Throughout the pro AV industry, “4K” is one of the hot new words one everyone’s lips. 4K screens are starting to become a bit more mainstream, and customers in a growing number of locations have requested their ultra-high-definition capabilities.
As 4K video walls start to pop up throughout the industry, we’re hearing a lot of buzz around 4K video wall processors. But what makes these UHD devices different, and do your customers need to embrace 4K for their own video walls? Let’s take a closer look at why everyone is talking about 4K video wall processors:
4K screens have about four times as many pixels as other leading displays, providing the highest resolution currently available on the pro AV market. The result is an image that is up to four times crisper than that offered by 1080p screens, which were previously the gold standard for HD. Known as “ultra HD,” 4K is particularly well-suited for video walls, where every image is super-sized and viewers are sometimes closer to the screen, meaning resolution is more important than ever.
4K video wall processors are specifically designed to support resolutions up to 3800x2100—or more. Of course, other HD processors can also handle 4K content; but there might be a small difference in quality with certain images and fast-moving video content.
4K video wall processors are configured both to handle 4K input capture and send 4K output to screens, so you know that each component of the video wall will provide the highest level of resolution possible. If your customer is enthusiastic about investing in a 4K video wall, and resolution is a top priority, a 4K video wall processor might be your best bet.
Best Verticals for 4K Video Walls
4K video walls aren’t exactly mainstream yet, but they are getting more popular as time goes by. Today, HD digital screens have fallen significantly in price as 4K displays have entered the market. With whispers of an inevitable move to 8K making rounds in the industry, it might be only a matter of time before 4K prices start to edge downward as well.
For now, expect 4K video walls to be relegated to a few higher-end customers only, especially since the amount of available 4K content is limited. Recommend them for those environments where resolution is going to be a make-or-break element of success. For example, an upscale mall is using 4K video wall technology to display store advertisements, event information and branded video. Since the display is nearly two stories tall and includes some fast-moving imagery, management opted for the highest resolution possible, driven by a 4K processor. However, note that in these applications, 4K content is a must-have to best demonstrate the full capability of the technology.
In another example, a museum installed a 4K video wall that encourages visitors to interact with content through a touchscreen interface. Since users will be within arm’s length of the screen—meaning every pixel would count—the project stakeholders decided that 4K resolution and processing power were a must-have.
How much interest are your customers expressing in 4K video wall technology? Do you feel the systems are a bit “before their time” for most customers, or do you think they already have a strong opportunity in the pro AV market?