The Michigan State University Spartans are using Christie® MicroTiles® and a Christie Spyder X20 to promote its powerful men’s basketball program to potential recruits as well as current players and fans. Integrated Design Solutions (IDS) and BlueWater Technologies created the magnificent 30-foot wide by 5-foot tall Christie MicroTiles visual display wall in a corridor of the Berkowitz Athletic Complex, home of Spartans basketball.
With athletic recruiting a highly competitive endeavor, the Spartans wanted something extra to bring the best prospects to their program. The plan was to install a video wall – but not just any video wall – into the long, narrow corridor 20 feet above the basketball court leading into the athletic complex. LCD flat panels were the first choice but the school was concerned about the quality of the images that would show on the display – especially when viewed close up.
“There are several trophies at the end of the corridor, including two men’s NCAA championship trophies, but the college wanted to be able customize the experience for visitors. Coach Izzo and his staff are well known and respected and the school wanted a digital display system to highlight that and the successful history of the program. They wanted to show off what Michigan State does and can do for potential recruits,” said Dean Harris CTS, designer technology services, Integrated Design Solutions.
The school was also concerned about the larger bezels of flat panels interfering with the cohesiveness of the display they wanted. Familiar with Christie MicroTiles, Harris had some MicroTiles’ samples brought in.
“We took the MicroTiles demo out to the coaches, the athletic director and others at MSU,” explained Harris. “They said, ‘if we are going to do this, we have to have the right product so the content will be crystal-clear up close.’ The visuals on the MicroTiles are very sharp even when you stand just a few inches away from them. Everyone’s reaction was ‘Wow!’ We blew them away. It was the tiny seams, the clarity of the images, the fact that they are serviceable from the front – the MicroTiles just looked stunning and did exactly what they wanted – they were the right choice.”
Located two feet off the floor and fitted into the wall, the Christie MicroTiles video wall comprises 110 tiles in a 22-unit wide by 5-units tall array and – using a Christie-designed pedestal – seamlessly blends into the architecture.
“The MicroTiles wall is located in a dark and narrow entry corridor that leads to a brightly lit rotunda. One of our architects explained that ‘this corridor was designed to replicate the feeling of a student athlete walking through the player’s tunnel into an arena. The vivid content on the MicroTiles wall draws your attention as you walk down the corridor that ends at a large trophy display in the rotunda.’ It is rather impressive,” said Harris.
“There is quite a lot of talk around campus about having to go see the new video wall at the Berkowitz complex. We’re also hearing that other MSU departments would like to have one, too.”
Christie Spyder X20 Manages and Controls Content
To complete the project, the school needed a powerful video processor to do full justice to the content – which is where the Christie Spyder X20 came in. The school’s video production department produces a variety of branded content with one highlight being a line of past coaches that includes their history at the touch of a button while game days include satellite feeds and other MSU-branded content.
“Bob Christopher (central regional manager, Christie) recommended the Spyder X20 and we, in-turn, recommended it to the school; it became part of the whole design project. It was the best fit for the MicroTiles wall,” Harris concluded. “Working with Bob, and Christie as a whole, has been great. I would do it again.”
Christie MicroTiles bright, color-rich and flawless images are the perfect digital technology for creating impressive displays in university and college lobbies, auditoriums and athletic facilities. Several higher education institutions – including the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at the North Carolina State University and Texas Tech University – are benefitting from Christie MicroTiles video walls.