10 Step Video Wall Buying Guide
There are some basic, fundamental questions that get asked time and time again about video walls. So the team at Level 3 Audiovisual has written this quick "10 step video wall buying guide"; in hopes it can help clear the air on some of your video wall questions.
Determine the needs.
Pinpoint what the video wall will be utilized for. Whether it is for advertisement at a retail location. A presentation in a classroom, education in a conference room or training room, or high resolution mapping in a command and control center. People utilize video walls in all sorts of ways. One thing to ask yourself in the beginning is, "Will this video wall be interactive?" If you plan on using your hands to touch the video wall, call up or expand content, or interface an Xbox Kinect to trigger on-screen actions, then yes, your video wall will need to be interactive. We created a "Digital Signage Cheat Sheet" that can instantly save you time and help you narrow your needs and generate ideas and uses!
How many images will be shown?
If you want the ability to stretch and resize a video window, have multiple video sources playing simultaneously on the video wall, switch from a single large picture to many smaller sized pictures then you will need a video wall processor that can set the window arrays into different variations and positions. Most control rooms use a multi window processor(s) because they have multiple sources (computer data, streaming video, CCTV, broadcast, surveillance, 3D) of visual information they need to view and monitor real time. Knowing what source you want to view and display will determine what type of processor or scale you will need and how to format it.
Content is king!
It's important to know and connect with your audience. Understanding the demographics of your audience will help determine the type of content to use as well as how to display it. Will you be catering to a young Gen Z audience that craves fast motion and color? Or be more informational and subtle with cool and calming colors? Do you want your video wall be used for campus mapping or way-finding? Answering these questions will save you time and money in producing quality content that is fun, attractive and informational. If you need assistance with content just let us know and we’ll show you how to produce award wining content.
Depending on the aspect ratio of your video wall, your content may need to be created specifically to be played in its native resolution. If your media needs to be manipulated to match the aspect ratio of your video wall that will call for a different piece of equipment that can upscale or downscale your media to fit your video wall. All equipment, programming and media management must be taken into consideration to maximize the quality of the image.
Choose commercial grade equipment.
There is a big difference between consumer grade displays and commercial grade displays. Commercial grade displays will be more expensive but there’s a good reason why. They are built to be run for longer hours in more hostile environments. Differences exist from mounting solutions, temperature and color control, RS-232 communication, display run time, run time to mean failure and warranty all play into determining which approach to take. Needless to say interactive video walls necessitate the use of commercial grade product as they incorporate hardened glass for multi-touch capability. If you’re looking for a professional installation we got you covered on this one, as we only work with the best commercial grade manufacturers in the AV industry.
Choose an appropriate mounting system.
If you want to save money down the line, choosing the right mounting solution is key. When it comes to maintaining, servicing and supporting your displays in the future you will want a display mount that offers easy access to failed parts. Structure is also an often times overlooked variable. When mounting large video walls, sometimes additional support structure is needed to handle the weight of the video wall. This calls for additional engineering but is a very important step. If your video wall installer hasn’t considered structural support in the wall, behind the mounts, it could lead to system failure or personal injury.
Keep it cool!
That's right, Daddie-o. Keeping it cool means longer life out of your displays because heat is generated very quickly behind a video wall. Adequate ventilation using fans and often times enclosed casings (like in outdoor use) are solutions to keeping your video wall running 24/7 with little to no issues. Make sure your video wall financial plan includes a budget for cooling, it will not only extend the life of your system but also your investment.
Determine electrical requirements
Electrical requirements are a big factor when planning a video wall installation. It takes a lot of juice to run a video wall. Determining the proper power consumption and assigning the right power supplies are crucial for the long life of your video wall. A surge suppressor is beneficial to make sure any spikes in power don't damage your video wall. They are great for preventing crashes, reboots and avoiding power related performance problems.
Have your video wall Installed by a professional
There is something to be said about quality and experience. And we have both. Our video wall services are unmatched in the industry with dedicated project managers and professional lead installers. Every video wall is pre-staged and tested in our Video Wall Lab in accordance with AV9000 standards. Our highly qualified staff is just itching to make your project a success. If you don't choose us, hey no hard feelings. Just make sure whoever does your video wall integration is truly a professional with certifications and client testimonials that will give you a commercial grade display that is right for you.
Perform preventive maintenance
Preventative maintenance is paramount to keeping your video wall up and running for years down the line. This is often done on a pre-determined schedule and includes things like shading and temperature adjustment, color adjustment, checking for broken parts such as faulty fans, failed terminations, corrosion or other hardware or cabling issues. Think of preventative maintenance on your video wall the same way you would look at maintenance on your car. If you perform scheduled maintenance to keep it running and in good shape it will bring you exceptional experiences for years to come.