The National Theatre of Iceland is one of two main theaters in Reykjavík, Iceland, drawing attention for its architectural quality with its contrasting dark gray surfaces and lighter gray decorative elements. The national theater, designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, was formally opened on April 20, 1950. Since 2020, the artistic director is Magnús Geir Þórðarsson — and the venue has sparked an ever-growing interest with the Icelandic nation for the varied seasonal productions, comprising new and old classics, foreign and locally written scripts, musicals, dance pieces and more.
In summer 2020, the theater’s technical team was tasked with researching an outdoor digital signage solution to replace the old traditional static signage at the front of the building. The objective was to be able to show regularly updated schedules and teaser trailers of upcoming productions in dynamic, high-definition video quality to visitors and audiences passing by the theater, to attract them in to enjoy all the arts and stage performances on offer.
The artistic challenge was to ensure that the digital signage would work in harmony with the building’s unique art deco design, whilst technically it also had to offer perfect picture at quality any time of day, from any viewing distance and be able to withstand the demanding Icelandic weather conditions.
Leading Nordic IT service company Origo, based in Reykjavík, serving customers in both Iceland and Sweden for over 50 years, were contracted by the theater and provided a full, start-to-finish project management service. Origo considered various outdoor LED or LFD options, but chose to specify Xtreme High Bright outdoor Displays from AV technology pioneer Peerless-AV.
“Since the National Theatre is a listed building, it was important that the outdoor screens were in line with the simple, clean shapes and streamlined style,” said Agust Gylfason, product manager, Origo. “The Xtreme 65” offers a slim frame and sits close to the wall, hence an ideal look overall for this application. In addition, due to the very changing weather in Iceland, and exposed location of the screens, it was most important to have the most robust and weatherproof solution available. Peerless-AV’s Xtreme displays were the only choice in the marketplace with an IP66 rating and an unmatched operating temperature range. Origo are happy, since the customer was pleased with the both the installation and end result.”
The Xtreme 65” display offers outstanding video quality, along with the durability and longevity for any digital signage or entertainment application. Truly sunlight readable, the display offers 2500 nits of brightness and is optically bonded, which increases the perceived contrast ratio and cuts down on glare. Fully sealed, without the need for exhaust vents or additional HVAC equipment, the Xtreme operates from -35°C to 60°C, is IP66 rated against the ingress of moisture and dust, and features IK10 rated impact resistant safety glass.
Origo started the installation of four 65” Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Displays, in portrait orientation, in July, but owing to pandemic restrictions, the completion date was delayed to mid-September. The Xtreme was mounted to the wall with an Outdoor Flat Wall Mount (included with the XHB652-EUK) for a secure installation and Origo provided customized frames for an enclosed finish. BrightSign XD234 4K Media Players enable remote access and control of content by the theater’s marketing department.
We can easily say that this has been a truly positive transformation. Where we used to have backlit, printed posters that took both time and energy to change, we now have controlled, high quality screens which we can operate from anywhere. The change has made the staff proud and we have people stopping in front of the theater admiring the displays. What really impresses me is how clearly you can see the images on the screens, even when the sun is shining directly on them,“ commented Sváfnir Sigurðarson, marketing executive at The National Theatre of Iceland.