500 foot long sign at Chicago Airport

Chicago, Illinois

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

The 500 ft ribbon sign runs 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, are installed across the check in area. Two FIDS (Flight Information Display System) displays show flight departure information for all United Airlines flights. These are made up of 4 × 2 arrays of projection displays.

Finally one “Grand Marquee” display is installed across the check in area. It is two videowalls installed back-to-back. Each wall uses 20 projection displays arranged 5 × 4 to give an overall size of 18ft × 8ft  (5.5m × 2.4m). Display content includes 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 are Clarity Margay, native resolution of which corresponds to the “720p” High Definition standard (1280 × 720).

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


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