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Six things to think about when purchasing a video wall

Monday, February 29, 2016
Video walls now adorn lobbies, retail stores and public areas around the world, displaying everything from movie trailers to airport schedules. Eye catching and versatile, they are an obvious choice if you are trying to make an immediate impression or provide information in a hurry.  However, there are a few important factors to take into account before investing in this fairly expensive area, broken down below into a handy list.

6: Mounting

 

A strong but versatile mount is the foundation that you will build your display upon, and its not just a matter of choosing the right plate to attach to your screens, but the right surface to mount them on as well. Even though screens are becoming thinner and lighter all the time, once you have 10 or more of them in a grid, it can start getting heavy very quickly.

Another often overlooked feature is accessibility. Plan your mounting system to allow for the fact that you may one day need to easily pull out and replace that screen that’s gone dead right in the middle of the array. Various mount systems allow for this using different methods, from screens that pop out with a light pressure to hidden pull cables.

5: Your audience

 

How big is the area that your screens will be displaying to? How far away will the furthest potential audience member be? Will they be able to read all the text or see the smallest details on your screen? Is the display set up in a way that people can pause to watch without disrupting a flow of foot traffic? These are all factors to take into account when positioning your display.

4: Bezels


Bezels are basically the ‘frame’ of the display screens, and less is more in the case of video walls. Smaller Bezels mean less of an interruption between screens for the images being displayed, especially important if your video wall is being used to display one complete picture across multiple screens.

Bezels can be anywhere between 2 inches to 2.3mm wide, with many variations in-between, but the smaller the bezel, the higher the cost. There are even some new 8k display screens available from LG with no bezel at all, but these are currently extremely expensive.

3: Light


If you’ve decided on a location for your display, take note of how the light may change in that area, throughout the day. Is it ever going to be in full sun? Are there any exterior lights that may interfere with your images? If so, your video wall may be losing a lot of its effectiveness for significant portions of the day.

2: Resolution


A single standard 1080 x 1920 HD screen is fine for displaying a single HD image, but one you start spreading that image out over multiple screens, it may start looking a little pixelated. A 2 x 2 array made up of 1080 screens is actually the equivalent of an 4k display, and would need a 4k source video or feed to display without pixilation.

And a regular pattern of monitors is by no means the only way of displaying. Many different shapes can be incorporated, and they will all need to take source resolution into account to avoid blockiness and distortion.

1: Software



Do you want just one image across multiple screens? Do you want a combination of video and graphics? Will there be the same feeds displaying on individual screens, or do you want them to change throughout the day? Do you want to ‘animate’ your feeds, moving around the video wall?

Different display software will achieve these different results, from simple multi-output video cards that split a singe feed across your screens, to specialized video processors and media players specifically designed to manage large displays. One again, the more features, the higher the price, which is where its important to know exactly what you want to do with your video wall before you install it, to avoid paying for expensive features that you may never use.