New York's Times Square lit up by huge digital billboard

Billed as Times Square's largest and most expensive digital billboard, a new megascreen is debuted in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel on November 18, 2014 in New York City. The eight stories tall screen will be animated by Universal Everything studio collective until November 24, after which Google will take over as the advertiser.

NEW YORK - New York's Times Square was illuminated by the world's highest resolution video display screen of its size as the monitor - nearly as big as a football field - was switched on Tuesday evening.

The first images broadcast from the enormous screen included a digital film featuring images of mountains, a bird, skyscrapers and bursts of colour accompanying a musical soundtrack.

The panel, located on the side of a hotel, is eight stories tall and intended for advertisements similar to those on dozens of other screens lining the bustling New York crossroads.

Hundreds of tourists braved the frigid temperatures to see the screen come to life, snapping photos of the digital billboard that spans the length of a city block.

But as "the highest resolution LED video display in the world of this size," it will produce "deep, rich black levels and unsurpassed vertical viewing angles," said Clear Channel Spectacolor, which sells advertising for the space.

The 24-million-pixel display - measuring more than 25,000 square feet (2,320 square meters) - will feature digital art by Universal Everything studio until Google takes over with ads on Monday until the new year.

"We experienced tremendous pre-sale interest, and the display is sold out to one advertiser through January 2015," said Harry Coghlan, president of Clear Channel Outdoor New York.

The giant screen is also connected to high-definition crowd cameras to film spectators and possibly broadcast them live.

The company did not disclose the price of leasing the screen, but the New York Times placed the figure at more than US$2.5 million (S$3.25 million) for four weeks.

Hundreds of thousands of people - New Yorkers and tourists alike - walk through Times Square each day.