The modern video wall is an incredible thing, capable of displaying any manner of content, from a wide variety of sources, in nearly any configuration imaginable. Some video walls are two or more stories tall, while others wrap around the entire interior of a retail store or building. With touchscreen, gesture-control and even speech-recognition capabilities, today’s video walls seem to be able to do it all.
Of course, the parts of a video wall that the general public sees and interacts with—the screens themselves—are only part of the story. Video wall displays don’t run on their own; they also require intelligent software programs that ensure each piece of content is played exactly at the right time and place to make the overall image, video and audio work as they should.
However, not all video wall software will help you achieve the ideal result. It’s important for you to carefully assess the different software that is available on the market, asking yourself the following questions about each:
1. How user-friendly is it?
Even the most sophisticated video walls should rely on easy-to-use software. Look for a solution that has positive user reviews for the following key features:
- The ability to manage multiple displays from a single user interface
- Mobile or desktop control
- Drag-and-drop functionality
- Straightforward operation and, when necessary, ongoing manufacturer support
2. What are some of its advanced features?
Video walls are high-impact displays, and your customers expect this technology to be backed up with rich feature sets. Depending on your customer’s budget and goals, they may benefit from many of today’s more advanced features, including flexible display of multiple file types (even at the same time), remote and mobile content management, support for touchscreen or gesture-control interfaces, and acceptance of HTML5 feeds from sources such as social media and weather and stock feeds.
3. What integration options are available?
Depending upon your customer’s business structure and goals for their video wall, they may want to integrate their display’s content and control with other systems. For example, many software packages enable integration with business intelligence or geographic information system (GIS) technologies, which enables your customer to manage multiple systems in one convenient platform.
4. Will your customer be comfortable with the content management functions?
Once you’ve installed a video wall, you need to rest assured that your customer feels confident and comfortable with finding or creating new content, changing the content schedule and tweaking the display.
Make sure that the software has intuitive content management functions, so that each end user is able to make the most of the content without unnecessary delay or difficulty. Look for a solution that enables your customer to create playlists, or “scenarios,” that automate content playback, as well as establish fine-tuned schedules to customize content playback throughout the day.
5. Does the price fit your customer’s budget?
Video wall software is available through many different pricing structures. With network-streamed software applications, your customer might pay a flat monthly or annual rate. Or they can choose to purchase the software outright or pay per license for each installation. If your customer has multiple video walls or might grow their network in the future, you might consider the flat-rate-per- installation option.
What other important factors do you consider when recommending video wall software? What are some of your top brands?