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Strand Associates

About the Organization

Established in 1946, Strand Associates, Inc. (Strand) has 10 offices and manages projects in 48 states. In 2020, Engineering News-Record ranks the company 185 out of the Top 500 Design Firms in the United States. The company provides professional consulting engineering services to both public and private sectors.

Service specialties include municipal/general civil, wastewater, water supply, transportation, electrical, mechanical, structural, an aviation engineering; green infrastructure solutions and sustainable design; energy evaluation; and financial assistance through grants and low interest loan programs.

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Strand Associates Video Wall Assembly Timelapse_Oct 2020_V1

The Challenge

In its corporate office in Madison, Wisconsin, Strand maximized its use of a large Christie MicroTile display wall. The display featured a VIDYO backend that allowed up to six windows of high-definition stream onto the screen. It received extensive use, allowing the management team to conduct interactive on-site meetings with employees from
the organization’s 10 locations and to conduct local client presentations.

But, as with any technology, the MicroTile display reached its end-of-life. The warranty expired and newer, more visually appealing display technology was readily available. Strand Associates IT Coordinator, Justin Marthaler, turned to AVI Systems to recommend and replace the display — ensuring that the new version provided the same quality, capabilities and fit within the available wall space.

The Solution

After reviewing a number of options, Marthaler selected Sony Electronics ZRD2 Crystal LED display technology for its clarity, 10-year warranty and appearance. AVI Systems worked directly with Sony, creating a custom mounting frame for the display, which is 54” tall and 158” wide.

“The conference room space where this display is located is a bit constrained,” said Marthaler. “A power panel on one side of the display and ceiling height kept us from getting a wider and taller display. Ultimately, the new Sony unit is about four inches shorter and 2 inches narrower, but no one has really noticed the difference.”

AVI was also tasked with using Strand’s existing Christie Spyder X20 video processor, which Strand invested in when it first created the display wall. Using the same processor, the Sony display is able to produce up to six windows with different display layouts. Bill Nicolaou, executive account manager at AVI Systems, said one important aspect of the new video wall was demonstrating technology options from various manufacturers.

Prior to the sale, the decision makers at Strand were able to see how the technologies performed, which helped in their decision making. Once selected, the AVI team installed the customized power requirements and invited Strand to an off-site demo to preview the technology before installation.

Strand Associates_Conference Room Video Wall 2

The Result

Strand Associates often has project teams comprised of specialist staff from multiple locations to best serve their clients. Teams
frequently conduct video conferences to discuss and present updates on client projects. The new Sony display enables the team to share presentations and stream the information with ease.

“Many of the visuals are eye charts — Excel spreadsheets, for example,” said Marthaler. “The old display tiles had bezels in between
each tile, which would interfere with the presentation. The new Sony Crystal LED display tiles have no bezels — it looks like one continuous panel, so there are no breaks in the material that is presented.”
A Crestron control system runs all of the AV components in the 1,776-square-foot conference room, providing ease of use for those who conduct meetings in the space.

AVI proved to be the perfect team to find a solution that maximized our available space and integrated with some of our existing technology investment.

Justin Marthaler, IT Coordinator

Despite the pandemic initially reducing usage of the room, Marthaler reports that employees who have used it are impressed with the quality, clarity, and brightness. (Side note: room usage is returning to normal with employees actively seeking out that room.)

AVI Systems continues to support Strand with PRO Support for the conference room technology that’s now in place. Under this agreement, AVI provides a two-hour response time via phone, eight hours of annual on-site support and a technology health check each year.

“Overall, we could not be happier with the new Sony technology,” added Marthaler. “AVI proved to be the perfect team to find a solution that maximized our available space and integrated with some of our existing technology investment.”

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