As seasoned value-added resellers (VARs) will attest, video walls may be the pro AV category that can range in price the most. Today’s simplest video walls might include just one or two screens and straightforward components, costing your customer only a few thousand dollars. But larger, more complex displays—such as those seen at airports and corporate headquarters—can total tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, where do you even begin when putting together a cost estimate for a new video wall project?
First and foremost, it’s vital to fully understand your customer’s budget, goals and timeline for each video wall project. Naturally, your smaller customers, such as houses of worship and stand-alone retail shops, will most often require a simpler, more affordable video wall solution whose main goal is to communicate with as many viewers as possible. Larger customers with the budgets to match will usually seek out more expensive video walls that will further engage the viewer with advanced features, innovative content and, of course, the sheer size and shape of the display.
Once you have a direction in mind for a given customer, it’s time to estimate the total cost of the project.
The screens. Display prices have fallen steadily over the last several years, making video walls much more affordable overall. Your customers can purchase a basic yet high-quality LCD display for as little as $1,200 in order to build a simple video wall. However, larger walls and those with advanced features—such as touchscreen capabilities—can run as much as $30,000. If you have a customer with a very tight budget who really only needs a video wall for basic text and video, a projector screen may suffice and costs only around $350.
Beyond LCDs, narrow pixel pitch LED solutions are also becoming an attractive option for indoor video walls, since they provide a high level of resolution and image quality in well-lit environments. LEDs live up to demanding 24-hour use, making them ideal for public spaces and corporate applications, among others. The best part? They require a thin mounting display and enable fast and easy installation and service. So although their price range is similar to that of LCDs, their simplified mounting and low-cost maintenance helps to make them a cost-effective option over the life of the video wall.
Processor. In many cases, your processor will be the most expensive part of your video wall solution. Processors run anywhere from around $800 up to $30,000 or more. It’s important not to skimp on the processor, since poor-quality devices can produce slow, blocky video and ruin the overall effect of the display.
Mounting hardware. Today’s video wall mounts come in nearly every imaginable configuration. You can get a 2x2 mounting kit for around $500; freestanding mounts for about $2,500; or large, complex sliding rail mounts for close to $100,000.
Content management software. This depends on the features your customer requires and whether they opt for network-streamed software or a pay-per-license set-up. While streaming software can be less expensive (and is based on a flat monthly or annual rate), if your customer has multiple video walls or might grow their network in the future, you might consider the flat-rate-per-installation option.
As you can see, video walls are available at nearly every price; however, it’s important that you partner with reliable, high-quality vendors for every product that you recommend. Read our Quick Start Guide to Pro AV to discover some of the leading brands for each component category.
What are some of the most important cost-estimate considerations for your own pro AV projects? Would you say that most of your customers approach a project already aware of how much they might need to spend?