HBO Retail Store

Made for TV
New York, NY

HBO has opened its first retail store at its headquarters on the Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) in New York City. Electrosonic engineered the display system.

HBO Store at the Avenue of the Americas

For some users of video displays in retail environment there is the problem of acquiring high quality content. For HBO there is no such problem, content is its business. So when HBO opened its first Retail store, sited at street level at their New York HQ, it was no surprise to find that it is full of images that dominate the space.

The design aim was to “provide an enveloping, dynamic media experience to visitors and customers in a theatrical and scripted manner, while allowing them to purchase HBO related merchandise.” Interior design was by Gensler Studio 585, with AV consultancy by ScharffWeisberg. JT Magen&Co was the project manager, and Electrosonic was contracted to JT Magen to design, engineer and install the video displays system.

The design is based around four large vitrines suspended from the ceiling. These display merchandise and house big image displays. The first one faces the street and its front side is entirely occupied by a 96in × 54in (2.3m × 1.4m) 4mm pitch LED display from Daktronics. The other three vitrines are fitted with Panasonic 65 inch plasma displays mounted in a portrait format.

One of the "mood walls" with projected images

At the rear of the store two of the walls are designated “mood walls” and these carry projected images, presented by Christie DS+65 DLP™ projectors. Along one sidewall and part of the back wall a 12inch high, 20ft long (0.3m × 6m) banner LED display adds further animation to the space (Daktronics6mmfull color LED). The entire video system is networked and is run as a single “show” using Dataton“Watchout” to play out the content at high resolution. Overall show control and housekeeping is by a separate show control computer running Medialon software.

Lighting (design by HDLC Lighting and Design One) plays a big part in the appearance of the store, and is programmed to match the mood of the content and the time of day. The show control computer has a DMX output for lighting control, and much use is made of LED lighting from Color Kinetics to create striking color effects.

\Audio selectively derived from the video sources, is processed by BSS Soundweb DSP equipment and played through Tannoy Cm601 ceiling loudspeakers, augmented by a VS10BP subwoofer.

New York expects its shops to be stylish and even “over the top.” The HBO shop qualifies on both counts.


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Plasma displays in the vitrines