Kevin’s Tech Check: Building A Video Display At Daktronics

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In just a few days, millions of eyes across the country will be on Arizona as the Seahawks and Patriots battle it out to be this year’s Super Bowl champion.

Fans inside the stadium will see the action unfold live, and on two new jumbo screens, made in South Dakota.

The whole process involves 14 inch panels filled with LED lights, which when multiplied, can quickly become mega screens.

And as Jay Parker, Daktronics Vice President for Sports & Entertainment showed us, all the magic happens at Daktronics headquarters in Brookings.

“LEDs have been around about 15 years, and that’s allowed us to do video displays,” he said.

The company first known for its scoreboards when it started 40 years ago has also become a key player when it comes to video displays.

“We’re installing it all over the country between college universities, professional sporting facilities and minor league facilities,” Parker said.

26 NFL stadiums have at least one screen made by Daktronics, including University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, where the Super Bowl will be played.

“This last season they did an upgrade and it was to have a better experience for the fans,” he said.

Building something like a mega screen begins with a small module.
14 inches and filled with several LED lights, those modules are placed inside an aluminum cabinet with other modules.

And then, much like a game of Legos, those cabinets are delivered and stacked, one on top of the other, until you get a giant display.

Big or small, stacking makes custom orders easy.

“It’s all about how to go from the streets to the seats with information entertaining your fans so they have a good experience, so they want to come back,” he said.

And much like the boards, Jay Parker has seen something’s that started small and gotten big.

I’ve been here for about 20 years and when you travel around and see where we were and where we’re at today, it’s pretty exciting,” he added.