Fremont Street Experience Finishes First Section of Viva Vision Upgrade

Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas recently completed work on the first portion of a $32 million upgrade to the world’s largest video screen, Viva Vision.

The renovation started May 6, 2019.

The first completed section, near the Golden Gate casino, was tested on June 5, 2019.

Viva Vision upgrade testing

The technical term for this visual display is “big-ass test pattern.”

The Viva Vision upgrade is being done in eight 150-foot sections to avoid disruption to the nightly light shows.

When fully renovated, Viva Vision will be four times the resolution and up to seven times the brightness of the current screen.

This is the second time the screen has gotten a facelift. It opened in December 1995, and got an LED upgrade in 2004 at a cost of $17 million.

Here’s a close-up look at one of the new LED panels. The holes allow sunlight to shine through during the day.

Viva Vision LED module

The renovation will involve 67,456 of these bad boys.

The new Viva Vision screen will have 49,299,456 LEDs. Probably. We sure as hell don’t have time to count them. We are very busy being a smart-ass.

When completed, the new screen will have 16,433,152 pixels. Ditto what we said about the counting thing.

What does all this mean? Well, for the first time in the history of the attraction, Viva Vision can show content during daylight hours.

Here’s some video of the daytime testing of the first section of the canopy.

The fully upgraded Viva Vision screen is scheduled to debut on Dec. 31, 2019, on New Year’s Eve.

Visitors will get a sneak preview of the newly upgraded canopy during the reveal of a new light show featuring Steve Aoki on June 13, 2019.

The Aoki light show is the second new show in recent weeks. Another, with the music of The Chainsmokers, debuted May 31, 2019.

Chainsmokers light show

We weren’t particularly familiar with The Chainsmokers, but have come to love them because their Viva Vision show features a hell-ton of neon.

Because the new canopy be used 24/7, a substantial amount of new content will be created in the months to come intended to make the most of the screen’s dramatically increased resolution.

The Viva Vision renovation is a big deal for downtown, as surveys show most Las Vegas visitors make their way downtown because of Fremont Street Experience and the light shows. Hit the official site for more information.

It’s also worth noting we work at Fremont Street Experience in digital marketing as our day job and we can personally confirm many people visit downtown specifically to buy us a Captain Morgan and diet. Hint, hint.

Viva Vision upgrade

If this is how it looks during the day, bring on the night.

The Viva Vision screen renovation is moving along at a brisk pace, so stay tuned for more updates.

21 thoughts on “Fremont Street Experience Finishes First Section of Viva Vision Upgrade

  1. Gary

    So if it can be seen during the day does that mean they will stop dimming the lights on Fremont at night during a show?

  2. LA WB

    Sorta related…I searched but could not find, anyone know what’s going in just north of the Plaza Hotel? The lot at the SW corner Main & Ogden is being graded. It used to have the train cars parked there.

  3. Buzzkill Steve

    I’m imagining more music shows that don’t appeal to me every night, and lots of advertising on the new screen, both night and day. It’ll look cool, but it won’t change my Vegas routine.

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      There will be more light shows based upon music, but there’s a ton of new content coming online that’s going to be unlike anything that’s ever been on there. People don’t realize how limiting the old screen is in terms of creativity and what can be shown. Time will tell, but there’s a lot of new in the works.

      1. Optimistic Steve

        Great to hear! Now, if you could get the geniuses running the show to stop torturing me with Linkin Park and Imagine Garbage, that would be a big plus.

  4. Bill

    I want to visit downtown but already have room somewhere else, how/where can I park for free to explore downtown?

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      There isn’t a ton of free parking downtown, but the best bet is usually to park at a casino and get validation.

  5. George

    I think this looks excellent and I’m excited to see it – will it be complete by November (my next Vegas trip)? I realize the official “date” is NYE – but maybe?

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Yeah, the majority will be done by then. It’ll probably wrap up in mid-December, but there’s some wiggle room for the NYE debut.

  6. Shaun

    So do the new panels not go as wide as the old ones? By that I mean that the arc of the canopy appears to extend further down than the new panels. I just can’t recall though if the old panels went all the way to the edge or not?

    1. William Wingo

      IIRC, the original low-resolution lights covered the entire surface. Then when they did the first update, some areas at the bottom were left out. Maybe this is the same, or maybe they’ve cut it back further. After all, that stuff is expensive.

      1. Scott Roeben Post author

        Right. Definitely a cost thing. This time, it’s about the same as the previous, but definitely doesn’t extend all the way to the edges of the canopy. Diminishing returns.

    2. Scott Roeben Post author

      When it opened, they were all the way down. During the last renovation, it was trimmed back. This time, about the same, slightly less.

  7. Jeff

    Mixed feelings! Welcome the new technology, but will sorely miss the comparative quiet and calm that can be had during some of the daylight hours now. It was the literal night and day contrast that always made after-sundown Fremont so exciting. Not sure I’d feel so warm and cozy about the bright visuals, thumping music and stop ‘n stare throngs at, say, 11AM, when I’m just seeking out chow and nursing a head from the night before. As another reader mentioned, the possibility of inescapable advertising and PR between the shows would poison Fremont altogether for me.


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