Why it's important
With video walls, source content resolution is typically substantially smaller than the combined pixel output resolution offered by the displays in the video wall. The vast majority of existing source content is 1080p with most new content being created now at 4k.
Video walls typically can offer 6k or even 16k pixel output resolution, so it is not uncommon to scale up content four or even sixteen times its original pixel count for output on the video wall.
When was the last time you saw a digital display and said (or even thought) “wow that’s cool!”? The fact is that digital displays are everywhere nowadays, and individual displays don’t have the impact they used to have anymore.
So, what is the next step? Video walls. Look around whenever you are at an airport, a mall, and of course, sports venues. You’ll see that video walls are more and more present. But then again, small video walls—for example, the 2x2 or 3x3 ones that you get by daisy-chaining modern commercial displays—won’t cut it either. Here is where video wall processors come into play.
While there are many video wall processors to choose from, they vary widely by cost and complexity. For those looking to use video wall processor to power their video wall, this article will cover the major trends in video wall processors and highlight some key considerations.
Three Main Video Wall Processor Options
There are three main types of video wall processors, each with a different approach.
Most system integrators have a wide and varied customer base, and within that diverse customer base, they see an even more diverse variety of projects and requirements. In order to remain competitive, systems integrators (SIs) have to offer a wide range of products to cover all requirements for their various projects.
When it comes to video wall processors, SIs are often left juggling multiple video wall processor products for multiple projects--there is the video wall processor for artistic, mosaic-style video wall projects, and then another for control room projects. They may offer one solution for low budget deployments, and then another for more demanding, high-end video walls.
Userful is the world's first video wall with a built-in hypervisor, bringing the full power of virtualization to video wall controllers. New in Userful v8.5, you can now natively map, launch and run a virtual machine spanning the entire video wall (or multiple virtual machines running simultaneously on multiple individual zones within the video wall). Intermix virtual machines with the myriad of other content sources offered by the Userful platform to create a powerful solution. Typical use-cases would include education, training, or meeting areas where you will have multiple users throughout the course of a week, each perhaps preferring different operating environments.
Obviously there are other ways of outputting the content of different operating systems to a video wall (such as HDMI capture, RDP, VNC, etc.) but each of these involves the complexity and cost of running and integrating a separate computer to generate that source and some require the inconvenience of switching between the second set of input devices attached to the second computer. Also, the resolution of the feed is limited by the capability of the capture card or remote protocol.