HBO Retail Store

New York, NY

For some users of video displays in retail environments 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, on the Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) in New York City, 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. Electrosonic Design Consulting developed the design with the design team at Gensler..

The design was based around four large vitrines suspended from the ceiling which display merchandise and house big image displays. The first one faces the street and its front side is entirely occupied by a 4mm pitch LED display. The other three vitrines are fitted with 65 inch plasma displays mounted in a portrait format.

At the rear of the store, two of the walls are designated “mood walls” and these carry images projected by DLP projectors. Along one side wall and part of the back wall, a banner LED display adds further animation to the space. The entire video system is networked and is run as a single “show” using video processors to play out the content at high resolution. Overall show control and housekeeping is done by a separate show control computer.

Lighting 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 LED lighting is used to create striking color effects.

Audio, selectively derived from the video sources, is processed by digital signal processing equipment and played through ceiling loudspeakers, augmented by a subwoofer.

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