Video walls aren’t cheap, so if you’re going to deploy one it’s probably a good idea to make sure you get your money’s worth and do it right.
Video walls are cropping up more and more on the digital signage landscape, from airports to malls and beyond, using multiple displays to create a single, unified display showing either one image or zoned content and significantly impacting viewers. But while a display that large will look fantastic if it’s done well — the large size also will magnify any mistakes.
So how do you make sure you’re deploying video walls the right way? Here are three video wall experts, each offering their three key tips for ensuring video wall success:
Steve Brauner, Senior Product Manager, Professional Displays, Sharp Electronics Corp.:
- Know your space – Before selecting a monitor for video wall deployment, understand your environment. What is the square footage you need to fill? How much ambient light is present? These factors will affect your decision making when choosing the monitor size and brightness.
- Know your content – The hardware required is directly related to the content to be presented. Whether it’s still images or full motion video, the resolution of the source files, audio requirements — all of these factors need to be considered before selecting the display hardware and the associated equipment to drive it,
- Work with a knowledgeable system integrator – They can suggest the best mounting solutions, align and calibrate the screens, and test the content.
Brian McClimans, Vice President, Global Business Development, Peerless-AV:
- End-users must plan ahead, specifically regarding the details. They need to be aware of the space and cooling needs of the displays being employed in the video wall. End-users should also work with the architect or installation company handling the project to ensure there is enough space to put a video wall in the location and discuss the type of video wall — recessed or on-wall.
- End-users should speak with all teams involved in the project. It is important they make sure that their vision is possible and that the content they want displayed can be shown with the hardware and software provided.
- End-users should go with a full-service mounting solution for video walls. With this type of solution, they will have an easier time with service maintenance and display leveling.
Rich Ventura, Vice President of Business Development and Solutions, NEC Display Solutions of America:
- Before beginning any video wall project, the project manager must consider the business needs associated with the new video wall. Depending on how the organization wants to impact customers, this will direct the project in a specific direction. For example, in a retail landscape, the location of the video wall is extremely important — should it be the central focus of the stores? Or should it be used to drive consumers to a specific area? A needs assessment will allow them to look and define size, scope, content, application, use, location and overall strategic importance of the video wall. This is the same discussion even if doing one screen. If there is a strategic ROI/ROO for the wall, this will also help in defining the success of the implementation. Lastly, once the business needs are defined, this will allow the customer to focus on how incorporating the wall will impact the brand itself.
- Consider the interactive aspect of the video wall. The organization should decide whether the end-users will be interacting with the video wall via touch or their own mobile devices (augmented reality and such) or if the video wall will display content alone. Understanding how the end-user will best benefit from the wall in an interactive sense should be top of mind when making this decision. With that, considering what kinds of content (broadcast TV, music videos, in-house network programming, social media feeds and/or still images) will be displayed on the video wall is also a discussion to be had. This goes back to the first point — defining the application and use of the solution. As an industry, we must always look through the eyes of the intended audience. This will define the best way for interaction and for application. A key to think about too is considering if the wall will be so overpowering that the consumer will be scared to go to it. In addition, does the application require physical touch or can augmented reality suffice? Also depending on where the installation is and the type of environment, is touch truly a need? Some have even looked at having a smaller touchscreen (32-40 inches) in front of the wall for interaction and having the video wall act as the palette or canvas for the interaction.
- Contemplate the idea of using ultra-high-definition resolutions (also known as 4K) now for competitive advantage. As video wall technologies get better, content delivering gets better, media players go lower in price and the content itself becomes more available, 4K becomes much more plentiful in application. Content is going to be the key for this, as is application. For example, do you really need a 4K image of a sweater on the screen to sell more product? More than likely not. However, if you are selling an experience or imagery, 4K becomes a need. Some of the best places for 4K are going to be areas with the need for hi-res imaging, photography, video or delivery of multiple content feeds. The more intense the need for a lot of data and/or fine image-quality and depth, the better 4K comes into play. Some screen companies (like NEC) allow for 4K pass through over Dport 1.2 so that 4K video walls become easier and less expensive to deploy than in previous years. A single computer can support the wall instead of having to deploy a large video processing system. Digital SignageToday
Contact SignCast if you’re looking to put up a video wall to get your message heard and seen by your intended target.