Is a Small Video Wall Right for My Business?

What is a video wall?

A video wall consists of multiple LED, OLED, large-scale LED walls, old screen formats, or other types of screens unified to make one large display. Video walls are usually rectangular arrangements with one row of screens or multiple rows of screens mounted side by side, horizontally or vertically. A video wall can also be just one large screen with multiple content zones.

Figure 1. Typical Video Wall Configurations.

Why are video walls needed?

Video walls offer multiple benefits. While commonly used to display common shared information, such as advertisements, announcements and public service messages, and company information like news updates or financial data, or to showcase products or services, video walls can also be used for aesthetic reasons in lobbies and for signage applications. Video walls can display multiple video sources with mixed video formats and sizes in high quality and with consistent brightness. Video walls can also extend a single source over multiple screens, zoom image details into a focus area, or show multiple pieces of video content on customized tiles.

Where are video walls commonly used, and what are some new trends?

You have probably seen the massive video wall the NASA control center uses. Video walls have become an integral part of today’s monitoring applications, like operation centers (TOC), surveillance, and manufacturing facilities, because they offer a quick overview of all processes and allow you to zoom in on specific sources in the event of a crisis. Video walls are also popular in entertainment, like concert venues and stadiums, because they enable every visitor to see what’s going on at all times, regardless of where they’re standing or sitting.

Today, LED walls have become standard for large screens, but because of high costs, may not be suitable for small-sized video walls. Not every application requires a video wall with dozens of screens and complex video configurations. For retail stores, showrooms, restaurants, smaller control rooms, and similar applications, a video wall with one, four, or eight screens is often the perfect solution. In fact, the market for these smaller video wall applications is steadily growing into double digits. In public places, stores, and hospitality applications video wall solutions can assist with thermal surveillance.

How is the content distributed to a video wall?

A computer graphics card can distribute content to a video wall, similar to how it can extend a laptop’s image to multiple monitors. However, this type of distribution offers very limited design options and is only recommended for simple video wall applications. Most applications, including those with small video walls, should use a video wall controller to send multiple AV sources to a video wall. There are many cost-effective and feature-rich video wall controllers on the market that make setting up and managing a small video wall easy. Large-scale video walls are usually managed with controllers that offer the most advanced and creative video wall control.

Choose from software or hardware video wall controllers. Hardware-based options offer high performance and reliability, but they are expensive and inflexible at the CMS (Content Management System) side. Software-based video wall controllers can launch applications like maps, VoIP client (to display IP cameras), SCADA clients, and Digital Signage software that use the full resolution of the video wall. Check out video wall product solutions from Black Box here.

To learn more about how to set up a small video wall for your business, read our white paper.


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