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The View from The Shard

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The View from The Shard
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The Customer

The View from The Shard is the visitor attraction at the top of the tallest building in Western Europe, offering 360° views for miles across London.

The Challenge

Visitors to the viewing galleries ascend to the 68th floor by means of two sets of lifts. The first climbs to the mid-point of the building on floor 33, where guests traverse to the second lift which completes the journey to the galleries on levels 69 and 72. Each lift has banks of LCD video screens covering the ceiling playing video loops of the building structure and visual effects. The lower, larger lift carriages have a 3 x 2 video wall comprising 40” LC displays; the higher lifts use two 60” monitors side-by-side.

Video sequences are managed from a Medialon Show Control, invoked at the start of each lift journey by signals generated by door closure after the visitors enter. Separate HD signals are transmitted from a set DVS Blades to each video screen.

All video equipment is located in the control at the base of the building with multimode fiber optic cable used to transmit the signal to the carriages.

“The distances are large, so fiber was the only option,” said Josh Miller, Technical Director of system integrator DJW. Signals for the higher lifts have to travel from the first floor control room to the very top of the building and then down to the mid-point when the lift is starting its ascent. This is a vertical distance of over 450 meters and the additional horizontal routing of the cable adds another 100 meters or so.”

The Solution

To transmit video signals over this huge distance, IHSE’s Draco compact extenders were chosen, enabling artifact-free transmission from the DVS Blades to the screens over the multi-mode fiber installed through the building. “We have used IHSE extenders extensively in museum installations in the past and found them to have the utmost reliability and durability; critical credentials for an installation of this type where access is severely limited and can only be performed out of hours. The performance of these extenders is rock solid; they don’t let us down and are resilient to noise and interference as well as the vibration and movement of the lifts. We will continue to use IHSE products in the future.”

This was the first time I have used fiber in a project with multiple synchronized video signals and I was concerned about the reliability and robustness of the solution. The installation by DJW was superb and the fiber solution from IHSE works seamlessly. – Kevin Murphy, Development Director for Event Communications

We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious project as The View from The Shard and confident in the performance of IHSE extenders in hostile environments like this. – Ray Gordon, Managing Director of Scene Double (IHSE’s UK distributor)