What is a video wall? A video wall is an array of high quality commercial or professional grade monitor screens placed together to create a larger screen. Video walls come in many different sizes, applications, configurations and varieties including LCD, LED, blended projection screens, rear projection screens (DLP), mosaic tiles and direct view LED panels just to name a few.
Video walls are most notable because of their large size and narrow or ultra-thin bezels. The smaller the bezel, the more the video wall will portray a seamless image. Video walls are typically constructed of commercial grade materials, meaning they can be operated in work environments up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have longer life spans than traditional consumer displays.
Several factors should be considered before purchasing a video wall.
- Video Wall Installation
- Content / Information to be presented
- Type of display
- Video wall controller
Video walls may appear to be as simple as an oversized TV but there are many factors that play into the overall cost of a video wall. Monitor size, type, weight, screen resolution, dot pitch, and information to be processed and displayed all play a key role in the cost of a video wall. Knowing your budget before you begin your research will aid you in quickly defining what type of video wall is right for you, how much sophistication and complexity you can afford and what functions and features are most important to you. We have video walls down to a science and can offer a free quote to you within 24 hours.
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Video Wall Installation
Now that you’ve determined how much money you have to spend on your video wall you will need a place to put it. The Installation of your video wall is an important consideration for numerous reasons. As they say in commercial real estate, “location, location, location”. The same applies for the installation of video walls. It’s important to maximize visual impact and ROI on your video wall and that means placing it in a “high traffic” area, or for interactive walls, at the right height for your customers. This location may be your lobby, an informational kiosk, a retail outlet, conference room or command and control center. How large does the wall need to be, how far off the floor does it need to stand, from how far away do you need people to be able see and read it? These are important questions that help determine what type of wall is right for you and where to install it.
Video Wall Content
Content is your message. Your message is your purpose. Your purpose is what you want your video wall to convey. Is your purpose to assist and inform the public using mapping or way-finding? Is your purpose to entice or motivate shoppers such as taking advantage of a current sale? Is your purpose to influence and create emotion with content such as moving art, photography or imagery? Identifying your purpose up front will help you define your message which will aid you in determining your content, how it is to be conveyed, and how to go about creating it.
Type of Display
Choosing the right type of displays for a video wall depends on many factors; what video resolution do you need, how far away will your viewing audience be from the wall, what are the ambient lighting conditions of its surroundings, will the wall be interactive or passive? Lighting conditions affect how certain panels display color whereas dot pitch determines how far back the audience needs to be to achieve a crisp, clear video image.
LCD monitors may save you money compared to direct view LED panels but the mullions, the seams between the displays, will be larger and more noticeable. Does this matter to you? Will your video wall be interactive with multi-touch capability? If so, that utilizes a different type of approach and technology that needs to be considered. What level of definition and image quality do you want and need? HD? Ultra HD? 4K? 8K? These considerations all determine how much your video wall and content will cost, what your content will look like, as well as how and who will produce it. These factors and more need to be considered when determining what type of video wall displays to use.
Video Wall Controller
Video wall controllers, often referred to as “processors”, are devices that split a single image into multiple parts to be displayed on several integrated displays or multiple images onto a single display, also known as “windowing”. There are two kinds of controllers for video walls:
Centralized Video Wall Controller
These controllers are high performance powerhouse machines designed and built to house all processing required for large video wall arrays in one box. Each controller can be custom configured for the required number of sources and displays connected. Premium performance, uncompromised video signal quality and high availability are the key features of centralized video wall controllers.
Distributed Video Wall Controller
Distributed video wall systems are comprised of a network of small form factor pc’s (players) that are all running a distributed video wall application. Usually, one player to one display. Typically controlled by one or more host computers, the video wall players are synchronized and each displaying their assigned quadrant of the content being displayed. Sources can be pictures, video files, or live video feeds via network streaming devices. Scalability and a lower total cost of ownership are key features of distributed video wall system.
Command & Control Room Video Walls
A command and control room is often called a “War Room” because numerous sources of incoming data (computer, video, graphics, VTC, 3D imagery) are displayed onto a single video canvas to be analyzed in real time by several members of a team. Although the term relates to a military situation room in which generals are strategizing on troop movements it could also describe a team of engineers monitoring the temperature, pressure and safety of a nuclear reactor, an electrical grid or a city’s traffic pattern. In a true war environment military commanders and leaders need to make split second decisions based upon clear and accurate information. Video walls aid these teams by creating a single video canvas to display incoming information from various sources. Satellite imagery, weather patterns, helmet cams from troops, IR information from drones, trajectories from missiles can all be fed live, in real-time to a single video wall for the command to make decisions and react to situations. As such video walls need to be reliable.
In command and control environments the term “reliability” is called mission critical. Mission critical systems in a command center have backup systems or redundancies to insure continuous operation during equipment failure or power outages. A war room enables an organization to function as it is designed to; continuously without failure. The operations must carry on no matter what happens around it. The command center is the source for guidance and leadership in a time of crisis and therefore must remain online.
There are numerous factors involved when designing a turn-key command and control room. Lighting, sight lines, audio intelligibility, video switching and processing, human ergonomics and display resolution are just a few of the factors that determine the success and/or failure of a command and control center. The video wall and all the other technologies integrating into the war room must provide decision makers fast and accurate data in order for them to analyze, act upon and perform effectively.
Level 3 Audiovisual understands the importance of mission critical environments and the technological redundancies needed to sustain them. Call us today for a free consultation on your next command & control Room: 877-777-5328.
Network Operation Center (NOC) Video Walls
Network Operation Centers or “NOC’s”, as they are sometimes referred to, are the central hub of an organizations networking system. Just like command & control centers NOC’s use video walls to organize and monitor visual information. Network operation center video walls are common in large corporations, universities, healthcare institutions, military and government facilities.
The main purpose and responsibility of a NOC is to monitor enterprise network issues, respond to incidents, report system failures and manage the uptime and continued communications of these systems. Having a large, digital canvas to monitor this information, such as a video wall, is the perfect solution for a NOC. All audio visual and information technology in the NOC must be mission critical to insure constant awareness of these vital networks.
Security Operations Center (SOC) Video Walls
The Security Operations Center, sometimes referred to as a “SOC”, is the location within a facility or building dedicated to monitoring security cameras, infra-red sensors, motion detectors, vibration sensors or any other device that detects intrusion or a health safety issue. Video walls provide a large visual canvas to project all of these types of detection devices onto a single display for monitoring by members of a team.
Additional information can include access control, intercom, door entry, intruder control, visitor management, fire alarm and CCTV. With so many disciplines to monitor time is of the essence. When a SOC has a major security issue, your security team has to analyze, collaborate and react with precision and speed. You have to trust the functionality and operation of your video wall and audiovisual systems to perform when they are required to perform.
At Level 3 Audio Visual we have years of designing and building security control centers with state-of-the-art video walls. Give us a call today and let’s start the conversation! 877-777-5328
Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Video Walls
Emergency operations centers, or EOC’s, are designed and built for the sole purpose of monitoring and responding to emergency situations in order to prevent physical devastation and save lives. EOC’s are used for many different types of emergency situations including hurricanes, flash floods, wild fires or hostage situations. EOC’s are designed and built specifically to display and disseminate incoming video and computer information. The most powerful method for displaying critical information is a video wall. A video wall can display many of the important forms of information necessary to coordinate relief efforts. When dealing with a category 5 hurricane, for example, a video wall can display satellite imagery of the hurricane’s location, trajectory and intensity. It can display camera feeds of specific positions on the ground showing the effects of wind and water, it can display the status and locations of first responders as well as show water levels, traffic evacuation routes and many other forms of visual information vital to the relief effort. Level 3 AV’s emergency operations center video wall solutions help emergency teams plan, design and build video wall infrastructures vital for their team’s success.
Are you ready for award winning service and quality from an AV integrator? Call us today and let’s get started on your EOC video wall integration. 877-777-5328