Open & Reception Areas - Design Information

Incorporating dynamic audio visual solutions into Reception and Open Areas often brings specific challenges. These issues should be considered at the earliest opportunity in the design phase, because integrating the ideal technology retrospectively is often not viable.

Ambient Lighting

Careful consideration needs to be given to the ambient lighting, the angle of any sunlight that may shine onto the display(s) and the horizontal and vertical viewing angles.

Extreme Ambient Lighting - Recommended Technology: LED Screens

LED Screens are excellent for very light conditions. They are available in pre-set sizes (like Plasma/LCD screens) but can also be specified in modular form and made into interesting shapes (requiring an image processing device). LED screens are very heavy and suitable supports need to be made available (the top image in the lefthand column shows a 140" LED screen in an atrium; with its controller this weighs 387kg). 

High Ambient Lighting - Recommended Technologies: LCD & Plasma Screens / Rear Projection / Holographic Projection

Plasma and LCD screens are known to all of us now but they vary in size and performance greatly. These technologies are not suitable for direct sunlight but will operate well with high, but diffused, ambient lighting. Plasma screens are available in sizes up to 103" (soon to be 150") and LCD screens are available in sizes up to 103". Again, as with LED technology, the weight is a very important consideration (e.g. a 103" Plasma screen weighs 220kg excluding its mounting bracket). Generally, Plasma technology is better for moving video images (especially if the source is a standard definition video signal) but static images can 'burn-in', therefore, when fixed images need to be left on the screen (such as may be needed for dynamic digital signage) LCD screens should be used. Flat screens can be purchsed with minimal bezels and fitted together to form one much larger display.This is often a more practical solution than attempting to install one very big display in an open area.

Rear projection still provides the best solution for some large image applications, and is often more cost effective. The type of rear projection screen used, angle of the projected light, lens selection and space available all need to be considered. The light path from the projector will require a specific depth behind the projector screen. However, various techniques can often be used to minimise this distance. AvexiA provide AutoCAD drawings for every project, that illustrate all space and mounting requirements the rear projection system may need.

Viewing Angles

The location of any screens in relation to traffic flow and viewing angles is obviously of vital importance. The following viewing angles are typical and are based on 'professional' products (not consumer grade products), but should be confirmed once the exact technology/product has been selected:


         Typical Vertical Viewing Angle        Typical Horizontal Viewing Angle
      LED                          120°                            150°
    Plasma                          160°                            160°
      LCD                          175°                            175°


Rear projection viewing angles will vary depending upon the screen technology used and method of angling the light path.

Image Content

Typically, open area screens will be used for dynamic digital signage with or without live TV, Live TV, News infomation (common on Trading Floors within the financial community). All of these signals can be carried via UTP cable (CAT5e/CAT6/CAT6a/CAT7) either on or off the LAN. Therefore, allowance should ideally be made for the 'AV' infrastructure when the initial data cabling requirements are being conceived.