By: Carol Emmons
A video wall is an example of digital signage. A video wall consists of multiple monitors, cubes, projectors or panels that are tiled together. Most often they are tiled tightly together to form one large image, but they are sometimes tiled loosely or into several separate sections for multiple images and messages or unique results, especially for performances.
Typically, video wall displays have detailed, high resolution content which makes them engaging and powerful and they receive a lot of attention. Because of the impact and increasing affordability of video walls, they are growing in popularity and they are used in a wide variety of ways:
- To enhance viewing for concert/sports event attendees
- Control Rooms
- Interactive Communications
- 3-D Simulation
A flexible tool, video walls can help brand a product, encourage collaboration and interactivity in venues ranging from lobbies, museums, and zoos, to sports and entertainment arenas and shopping malls – to name a few. They are placed in high traffic areas to attract the most attention. A video wall can be used indoors or out; it can be flat or curved, and it can be designed for permanent or temporary displays. In short, their uses are almost limitless and your video wall can be as complex and creative as you want.
A very important step when you decide to utilize or install a video wall is to define your goals. All successful audiovisual systems require a clear set plan of action and results desired. A complete video wall system requires a number of components with a wide range of options available for each, starting with the selection of the type of display. An enormous range of technologies, resolutions and sizes are available on the market today and can make selecting one bewildering. A video wall can be designed with LCD’s, LED’s, cubes or projectors. Each has its own unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages so you need to understand the inherent strengths and weaknesses of each. What is an ideal type of display for one environment is often a disaster in others.
Do you want one image, called a blending, over all the screens? If so, the image has to be as close to seamless as possible and a very narrow bezel (frame) is vital to avoid lines running through the image or text. High resolution keeps the image sharp. Does your video wall require a touch screen to engage the viewer or to provide information? How many touch points are desired? The number can range from one to 32. Do you want to allow multiple users to simultaneously interact with video wall without affecting other users?
There are applications that call for 3D video walls such as molecular modeling, engineering, and simulations. Is your display compatible with the graphics cards you want to use? For video walls the software is as critical to the design as the hardware. All video walls are software based; many have software built in that can fulfill your needs but others require a network based software controller.
Installation presents its own series of challenges in mounting, power, and cooling. Video walls can also be subject to heating problems. Does the video wall have heat sensors and cooling fans that come on automatically when needed? Where the video wall will be installed impacts your decision making as well. Is the infrastructure in place to hold the weight? Is the installation hardware integrated as it is for the Chauvet® MVP models (which our Production division has in inventory for rent) or do you need to buy it separately?
Is a mission critical 24/7 application that requires a redundant power supply module that provides continuous operation even in the event of a power failure required?.Even the number of power outlets and their locations comes into play. There are video walls that do not require the power to be behind the display and that can handle multiple devices. That reduces the rack space and the number of outlets needed and helps reduce the costs.
A video wall is an excellent way to communicate, enhance your presentation and make an impact, but it takes a sufficient budget and level of commitment to the project. We have alerted you to only a few of the questions that need to be answered before you install one. Zeo Systems expert technicians are capable of designing, installing and servicing your video wall or if your needs are for a single event, our Production division can provide a rental from our in house inventory as an alternative. Give us a call.