Amid much fanfare, this month media company Sphere Entertainment unveiled their MSG Sphere, “The world’s largest LED screen,” in Las Vegas. Standing 336′ tall and 516′ wide, the sphere’s exterior is covered in 580,000 square feet of LEDs. (“A creative canvas so bold and bright you can see it from space!” the developers write, for those who often go to space and are tired of only seeing the Great Wall.)
While the Sphere looks pretty sick in renderings where the vantage point is floating above it…
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…from the ground it actually looks kind of, well, limited:
Don’t get me wrong: The sheer size of the Sphere does accomplish its main purpose, which is to awe. But the rub is that the $2.3 billion structure is really only good at displaying spherical objects like planets, gigantic basketballs or jack-o-lanterns:
Aside from that, the massively curved screen, from the perspective of a person or camera on the ground, provides too much distortion to make sense as a readable display. No matter where you’re standing, only the center of the screen is perpendicular to your eyeballs, while the bulk of the imagery is on the vast periphery and thus skewed.
The company has made video of it unembeddable, but you can judge for yourself here.
That being said, perhaps it looks amazing from the inside. Video of the interior has not yet been released, but the Sphere is hollow and intended to serve as a 17,385-seat concert venue featuring a 160,000 square foot “LED media plane” (of a currently unspecified shape) that will display imagery. U2 will be the inaugural performers with two sold-out concerts slated for late September.