What is a video wall display? How does it work? What purpose does it serve?
No doubt you will have asked yourself these questions but perhaps you have never found the right answers.
In this article, we will introduce you to video wall displays and provide the right answers …
According to a recent report by Future Source Consulting, the growth of Video Walls has been driven not only by an increase in the number of applications for giant displays but also by the launch of new products that feature very small bezels that can thus be used in a wide variety of installations.
Audio-visual wall displays represent a great opportunity in the world of digital signage, as a market expected to grow in the coming years.
What are Video Walls?
Video Walls are a type of digital signage comprised of multiple panels, which can be LCD, LED, DLP, computer monitors or even projection screens. Most Video Walls are currently composed of LCD or LED panels, joined together to form a huge screen.
The first Video Walls emerged in the early 1980s. At that time, two obstacles limited their performance. The first was the fact that they were based on the standard of CRT (the Cathode Ray Tube of old televisions) generally with a diagonal measurement of 28 inches, which effectively prevented the complete vision of a picture (a defect caused by the resulting gap between the various devices). The second obstacle was the difficulty of dividing the pictures between the various monitors because there was only one video input. Hence, Video Walls were simply used for digital signage purposes, as an alternative way to stretch a single block of content (images, photographs, etc.) across an entire wall.
Today, however, Video Walls have evolved so much that they have truly incredible capabilities. They can be easily used for another type of digital signage, that of entertainment and marketing, given that they have for example, advanced options for audio-video content and remote management functions.
For this reason, these large and eye-catching displays are ideal for use in a broad and varied range of industries. For some years now, Video Walls have been common in an ever-increasing number of businesses, including:
- concert halls
- transport hubs
They are also used for public utility purposes, such as outdoor signage, for messages from the police and in control rooms.
Video Walls are a perfect choice for those seeing a large-scale display but want to avoid having a single screen that is too large. Indeed, large individual screens greatly limit the choice of display and often have a low pixel density, not to mention being prohibitively expensive.
Also, thanks to the giant leaps made in the technology/hardware sectors, Video Walls can be any size and configuration desired. And although the panels are often LCD or rectangular LED screens, an increasing number of very creative shapes are emerging all over the world.
Beyond the screens, every Video Wall project has a video processor that directs the content to the right screen at the right time so that the images and videos are displayed correctly. These processors are available at various price points and with different features, so always ensure you opt for one that is able to handle the number of screens in any particular installation, even if a more recent approach to this type of need – defined as being “software centric” – involves the use of a normal PC with digital screens and network devices.
The biggest problem faced by engineers in recent years concerned the thickness of the monitor bezels, being the width of the frame around each display. The modern screens that comprise today’s Video Walls have very slim bezels that help to create the illusion of looking at a single large monitor, with more fluid and uniform images.
Finally, the content created specifically for Video Walls is different from that created to be enjoyed on smaller screens. With the advancement of the technology and the rise in end users pushed to install Video Walls, retailers will have an interesting opportunity to grow and add value to this market, as will Content Creators being increasingly driven to focus on creativity and entertainment.
However, there are also elements that hold back this market. Many people assume that having a Video Wall merely involves the initial cost of designing, installing and setting one up. Some Video Wall vendors encourage this way of thinking and use it to justify the prices they charge.
In reality, Video Wall solutions require maintenance, updating both the software and the content, along with recalibration, and so on. This is perhaps what most holds people back from investing in this type of technology for their business or project.
In Italy, Elemaint is one of the largest Video Wall producers and installers, having been designing turnkey solutions for more than twenty years with complex systems such as Video Walls and technology rooms, as well as creating custom-made furniture for control rooms. It is thanks to this experience in the field of technological integration within control rooms and in the creation of workstations for operations rooms that Elemaint is able to meet all needs related to the ergonomics, cable routing, design and usability of the various technologies.
Have you ever seen Video Walls installed in shops or stadiums? Was this in-depth article of interest to you? Contact us and let us know what you think.