Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa is a luxury hotel located in Victoria, British Columbia. It is home to Cycling Canada and Golf Canada where guests can golf on the award-winning Nicklaus Design golf courses and enjoy many other events and activities on the grounds.
With aspirations of becoming the first 5-Star Diamond Westin Hotel, President and CEO of Westin Bear, Raoul Malak had the idea to create a unique and visually stunning video wall display that would “reimagine the guest experience.” His vision was ambitious, imaginative, inspiring, and pioneering within Canada’s hospitality sector. The hotel wanted to make its mark on the industry and believed technology would be a differentiator.
The hotel wanted a flexible solution that would allow their ballroom to be used for golf tournaments and watching sports, as well as a backdrop for various events such as, weddings, corporate meetings, and more. NovMega Digital Solutions, a commercial audio video contractor, was tasked with managing the direct view LED (dvLED) video wall installation. Project planning began in April 2020.
Initially, the design was much smaller, but the hotel opted for a dramatic dvLED video wall system that ran the entire length of the ballroom wall, measuring 63ft (19.2m) wide x 9ft (2.7m) tall. Implementing a video wall of this scale and magnitude presented many unique challenges. For such a wide wall, structure was a priority. The team ran multiple tests to ensure that the wall could safely hold the combined load of the cabinets and mounting systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic required the team to implement both site and pandemic-related safety precautions. The pandemic-related safety precautions, including social distancing guidelines, caused many delays in the hotel’s construction. Due to these setbacks, final finishes including flooring and lighting were not completed before the installation. Although not recommended, exceptional circumstances and a tight timeline meant this could not be avoided, and the entire team provided extra care and attention to protect the dvLED displays from dust and other harmful construction elements.
Having previously worked on many dvLED projects with LG Electronics Canada, Inc. (LG Canada), NovMega knew LG Canada would be the perfect collaborator, providing the patience and expert attention to detail required for this project.
“dvLED displays are such a different beast compared to LCD video wall installations,” commented Anthony Ferreira, Sales Engineer at LG Canada. “From an install standpoint, it’s imperative to employ a team that will take pride in their work, be delicate in their handling, and has the experience with and patience for precision install projects. In terms of best practices, we always advise a clean area (whenever possible), no abrasive clothing or jewelry, and gloves to avoid potential staining to the LED diodes.”
For this project, NovMega specified a 1.56mm pixel pitch LG LSCB Series dvLED Displays in a 32 wide by 8 high cabinet configuration. When it came to a mounting system, the team needed a third-party solution that would offer the flexibility and adjustment needed for a potentially unforgiving wall surface.
“Understanding fully that the surface of the wall is paramount to any installation, and that no wall is perfectly flat, we required a mount structure that would offer the highest level of Z-axis adjustment to achieve a flawless flat plane and perfectly smooth finish,” added Ferreira.
Based on its previous experience working on dvLED projects with LG Canada, and for its reputation as a premium quality and reliable brand, Peerless-AV® was chosen for the task. The accomplished AV manufacturer exclusively designed a completely custom SEAMLESS Bespoke dvLED Mounting System for the project. Peerless-AV delivered the mounting system to the customer site in a tight timeframe.
Before arriving on-site, NovMega worked with Peerless-AV to choose a high-quality, furniture-grade hardwood ply to achieve the required flat wall structure. Longer mount extrusions and fasteners were manufactured to compensate for the enormity of the wall. The hardwood ply was painted black to ensure no reflections once the cabinets were in place.
To ensure quality product support and service in every step of the installation progress, Peerless-AV offers a SEAMLESS dvLED Video Wall Integration Program. Due to pandemic travel restrictions, Peerless-AV’s dvLED technical support team could not physically be on-site, but the team provided guidance and directions for the mount installation through virtual video calls.
“As a mount manufacturer, working with the integrator and OEM together as a team, right from the start is paramount on any project, but for dvLED it’s make or break,” commented Megan Zeller, Business Development at Peerless-AV. “Since our team could not be present, we conducted regular conference calls with NovMega and LG Canada, and used FaceTime to walk through the install steps and advise how to avoid potential issues. The NovMega and LG Canada teams are experts in the field of dvLED and were painstakingly precise in their approach, creating a perfect partnership for this project.”
Even though the Peerless-AV team could not be on-site, the custom dvLED mounting system helped facilitate a straightforward installation. The mount passed strict UL2442 safety tests to cater to the heavy wall load and provided flexible mounting points to the structured wall. It also offered space behind the mount for cable management and the highest level of Z-adjustment, a must-have for a perfectly flat, seamless video wall finish.
“Given how great the mount is, the install was so straightforward, despite Peerless-AV not being able to be present,” said Alex Fortin, President and CEO of NovMega Digital Solutions. “LG Canada’s Anthony Ferreira was on site the entire time and the install team was phenomenal, working 8-to-12-hour days, including weekends.”
Installation began in March of 2021 and, in just 10 days, a four-man crew installed the giant dvLED video wall. The installation team used scaffolding and a long laser level to conduct spot checks and confirm accuracy across the wall. Fluke tests were conducted to check cable performance and confirm that all cables were CAT6A shielded from the backbone.
The 256 LG cabinets (1,024 modules) were shipped in 32 crates and each cabinet was labeled for its exact location on the wall, which took a lot of methodical organization when unboxing. The cabinets are cableless, with all power cascaded from one cabinet to the next. The 65/35 heat ratio allows install into shallow recessed cavities. From a servicing standpoint, everything can be serviced, maintained, or swapped out from the front.
Using the video wall’s four individual inputs, the hotel can split the screen into four x 4K 16:9 aspect ratio sections so different content can be displayed or streamed. In-wall control technology is provided by Datapath, Crestron for video matrix, and nView proprietary remote viewing software allows complete control of the video wall from NovMega HQ.
All parties went the extra mile to ensure a successful installation that met the objectives and expectations of Westin Bear. The video wall surpassed all expectations and is a functional, flexible solution for the hotel. The special nature of the wall has fulfilled its purpose to reinvent the guest experience, and leaves a lasting impression on anyone that visits.
The video wall is speculated to be the most pixel dense dvLED wall in Canada, totaling over 20 million pixels, and currently the largest indoor dvLED hospitality installation in Canada. Valued at $1 million, the project is a complete success, and LG Canada and Peerless-AV have awarded Raoul Malak and the hotel with a plaque for “dvLED Hospitality Project of the Year, Canada”.
Fortin, added, “Westin Bear is by far the most interesting of AV-focused resorts in Canada, and the technology innovation that we were brought in to install is all the brainchild of the owner Raoul. He was very keen to elevate the prestige of the resort and set a benchmark for others, and he has certainly achieved that.”
“It’s fantastic to see my vision come alive,” said Raoul Malak, President and CEO of Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. “I wanted to set a technology benchmark in the Canadian hospitality market whilst elevating the value add for guests and visitors. Not only do we have an amazing venue, but we also have the biggest video wall in Western Canada, and the ballroom has been booked up all through summer. The bride at the first wedding reception since the video wall was installed was blown away, and seeing her and other guest reactions makes me very happy. LG Canada has recognized the installation as ‘AV Project of the Year 2021’ and for that I’m very proud."