Las Vegas-based JCM Global has completed the installation of “The Link,” a custom digital art installation at Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, which debuted Labor Day weekend, early September 2020. The immersive feature attraction serves as a stand-alone destination as well as a bridge between the resort’s two large gaming floors. The unique steel-framed LED archway is powered by two Analog Way Picturall Pro media servers and a LivePremier Aquilon C+ multi-screen presentation system and videowall processor.
The Publicity Lab, LLC conceptualized, designed and animated the digital art installation as a “living” attraction that follows the hours of the day, changing from day to night, as well as seasonally. It features otherworldly flora and fauna that offer a fantastical version of real woodland creatures. Inhabitants of “The Link” casually come and go from the glen drawing viewers into their digital world. Animal appearances and delightful displays, such as fireworks, arise unexpectedly throughout the day and night leaving guests with a sense of wonder and a desire to see more. “The Link” also offers an exciting feature for gaming guests: Players inside “The Link’s” gaming space have a chance to trigger a larger-than-life celebration when they unlock hidden jackpots.
“The Link” has quickly become a crowd pleaser drawing guests to the walkway with a stairway at the front and LED video tiles across its front, back and side walls and ceiling. “Everybody comments about it and takes pictures or videos,” says Josh Swift, Senior Project Manager – Audio Visual with JCM Global. “It’s definitely an attention-getter.”
High-resolution CreateLED 1.9 mm tiles comprise the truly three-dimensional installation, which measures 35 feet wide, 30 feet deep and 14 feet high. JCM Global faced architectural challenges with “The Link’s” sloped floor, curved walkway and varied ceiling height. The video content “had to line up perfectly over the stairs and stay perfect across the walkway although the floor slopes and the ceiling is different heights,” Swift notes.
A pair of Analog Way’s Picturall Pro media servers drives the content: One system runs the background image and the second keys elements layered on top. The Picturall Pros integrate with an Aquilon C+, which powers the LED sending units and allow the casino to create windows in the content for announcements, jackpot wins and digital signage.
“It was a no brainer to select Analog Way equipment thanks to the company’s track record and technical support,” says James Smith, JCM Global’s Product Manager – Audio Visual. “They’re the only people we wanted to work with. We knew they could handle ‘The Link’s’ content and structure playing back the video with no lag time.”
He notes that “The Link” has an 8K file canvas overall with 14 inputs that require synchronization. Sources include the media servers for content, media players running off gaming systems for marketing messages, plus 13 JBL audio speakers and a sub woofer, BSS DSP and Crown amplifiers for immersive audio.
“The basic video background is one layer while the animals and VFX form another seven or eight layers, then there are the windows for marketing displays and other messages,” explains Swift. “Analog Way is extremely efficient at being able to size those windows and configure what’s needed for the display.”
Smith says he “can’t emphasize enough” the importance of the “overall reliability” of the Analog Way gear and the company’s “technical support.” Analog Way provided JCM Global with remote programming assistance and on-site commissioning assistance.
Swift cites the equipment’s “ease of use” as an important factor. “The casino’s on-site staff handles ‘The Link’s’ basic functions and maintenance using an AMX touchpad to automate the Aquilon and AV equipment, starting and stopping shows and scenes and changing messages. It’s very easy for them to use.”
“‘The Link’ is a very unique installation, it’s unlike anything else we’ve ever done,” says Brian Smith, Southeast Regional Sales Manager for Analog Way. “JCM Global needed a very reliable, affordable solution for the very high custom resolution of ‘The Link’ and we’re pleased that our gear filled the bill.”