The Comcast Experience has begun this year’s Holiday Spectactular at the Winter Garden in the lobby of Comcast headquarters in Philadelphia where two Analog Way Ascender 48 systems drive one of the largest 4mm LED wall installations in the world. David Niles of Niles Creative Group is responsible for the wall’s content concept and production year round since its inception and handled the project’s systems design and integration.
Since its debut, The Comcast Experience has attracted the attention of Philadelphians and visitors to the city and engaged those going to and from work in the Comcast Center. A unique LED screen fills the wall broken up by three entryways leading to the building’s elevator banks. All of the imagery displayed on the LED wall has been created by David Niles and runs 18 hours a day. When the LED wall is at rest for six hours every evening the imagery becomes an extension of the Winter Garden’s maple-paneled walls and is indistinguishable from the interior architecture.
“Our challenge with The Comcast Experience was to make the people in the building proud and excited to be there and to turn Comcast Center into a destination in Philadelphia,” says David Niles, who heads Niles Creative Group. “It certainly has become a destination in town: The Comcast Experience has passed 2 million visitors since we began doing this year’s holiday show.”
The holiday show runs from Thanksgiving to January 2, 2018 playing seven days a week on the hour. The 15-minute, family-oriented display features a musical overture, iceskating, dance numbers and a fly over the city. The lobby is decorated with animatronic snowmen that blow snow on the crowds. “People pack the lobby to see the show,” Niles reports.
During the rest of the year Niles’s live-action content highlights “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” produced in a quirky style he calls “a bit like a cartoon in The New Yorker.” Life-size actors push and pull panels to reveal hidden things, ride across the wall on a 50-foot pencil like a rocket ship and appear behind dozens of windows doing interesting things. Weekends feature themed shows such as American Snapshot, which Niles likens to a coffee table photography book about the US, or a portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water house in Pennsylvania. Special content is displayed, too – when Pope Francis visited Philadelphia Niles took viewers on a tour of Rome.