Translational Research Institute for Metabolism & Diabetes

This state-of-the-art facility installed a 5x6 video wall in their lobby and projectors in their conference rooms to help better relay information to visitors.

Quick Facts
  • Facility: Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes
  • Vertical: Healthcare
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Challenges: Welcome visitors with TRI news, educate and provide potential donors with information during facility tours, and display presentations in conference rooms
  • Solution: 46” NEC X461UNV and PA500U projector
  • Result: Created more interest with visitors and provided the ability to showcase the building and educate the public

The Translational Research Institute (TRI) for Metabolism and Diabetes is a product of an innovative affiliation between Florida Hospital and the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute. By linking the largest healthcare provider in central Florida with a nationally renowned basic science leader, the TRI bridges the gap between the research bench and the patient’s bedside.

This state-of-the-art facility is located on Florida Hospital’s campus in Orlando. TRI employs a talented team of researchers and doctors that perform testing and run clinical trials in an effort to tackle and cure obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The Challenge

When TRI was established in August 2009, design plans began for a new 37,000-square-foot location that would house two 27,000-liter whole-room calorimeters, an 11-room overnight research unit, a 3 Tesla MRI machine, a full research kitchen and 3000-square-foot biorepository. Its impressive building needed a just-as-remarkable method of communication for visitors in the glass-lined lobby.

The TRI team, led by Administrative Director Robert Deininger and Scientific Director Dr. Steven Smith, had a vision for the implementation of a glass mural in its open entryway between the first and second floor staircases. It selected integrator Sound Stage, Inc. for the project and shared its idea for welcoming visitors and providing relevant information to potential donors.

During audio/visual planning in May 2011, Sound Stage Vice President Chet Neal suggested a video wall comprised of large-screen LCD displays as an alternative to the mural. Curious about this option, Deininger’s team requested more information on what its implementation would entail and how it would operate once installed.

Neal began research on the best technologies for the lobby’s video wall. He looked at three vendors, including NEC, for a product offering that included professional-grade panels and near-seamless bezels. After conferring with TRI’s technology distributor Almo Pro AV, Neal found out that NEC was already the go-to vendor for projection for the past several years. Both agreed NEC would be the ideal choice for digital signage based on its reliability, broad product lineup and connectivity.

“When we crunched the numbers,” said Neal, “the video wall turned out to be priced about the same as the glass mural. The cost-effectiveness was certainly appealing for the TRI team.”

Neal offered his findings to Deininger, and the decision was made to move forward with a video wall. Almo pointed Neal to a local NEC sales manager, who suggested the 46” X461UNV as the appropriate product for the TRI’s lobby.

The Solution

TRI purchased 30 X461UNV displays for its 5x6 video wall and two PA500U professional installation projectors. The products were installed in April 2012 after electrical had been set up in the newly constructed facility.

Because of the expensive nature of video processors, Neal found NEC’s built-in TileMatrix™ technology to be the deciding factor in the video wall purchase. Its ability to appropriately configure the content and display a homogeneous image saved the budget and allowed TRI to purchase the displays.

The video wall uses a four-output RGB video processor to scale the content and perform windowing effects. It can be wirelessly synced to a staff person’s iPad through Apple TV to instantly mirror the iPad’s screen. Often, TRI scientists use this to present educational content and to showcase to potential donors when touring the facility.

“The digital signage content is sourced from media players through DVI outputs on a daily basis, however during tours, the scientists use an exclusive TRI app to easily transition between varieties of content,” said Neal. “They use videos and presentations to provide visitors with more details on exactly what they do and what they’re currently studying, hoping to educate and engage funding for future projects.”

In two TRI conference rooms, Neal installed a custom projector lift for the NEC PA500U projectors to create a high-end aesthetic. Its functionality enables the correct positioning of presentations from the 5000-lumen WUXGA projector.

“Since our grand opening in March 2012, we have had great interest in the video wall from visitors and its ability to showcase the building and educate the public on what we do here,” said Deininger. “Through our use of NEC products at our facility, we’re hopeful it will help to educate donors, potential research volunteers, and be a factor making TRI a success.”