The video wall market is one of the most exciting areas of growth in pro AV, with total revenues expected to reach nearly $18 billion by 2020. These high-impact displays have the potential to transform your clients’ business, draw in new customers, and improve revenues. As a value-added reseller (VAR), now is the time to get to know video wall technology, inside and out.
Beyond your choice of screens, the video wall processor is easily one of the most important elements of any video wall installation. A video wall processor (also known as a controller) is what enables your screens to correctly display video and data. Since video walls are made up of two or more digital signs, you need a processor to ensure that the content is displayed correctly, whether that involves stretching it across multiple screens or, at times, confining it to one or more areas of the overall video wall.
Video wall processors are available at a wide range of prices, with varying levels of features and capabilities. So, does it matter which video wall processor you choose? Absolutely—and for several important reasons:
1. Processor quality makes a big difference.
When you’re installing a large-scale video wall, every corner cut in the name of budget could cause a high-impact problem with the display. As the “traffic cop” of a video wall, the processor makes sure that each piece of content arrives where it belongs, right on time. Skimping on such a fine-tuned device can lead to some serious (and very noticeable) issues.
For example, selecting a processor without enough processing power can cause video to appear blocky and inconsistent. Meanwhile, certain processors may skimp on color reproduction, which can lead to a discolored appearance. It’s important to find a device that can easily handle your specific content and the number of screens currently installed, as well as several more, in case your customer expands the display over time.
In addition, be sure that your processor is a good fit for the specific type and size of screens you’ll be using. As bezels have continued to shrink in width, processors have had to compensate by adjusting how content is displayed. If you go with an older processor model, you may find yourself struggling to get your content to fit your displays.
2. Web connectivity is a must for most customers.
For the vast majority of today’s video wall customers, you’ll want to find a processor with a Web server interface. This enables the processor to connect to the Internet for firmware upgrades and patches and to access a wealth of content options from any number of sources. After the video wall has been installed for some time, this will help ensure that your customer can keep the content fresh and relevant.
3. Simplicity is key.
Even as video wall features have become more advanced, new processors have gradually become more user-friendly. Those with easy-to-use graphic interfaces help make set-up and daily operation much simpler than they were with their predecessors. And for customers who will need to make regular changes to their content and scheduling, be sure to find a processor that includes a remote control.
In your experience, what are the most important features of a video wall processor? What are some of your go-to video wall processor brands?