impact video walls, along with standalone screens and a projection system.
Developing a presentation system
While the BAE Systems team knew they needed to improve their presentation setup, they didn’t have a clear idea of what was possible in their space and with their budget. They needed to be able to continue giving traditional, projector-led presentations, but also wanted to offer clients more dynamic, compelling visual demonstrations. After discussing a range of different solutions with the BAE Systems team, our consultants recommended a software-driven video wall, coupled with two standalone screens and a high-end projector. This setup would allow BAE Systems to bolster presentations with super widescreen video content as necessary, but would still be relatively simple to operate.
Building a video wall
We installed two sets of four Samsung HD monitors along two walls of the ATC’s presentation room. Though the screens weren’t designed to work together, we were able to use a combination of multi-head Matrox graphics and Scala’s industry-proven content management system to sync each group of four, so a single continuous, vey wide resolution image could play across all of them without being stretched or distorted.
The system was based around high-end Blue Chip PCs. As well as acting as the central control system for the screens and being the place where new content was uploaded and scheduled, the PCs would also be the place where BAE Systems staff put together content. Our design team produced some initial animated content to show what the screens were capable of, and designed a handful of templates for new content that the BAE Systems team could use to present their own media. We >then provided the BAE Systems team with training so that they could start work on their own video, animations and virtual models.
Finding the right projection solution
Alongside the video walls, we installed a Christie LX-505 projector. This was ideal for a number of reasons – its high lumen count meant it was bright enough to use in a lit office, and its long-life bulb and relatively low maintenance demands meant it had a very low TCO. We fitted unobtrusive Bose Freespace ceiling speakers into the ceiling so that the presenter (and the soundtrack to any screened content) could be heard in high quality at all times without the room appearing cluttered with hardware.
Enabling touchscreen control
As well as ensuring the projection system would be able to accept content from any visitors’ laptops, we set up an AMX-based touchscreen controller that would let the BAE Systems team control their presentation systems from a single, central interface with a user-friendly GUI. This way, there were fewer devices for the tech team to manage and less for any new users to learn. We also provided training on the Scala software and Blue Chip hardware, and integrated two standalone screens that were left over from BAE Systems’ previous system into the new one, so none of their legacy technology went to waste.
Responses to the new system
“Because we needed a closed display system, we had very different requirements from a typical digital signage setup,” said Chris French, BAE Systems’ Brand and Creative Media Consultant. “But with support from Jigsaw24 we were able to come up with an ideal solution. Their installation team were very good, especially as they were working around building contractors at the time of the install.”
The presentation room has become popular with employees showing new clients BAE Systems facilities and capabilities, and the system’s usability and flexibility have ensured that it has stayed in regular use. BAE Systems have been so pleased with the response from clients and employees alike that they’re now considering rolling out a similar system at other sites, using the Advanced Technology Centre as a blueprint.
“Jigsaw24’s installation team were very good, especially as they were working around building contractors at the time of the install. Whenever a problem cropped up – as they inevitably do on any install – they were quick to get the right kit in and carry on. The training Anthony gave us was just right for getting us started and getting content created for the system.” – Chris French, Brand & Creative Media Consultant BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre