Las Vegas, Nevada
Casinos & gaming
Christie Spyder X80
Photos © McCann Systems
Creating a stand-out experience in Las Vegas is a tall order. In a town known for over-the-top glitz and glamour, The LINQ Hotel + Experience needed a gaming experience that was not only one-of-a-kind but could remake the casino in one of the oldest buildings on the Strip into a must-visit destination.
A Caesars property, The LINQ sets guests and visitors’ expectations high with activities like pool parties, ziplining, interactive gaming and rides on the world’s tallest observation wheel called The High Roller. When considering what the casino should be, The LINQ knew they wanted to create an immersive, interactive experience that would enhance the property, appeal to younger patrons, and continue to redefine the center of the Las Vegas Strip.
The LINQ had previously worked with McCann Systems, which specializes in the design, build and integration of communications solutions, on The Book, a state-of-the-art sportsbook at the opposite entrance of the hotel. Given the innovative nature of this project, McCann Systems emerged again as the best AV integration partner for the project.
McCann worked with media artist Rekif Anadol to create DATALAND:LINQ, a digital art installation that welcomes guests at the front of the property and continues through to the casino. “There are numerous LED installations that help to activate the space in different shapes, sizes and orientations. They cover the ceiling, climb up the walls and wrap around columns,” explains Ken Newbury, Senior Vice President of Technology and Engineering at McCann Systems. “There are 5,000 square feet of direct view LEDs.”
Anadol created “…scenescapes for these unique LED geometries, which are augmented by information from the space and fed into data servers, so the content comes alive,” Newbury says. “Motion-tracking cameras see how bodies mass next to the content and actually pull the content along with them. The music track alters the pace of the content depending on whether it’s soft and slow or fast-paced and dynamic. It’s said that a person can sit and watch Refik’s content for 24 hours and never see it repeat.”
Driving Anadol’s content to the vast number of displays required robust, reliable processors. McCann selected Christie Spyder X80 for DATALAND:LINQ. The company has a long history with the Christie Spyder family, having built the largest Spyder installation a decade ago for the NASDAQ market site.
“We needed Christie Spyder X80s to serve up an abundance of pixels to all the LED displays. The content from 20 servers is all 4K 60fps high-resolution imagery. There were a lot of unique geometries to map from input to output, and Spyder has the processing power that allows for smooth transitions between different sources during playback,” Newbury says. “We’re using the X80 for what it was designed for: taking in multiple high-resolution feeds, splitting them apart, moving them around and sending them back out at full frame rate.”
McCann designed and built the hardware and control system “to be fully hands off,” Newbury notes. “We wrote a UDP communication language to communicate between devices so if a primary server ever fails, we can tell Spyder to transition to a backup content server without the audience knowing. Spyder gets all its cues from network communications, not humans on site.”
Installing a brand-new AV system was no small feat. Says Matt Wilson, Director of Marketing, McCann Systems, “Despite the tight timeline, an older building and a 24/7 live gaming environment, our team was immersed in this project – and made it successful.”
And the result is nothing short of spectacular. The LINQ “…wanted to totally rethink the guest experience, especially as they usher in a new generation of casino users. They want the guests to interact with the environment and be totally immersed in a sharable experience- DATALAND:LINQ achieves this and excels at it,” says Wilson.