The digital signage industry is going big, with video wall installations cropping up in retail stores, hospitality environments, sports venues, transportation locations and more. With video wall sales expected to reach 1 million units next year, now is the time for value-added resellers (VARs) to become familiar with video wall hardware and software.
Of course, any project’s display technology and content are highly important. But a lesser-known component of success is the video wall processor – the device that enables the display of content across an array of monitors. Video wall processors are like the traffic controllers of large-scale digital signage: making sure every piece of content arrives exactly where it should be, right on time.
Much like any other technology, video wall processors come in wide range of price points, with very different capabilities and feature sets. To find the right processor for your video wall customers, look for the following five features:
1. Control for up the right number of displays.
Video walls range in size from two large displays to 100 or more. Be sure to select a video wall processor that is capable of controlling – at minimum – the number of displays each customer requires at the time of install. That way, they won’t have to spend more on additional processors if the project grows a bit down the road.
2. Good bezel compensation.
Although the bezel width of video wall displays continues to shrink, you will likely be working with a range of widths in the years to come. For that reason, you’ll need a video wall processor that seamlessly ties together multiple screens, regardless of the amount of space between them. Be sure to look for a processor that can easily accommodate displays with any screen frame width, which allows for accurate display of all content.
3. Simple set-up and operation.
Many newer video wall processors have improved graphical user interfaces to make set-up and operation easier than was previously possible. Look for a device that also includes a remote control, which will make your and your customers’ lives so much easier when small tweaks need to be made.
4. A web server interface.
These days, internet connectivity is non-negotiable for a video wall processor. This will enable you or your customers to easily perform firmware upgrades, source additional content and more, simply by linking the processor to an external computer.
5. High-quality image processing.
Perhaps most importantly, look for a processor that is well-known for having superior image processing capabilities. A few points to consider include:
- High-quality upscaling and downscaling of images, which ensures your content is displayed correctly on the video wall
- Accurate color reproduction, which depends on the device’s depth processing capabilities
The best way to ensure that you’re choosing a high-quality processor with superior image processing is to see it in action. If you’re considering a specific device, visit a site where it’s already in use, see it at a tradeshow or ask the manufacturer for an in-person demonstration.
A video wall processor can be a make-or-break component of any digital signage project. Do a little research on the industry’s leading devices and remember your customer’s unique needs, and you’re likely to find one that is right for each installation.
What are your top features in a video wall processor? How do you go about deciding on a device for a given project?