LCD video walls are becoming the bread and butter of many value-added reseller (VAR) businesses; however, this complex technology must be designed and installed carefully in order to ensure success. With customers spending tens of thousands of dollars—or more—on a single video wall installation, the stakes are high with these systems.
In order to make your next LCD video wall project go smoothly, keep in mind these five expert tips:
1. Design for a specific purpose.
Not all video walls are meant to provide the same experience or achieve a similar goal. Your technology choices should vary depending on the purpose of the video wall, whether it’s advertising, wayfinding, customer engagement, branding, or something else entirely. Once you have a firm understanding of how the video wall will be used, you can decide on factors such as interactivity, audio, IP integration, and more.
2. Always keep your end goal in mind.
What will make the video wall a success in the eye of your customer? The goal may be increased sales, improved brand awareness, better customer service, or any number of other achievements.
Once that goal has been firmly established, each decision should be in support of it. Keeping the end goal in mind will help you more readily decide which devices or features are necessary—and which can be cut out in the design phase. Just because capabilities like social media integration and 4K resolution are well-suited for certain installations does not mean that they fit every video wall application. Focus on the goal, not the current industry hype.
3. Optimize your content.
Learn as much about the content as possible, early on in the design phase. You don’t want to specify certain hardware, only to later realize that it won’t optimize the type of content your customer wants to display.
Ask your customer about the formats and resolutions that their content will arrive in. Best practices dictate that your content should match your displays with native resolution. That way, you won’t have to worry about bandwidth problems.
4. Don’t cut corners on the technology.
Opt for professional-grade displays, mounts, and cabling so that you can rest assured that the video wall will stand the test of time. Be sure to choose a high-quality video wall processor, because it is a device that can make or break the success of the installation. Do your research in order to ensure that the processor you choose provides appropriate image upscaling/downscaling, color reproduction, and processing speeds for the type of content that will be displayed.
5. Don’t overlook the details.
With a high-profile display such as a video wall, it can be tempting to devote all your energy to the big picture. However, it’s important to not neglect the smaller details, such as mounting hardware, dedicated power, and effective cooling and ventilation.
Video walls can be extremely heavy structures. Before you decide on mounting hardware, ensure that the support wall is structurally sound. In older buildings, you might partner with a structural engineer in order to make sure the space can support your displays. Then, choose high-quality mounting hardware that is well-reviewed throughout the industry.
In addition, be sure you have dedicated power for your display so you can guarantee continuous operation. In most environments, it’s wise to incorporate power conditioners and surge protection in order to safeguard your customer’s investment.
Finally, consider how you will keep your video wall cool. Much like your TV at home, these large displays produce a lot of energy, but on a larger scale. You don’t want any of your devices or cables getting fried. This is especially important for displays in areas without a lot of ventilation. Today, there is a wide range of video wall displays available that offer integrated cooling fans, which will likely be your best bet in most environments.
What other tips do you have for VARs working with LCD video wall technology?