There are so many ways to plan and implement a video wall that it can be hard to talk about a single, standard traditional approach:
- Some video wall vendors add video cards to PC’s which are then used to control video walls.
- Other video wall controllers are built on proprietary hardware with multiple built-in video outputs.
- Another approach to deploying video walls is to synchronize multiple players on the back of each display.
Deploying a video wall can be an overwhelming experience, which is why Userful offers a solution that is simple, high performance and flexible.
Here are some additional tips for getting a stunning video wall assembled.
1. Understand and Plan Your Intended Impact
Firsts, know what is the intended impact you want.
Understanding the business case of the video wall, and how you want to engage your intended end-user can provide great insight into what solution to use, what components to acquire, and save you from overspending on complex hardware.
2. Understand Your Environment
The next step in planning a video solution is considering the environmental factors:
- Location (indoor or outdoor?)
- How much ambient light will there be
- How will you access the video wall for maintenance
- The physical dimensions of your space
This will all influence the size of displays you will choose in the next step.
3. Match Size of Displays With Size of Space
Think about the space you want to use and consider the number of displays as well as the size of those displays. You will find various video wall size calculators online. Keep in mind the larger displays you use the fewer bezel lines you will have but the more you will pay.
4. Pay Attention to Aspect Ratio
People say content is king for good reason: a video wall can be big and bold, but without content, it is not much use. And the content has to *look* good, too.
Before you create any video content, understand the aspect ratio of your video wall. Ensure you have got a solution that upscales content if your source content is not maximizing the resolution of your displays.
For example, 4k content on a 3×3 video wall will mean the displays are only playing 720p unless either at the display or the video wall controller an upscaling algorithm is adding in additional pixels to ensure the display is playing at full HD.
Userful does this by using advanced scaling algorithms to give users the option to have every display playing at full HD resolution.
5. Pay Attention to Content Format
You have a lot of choices to make when it comes to content format:
- Still images
- Low-res / High-res videos
- 4k, 6k or 8k content
- HTML5 applications
- 3D graphics
Which of these will be showing on your video wall? These are things you would need to consider from the very beginning.
Flexibility is Key
Because video walls are a big investment, you don not want to install one to find out it will not support a need that crops up in the future. If you want to have the flexibility to display larger content, higher resolution, or use different video wall features, make sure the video wall controller can be easily updated and changed with little to no cost.
The way we solve this issue here at Userful is we leverage the power of a standard computer to provide content of up to 8k on up to 100 displays. So even if our customers start out with a small set up, they can easily scale upwards without any trouble.
6. Decide Which Displays to Use: Commercial or Consumer
Commercial displays offer zero or low bezel, better brightness and longer life, consumer TV’s offer a lower cost but are not designed for digital signage or for video wall use. We usually recommend investing in commercial displays (LED or LCD).
That being said, our controller will work with any display, allowing customers to choose based on budget and needs.
7. Choose Your Components
Video walls require a variety of components including displays, media players, cabling, display mounts, etc. that need to be properly installed.
Ensure your RFP or purchase list has every component required.
8. Understand How Video Wall Calibration Works
If not properly calibrated, a video wall can actually generate a negative impact on the end-users, defeating the purpose of it, and ultimately affecting the business.
Choose a video wall with a simple calibration tool because if it is not easy to do, should you ever need to recalibrate or replace a display, it could result in a nightmare.
Troubleshooting, maintenance, and updates are always expected, as with any technology solution, so a solution that minimizes these expenses will always be the smarter choice.
9. Can You Operate Your Video Wall Yourself?
Keep in mind your total cost of ownership. If your solution requires highly-trained personnel or specialized skills to set it up or run it, you are unnecessarily burdening yourself with extra labor costs and a higher total cost of ownership. For a solution to be great, it does not have to be complicated.
10. Always Plan For the Future
Where will you be in three years? In five? Video walls can be a substantial investment, so what happens with your video wall solution when there is a need to expand its size, or perhaps upgrade it to accommodate the latest content resolution or format?
Video walls that need specialized components might prove inflexible, even perhaps needing to replace the entire system upon refresh.
On the other hand, modular, software-based solutions such as Userful, that leverages standard hardware can easily accommodate future upgrades by replacing just the PC or server and keeping the rest of the video wall intact.