Chapter 1

What You Should Know Before Buying a Video Wall

Video walls can have many different sizes, applications, configurations and displays, including LCD, LED, blended projection screens, rear projection screens (DLP), mosaic-style tiles and direct view LED panels, just to name a few. They also have a wide variety of use cases from Control Rooms and Command Centers to digital signage, meeting rooms and entertainment.

1. Layout & Sizing

Determine your audience and the type of message(s) or the use case for your video wall. For a digital signage application, is your goal clear communication of specific written messages (grid layout) or is to make an impact with a unique design (artistic layout)?

For a Control Center, is it quick and easy interactivity and collaboration or is it for display of dashboards?

2. Location & Placement

Obviously you want to choose a prominent location but be aware that sun or bright lights can darken the display and create glare. Consider your surroundings and lighting conditions to ensure visibility and legibility at various times of day and from all angles.

3. Wiring & Connectivity

Your video wall controller can be either at the video wall location or in the server room. If it is at the video wall location you can use a wireless network connection (for content access) if it is in the server room you will need to have at least one Cat5e (or Cat6) Ethernet cable going to a gigabit switch at the video wall location.

4. Content Delivery/Interactivity

What will you be on your video wall?

Remember this may change, so ensure you’re considering your future requirements as well as today’s. Best to maximize flexibility to ensure that your video wall can grow as you grow.

If you require interactivity, what type, a touch video wall experience, control from a kiosk, from a tablet. Who will interact with your video wall and how?

5. Set-Up, Calibration & Maintenance

This aspect is usually overlooked when deciding what video wall solution to get. Ensure you’re considering who will be the administrator of the video wall and responsible for its management and support long term.

6. Who will install the video wall?

Video walls require a variety of components—including displays, cabling, mounts, etc—that need to be properly installed.

Video wall calibration can be a laborious process, so you would want a solution that simplifies the configuration and calibration of your video wall and help you save both time and money.

7. Expansion & Upgradeability 

Growth is a key objective in any business.

What happens with your video wall solution when there is a need to expand its size, or perhaps upgrade it to accommodate other new requirements?

When choosing a video wall solution, taking into account future adaptability can definitely save you some headaches and money.

Highly integrated solutions or solutions that need specialized components might prove inflexible, even perhaps needing to replace the entire system upon refresh; whereas modular, software-based solutions.

8. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Since the revenue derived directly from the video wall is hard to estimate, rather than spending a lot of money on a video wall solution and hoping for the best, a good start would be to actually minimize the expenses on the video wall—without sacrificing its ability to fit your needs, of course.

A thorough TCO study can provide great insight on what solution to choose.