When we first wrote about this comically huge Walgreens LED sign — the largest of its kind in the world — construction was just getting under way. That was May, and now they're done. D3 LED, the firm behind the sign, finally turned on this 17,000 square foot, 100 metre tall, three-sided tribute to technical and commercial excess — and what timing! But before we start challenging the rationale behind displaying 100m moving Tampax ads, it's worth looking at the extraordinary tech inside this thing.
The display, which wraps around the three most visible sides of 1 Times Square, is capable of playing contiguous video using all of its surfaces at once. Made up of a mix of 13 60in plasma TVs and over 12 million individual LEDs arranged in diagonal panels, the screen is purported to display a resolution of "20 times the resolution of standard HDTV," though it's not completely clear what that's supposed to mean. As far as the back-end goes, to play just 30 seconds of video calls for 150GB of data sent from 30 computers, all of which, I hope, one day conspire to make the greatest BSOD of all time. The sign was flipped on officially last night, though the trial run, featuring the awesome test pattern picture in this article, took place on Wednesday. Check out the local news report below for some more background and neat little renderings to put the whole thing into perspective. [NYT, image from Gothamist]