Issue 25

Emotional Baggage

Melbourne Airport’s 85m statement LED for digital art


10 September 2019

If you’ve been through Melbourne Airport’s international arrivals hall this year you can’t help but notice something really quite extraordinary.

Surrounding a new baggage carousel is an 85m ribbon of digital signage.

The display was installed by ENGIE Service — AV, and uses 2.5mm pixel pitch SiliconCore LED panels.

The LED ribbon is a platform for immersive art installations — an opportunity to offer passengers a positive and engaging experience, as well as provide a sense of depth to the space.

The SiliconCore 2.5mm display offers a complete canvas of 33600 x 405 pixels at an impressive brightness of 1700 nits, and 160° vertical and horizontal viewing angles. The display features SiliconCore’s patented Common Cathode technology, which enables high resolution, colour and brightness uniformity, as well as low power consumption.


16×9 cabinets provide pixel perfect content displayed on the screen. Each length section consists of eight cabinets providing an exact pixel length of 1920, resulting in the complete display configuration made up of 18 sections of 1920 pixels. Each section was within the half height of HD1080 allowing two section strips per 1920x1080P of content. Custom V shaped cabinets were deployed for providing the smooth curves and included use of half cabinets to provide neat and tidy cutout positioning of the LED display around the doorways and bag chutes.

Content is controlled via a 7th Sense Design media player, and all graphics scaling and processing is managed natively via SiliconCore Technology. State-of-the-art audio is reinforced by Bose FreeSpace loudspeakers. Materials and finishes to the walls and ceiling have been selected to provide a robust and contemporary design, while the black and white colour palette gives prominence to the LED ribbon.

Glenn Bailey, VP APAC, Siliconcore Technology, comments: “It was very pleasing to be involved in such a professional project process from design, construction and installation through to a smooth go-live. With the project based on providing an engaging digital art platform, it was the perfect installation for using our latest Z.A.C.H technology with HDR for improved grey scale and vivid imagery throughout the display. The higher processing clock speeds of the Z.A.C.H driver technology also permit much improved video performance for the digital art.”

Indeed, it’s refreshing to hear that the signage will be used to provide a unique canvas for emerging digital artists rather than yet another advertising platform.



A standout feature of the display is its 90 degree angles. Existing architecture had to have cut outs around the screen to accommodate fire doors and chutes. SiliconCore assisted with the entire process, partnering with ENGIE to deliver the design and frame of the LED ribbon.


There are 44 Bose DS16FP loudspeakers distributed throughout the space in 12 independent zones. That’s a lot of granular flexibility, and at first glance you might be wondering why a big public space needs so many zones. The answer is an artistic one: The AV system design, led primarily by Glenn Yole of ENGIE Services — AV, needed the ability for the audio to follow the movement of the video. Imagine, if you will, a piece of content advertising Australia’s favourite steam engine, the Puffing Billy. Now imagine the audio following the video as it snakes its way around the space. Awesome!

“We chose the Bose loudspeakers because they’re priced right, their aesthetic is spot on and they’ve proven to us they can perform all day long,” noted Myke Ireland, ENGIE Services AV National Technology Manager. As project system integrator, ENGIE worked through the complexities of the project and was determined to not settle for second best: “This space is potentially open 24/7 and we needed a loudspeaker system that could keep up, and the Bose systems are always built really well.”

“If you look at the photos of the install you can hardly see that the Bose loudspeakers are there. The architects were very particular about the appearance of the space and Bose ticks that box perfectly. We used a mixture of black and white models to match the colour of the recesses.”


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