Here are some tips for getting the most from your video wall deployments:
Determine Your Digital Signage Needs and Goals
It’s important to give strong consideration to the video wall’s purpose, size considerations, and client goals. Witt the video wall be used for branding, advertising, wayfinding, or something else? Will it be interactive?
Content is King
Determine the number of images for display at one time. Talk about the types of content to be shown before the hardware gets installed. You don’t want to be tweaking content on-the-fly minutes before the grand opening. Also, in what resolutions and formats will the content be designed? It’s imperative to have this conversation with the content creators upfront.
Content needs to match the screens with native resolutions. All the hardware components should match so you don’t have bandwidth restrictions. Some graphics cards can’t handle full HD. Flash has limitations. You need experts Involved to stretch Flash content with native resolutions, for example.
Choose Professional-Grade Products
Use displays that can be color calibrated to achieve brightness and color uniformity from screen to screen. Industrial strength monitors can handle the most rugged of applications, while consumer-grade products sold at “big box” stores don’t run 24/7 and can’t handle commercial demands. Go with high-end products for their reliability, inputs and color calibration capabilities.
Choose Appropriate Mounting Systems / Access for Maintenance
This is very important since labor is the most expensive part of any video wall project. Is the existing wall structure sound? Get a structural engineer involved to make sure that it can support a video wall. For the maintenance portion, ensure that you use pull-out mounts to service the video walls correctly and safely.
Keep it Cool
Video walls produce a lot of heat. Proper cooling and ventilation need to be part of the overall project and budget. Purchasing displays that offer integrated cooling fans will ensure unfailing operation.
Determine Electrical Requirements
Make sure you have thought through all the necessary components for the video wall system. If you’re deploying IS screens, you can’t power them off of one outlet. You need dedicated power. If you’re a hotel, you don’t want to turn on the microwave in your kitchen and discover that your video wall has shut down. Discuss power conditioners and surge protection with your systems integrator.
Use Trained Professionals for Your Video Wall Installation
Do yourself a favor and connect with an experienced partner for the installation. That partner will help you locate power sources and data jacks, and help you do the job correctly the first time.
Perform Color Calibration as Part of System Maintenance
This will ensure consistently great-looking video walls for years to come. Also make sure you budget maintenance and cleaning of your video wall to ensure functionality and a great look for the long term. If you don’t vacuum vents, for example, the ensuing heat accumulation can destroy the monitors. Maintenance contracts should be discussed upfront.
Keeping this checklist in mind can help you make the most of your video wall and endear you to core audiences and bosses alike.
Michael Ferrer is national manager of solutions sales and operations for NEC Display Solutions and a former systems integrator.