Sky Screen in Beijing

This huge LED display is located in Beijing CBD district, which was designed by Jeremy Railton and was built in 2006.  The full size of this screen is 7,500 M² (250m * 30m),which is more bigger than two soccer fields. It has a stereo system with 48 channels' input and 96 channels' output. The whole cost is more than 2.5 hundred million RMB (almost 42 million dollars).

The screen has two parts, the raised screen and horizontal screen. The former one is a standard high resolution (1960 * 1080i) display, the later one is a display which has 5120 * 768pixels, which is composed by more than 20 million high quality, high brightness red-green-blue LEDs.

Every pixel in this system has more than tens of thousands gray degrees, which could make up more than tens of billion colors as a whole. Every pixel has been white balance corrected by rules in order to make the performance as unified and coincided as a whole. The advanced light-emitting parts could adjust the brightness from 1500cd/m² to 6000cd/m² based on the environmental light, which could provide the best experience no matter in day time and night.

It has effectiveness, energy-saving, pollution-free, long life span, barely generate any heat features. It saves 90% power consumption than traditional display equipment. In addition, it is radiation-free and high sweep rate as well, which means it would not cause any eye uncomfortability.

Other than traditional display which is based on computer system, the sky screen display system has a set of developed and exclusive image processing system and video display system. All components in this system is connected by 1000M net, includes HD player, graphic and video processor, data storage, central control terminal, information transformation., etc.

The sky screen displays a lot of different contents, which cover from commercial advertisements, first released MTV show, exclusive video, artistic performance, festival celebration (New Year countdown), public events (send SMS and display your message on the screen), wedding event, and some people rent it for proposal as well (in 2011, Mr. Liu spent 1500RMB (250$)  to rent the screen for 3 mins).

Usually, the main content this sky screen showed are advertisements and exclusive videos. In view of it is located in CBD area, many companies prefer leading their promotions here to drive people's attentions. In addition, in order to afford the high cost of daily maintaining cost, it is reasonable and totally make sense for these commercial activities. Further more, citizens could come and enjoy exclusive videos on scheduled time. Like the video showed above, the exclusive videos are really well-made and fully making use of the special perspective it processed to attract audiences' attention and successfully enhanced their experiences. Many details in these videos and animations mimic the effects and perspectives when people look up. For example, the Chinese dragon in this video was highlighted with his belly part which is a really novel and neat idea. In this angle, this Chinese dragon looks like a snake, which is one of the images of species that compose Chinese dragon (The Chinese dragon image is a composition of snake's body, pig's nose, deer's horns, horse's face, eagle's claw and fish's tail). Also, the animation shows how the dragon peered inquiringly at human's world from the heaven, which matches the dragon's image and impression in Chinese people's mind (as a sacred feature lives in the heaven, dragon will bless people who behave themselves and punish others who are failed to).

In my opinion, this spot is a perfect for people to welcome the coming of new year. When people do countdown toward this screen and face up to the sky, it feels much more sacred and reasonable like begging and appreciating the universe brings the new year to the world. The slogan in front of this huge screen is:"Looking up Beijing!!" (In Chinese, "looking up" has the meaning of "looking at the bright side" as well) which inform people being positive, active and embrace the promising and challenge future.


People could send SMS to the system and display their messages on the screen by paying 1 RMB, which is the only "interactive" feature it possessed I have discovered so far. The price is really decent and reasonable, everyone could afford it.