Ask the experts: What are the pros and cons of video walls vs. large-format displays?
Digital signage screens and displays are getting bigger and bigger and their resolution is getting better and better, whether it's a 98-inch LCD screen or an even larger 4K LED display.
Larger-format LCDs are now large enough and high-quality enough to at least consider challenging the dominance of matrix-arrayed digital signage video walls, and one could say the same about LED displays with the amazing recent advances in LED display resolutions.
So for this month's "Ask the experts" feature, we asked Andy Clipsham, senior product manager, global market solutions, for digital signage display provider Christie, to talk about the pros and cons of video walls and large-format displays.
Here's what he had to say:
Q: What are the pros and cons of using a video wall versus a single large-format display?
Clipsham: A tiled LCD video wall will be less expensive and will have greater flexibility in how the final image is displayed than a single unit. For instance, a site may want to cover a long, thin wall or a curved wall that a single large-format display doesn't fit on, but deploying the solution will take a little more effort and the finished product will always have the bezel line in the image. A single large-format display is easier to deploy and can show great UHD content without a bezel break, but there may be locations that simply can't accept a single panel this large. A 98-inch panel doesn't fit in the average elevator or in areas with tight corners.
Q: Or, for example, is a 98-inch LCD better than an even larger LED-based screen?
Clipsham: It really depends on the environment, the use and the need for design flexibility. If the viewers of the content will be located close to the panel, then a UHD LCD display will probably be the best option. A larger LCD-based video wall is an option with a lower price, but the bezel will show. On the other hand, if the viewers are going to be further from the display and/or there is significant ambient light in the room, an LED display may offer advantages. LED displays offer the greatest design flexibility, ambient light tolerance and are seamless at the optimal viewing distance.
Q: Where is one better than the other, and where do they suffer in comparison to each other?
Clipsham: There is a full range of technologies that can be leveraged to create a video wall – tiled or discrete LCD flat panels, rear-projection cubes, LED tiles projectors. Each option has a sweet spot depending on the installation. Key considerations when selecting the best technology for a given installation include: design flexibility, physical footprint, ease of installation, image quality, ambient light tolerance, reliability, ease of maintenance and cost.
Christopher Hall / Christopher is the managing director of the Interactive Customer Experience Association and former editor of DigitalSignageToday.com. A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry.