500 foot long sign at Chicago Airport

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago's O'Hare Airport, in conjunction with its largest tenant, United Airlines, boasted what was probably the longest rear projection sign in the world. It was made up of 138 fifty inch 16:9 ratio DLP™ displays, and ran the full length of the check-in area.

The 500 ft ribbon sign ran the length of the check-in area

The signage system was designed by Sako & Associates, and was engineered and installed by Electrosonic. A requirement of the Sako specification was that it should be possible to synchronize the displays within the ribbon, and that they should be able to show full motion High Definition video content.

In addition to the ribbon display, three security displays, each consisting of four projection displays in line, were installed across the check in area. Two FIDS (Flight Information Display System) displays showed flight departure information for all United Airlines flights. These were made up of 4 × 2 arrays of projection displays.

Finally one “Grand Marquee” display was installed across the check in area. It was two videowalls installed back-to-back. Each wall used 20 projection displays arranged 5 × 4 to give an overall size of 18ft × 8ft  (5.5m × 2.4m). Display content included live video of aircraft on the apron, weather maps, national travel information, news and sport tickers, and other travel related information.

The 210 modular displays used in all were Clarity Margay, native resolution of which corresponded to the “720p” High Definition standard (1280 × 720).

All the ribbon displays were equipped with Electrosonic MS9100 High Definition players.  The security and FIDS displays were sourced through VN-2400 videowall image processors, and the “marquee” videowalls used a VN-QUANTUM™ processor. Media management was by Electrosonic’s iMediate™ software, and hardware management was by ESCAN™.


A large back-to-back videowall gave flight and travel related information