NEC Display Solutions of America and Digital Signage Today recently hosted a free webinar, "Video Wall Fundamentals: 10 Tips for Success," looking at the increasing popularity of digital signage video walls and how to ensure their successful deployment.
Presenters Michael Ferrer, national manager of solutions sales and operations for NEC, and Benjamin Hardy, product manager for NEC, looked at why video walls are growing in popularity — citing their "wow" factor, their uses in architectural design, their scalability and their capability for modularity and portability.
They then went through a detailed checklist for video wall success:
Step 1: Determine the needs - Pinpoint what the video wall is going to be used for, or potentially used for. This is the first essential step in ensuring that your system is designed to meet your client's communication goals.
Step 2: Determine the number of images that will be shown at one time - For example, do you need just one large image from a computer across the entire video wall, or will you want to show multiple sources (one source per screen), or even something in between?
Will the sources come from digital signage software, BluRay DVD, satellite video, RSS feed, stock market data feed, multiple computers, etc.?
Step 3: Content is king - Make sure to talk to about the content to be shown, and how it will look on the video wall.
Non-uniform configurations (i.e. three-by-one or three-by-two, as opposed to a two-by-two, three-by-three or four-by-four) will have a stretched image if content design is not discussed at the very beginning.
Step 4: Go native - The best overall picture quality and clarity can only be achieved if the content matches the screen's native resolution (e.g., 1366-by-768 or 1920-by-1080). All hardware/software must be matched to work together.
Step 5: Choose professional-grade products - They're designed for harsh public environments, rated for 24/7/365 use, and have cooling fans and robust inputs.
Make sure that the screens can be easily color calibrated. Calibrating for proper color, brightness and contrast uniformity is very important in keeping the video wall looking great. Make sure to include this in your project.
Step 6: Choose the appropriate mounting system - If you're intending to wall mount the video wall, is the existing wall structurally sound? Are you willing to add or reinforce the existing wall structure? Also, make sure to design the wall with ease of access and maintenance in mind.
Step 7: Keep it cool - Large video walls produce quite a bit of heat. Proper cooling or ventilation should be considered as part of your budget.
Step 8: Determine electrical requirements - Determine the appropriate electrical requirements for the displays, including the components that you'll be using for the video wall system. Make sure to also include power conditioning and surge protection.
Step 9: Have pros do the heavy lifting - Have your video wall installed by professionals who know how to properly install video walls including physical alignment, system setup and color calibration.
Step 10: Perform preventive maintenance - Preventive maintenance will help to ensure the video wall works and looks great for a very long time. Make sure to budget for this.
The speakers then went into more specific details about color calibration, before launching into a Q-and-A session that included questions like, "How can we deal with scheduling monitors to shut down and turn back on at certain hours, is this possible?" and "How often should a video wall be calibrated?" and "Why should a business or potential prospect invest in a video wall? What are some selling touchpoints?"
To download the free, on-demand version of the webinar, click here.
Learn more about digital signage display technology.