Video walls are sure to grab someone’s attention, usually becoming the focal point of the room, courtyard, auditorium or lobby where they’re installed.
They’re also used across dozens of applications, like college campuses, shopping malls, lobbies, airports, hotels and auditoriums.
If you’re looking for some kind of visual aid to sell a product or provide information, video walls are the way to go, said Brandy Alvarado, business development manager with Mad Systems.
The California-based AV integrator counts museums and entertainment venues as its largest verticals, and that’s where the company’s video wall solutions typically find a home.
According to Alvarado, integrators working with a client should first ask a series of questions before moving ahead on a design plan: the use case, the area and the customers’ budget.
Video wall use cases
Companies shouldn’t just slap up a video wall for any reason, Alvarado said —there should be a purpose behind the decision.
“I think you have to drill that down first and foremost,” she said.
Those purposes could include:
- Branding and marketing. Companies can use video wall systems to act as engaging advertisements and enhance their brand with cutting-edge technology
- Educating the public. A visually appealing video wall is a surefire way to send out an important message to the public.
- Collaboration. Video walls are a great way for multiple employees and teams to collaborate on a project.
- Design aesthetic. Is the client simply going for the “wow” factor?
- Customer interaction. They can create an immersive experience for customers.
Luis Schilling, CEO of California-based Palermitano Solutions and an AV integrator and service provider for several large Silicon Valley tech firms, his video walls typically accomplish one thing: bragging rights.
Tech firms —or any company, for that matter – can impress an important client with a visually stunning display in their lobby or conference room.
“It’s to show class and technology,” he said. “It’s a marketing expense.”
According to Alvarado, Schilling and other AV experts, video walls can bring value in a variety of use cases and applications:
- College campuses. Important messages on aesthetically appealing displays can be a draw to recruit new students.
- Unique video wall displays can add to the guests’ experience.
- Control rooms. Security and military personnel can use video walls to monitor networks, video streams and collaborate.
- Outdoor advertising. Instead of billboards, imagine a video wall along the highway, erasing the man hours needed to change the messaging.
- Retail stores. They can be a useful marketing tool to help drive revenue in retail stores.
- Conference rooms. Video walls can bring a more immersive experience to conference room technology.
- Reception and lounges. Instead of old magazines, video walls are a more exciting way of killing time while waiting for an appointment to start.
- TV and broadcast studios. Video walls allow for effective communication between producers and staff in the studio.
- Video walls can provide information and entertainment while waiting for that late-arriving connecting flight.
- Clubs, pubs and restaurants. What better way to draw customers to an establishment than a visually-appealing way to watch the big game.
- Sports venues. Make sure fans never miss a big play regardless of where their seats are
- Traffic and public information.
The space and equipment
The next thing to consider is the area where the display is being installed, Alvarado said, which brings several questions:
- It is an area that could be projected on?
- Is it a case where several monitors in various array sizes could be installed?
- Does it call for LED screens to create a nearly seamless, high-pixel resolution?
- Are there opportunities to integrate the technology with the building’s existing systems?
Schilling, who counts many corporate technology companies as his customers, said the systems can usually be integrated with the building’s software and controlled via touch screen or mobile devices, if the customer so desires.
Schilling said he will sell more high-quality hardware based on his customers’ affordability and geography.
In his company’s home country of Argentina, Palermitano Solutions will typically sell LG or Samsung screens in Latin America, while NEC products are the norm for projects in the U.S.
Budget and video wall design
According to both AV installers, the design and complexity of the installation ultimately comes down to one thing: the amount of cash customers are willing to throw down for the display.
“There are many different levels of video walls,” Schilling said.
The bigger the video wall, the more equipment needed, like more matrix switchers and processors. Video wall systems can also be integrated into the building’s other digital systems and controlled with digital software, which adds an additional expense.
At Mad Systems, Alvarado said the company typically offers three different types of video wall displays that range in price and affordability.
- Projection video wall: these are lower-cost and typically provide for more flexibility.
- LCD displays: these are a bit more expensive than projection-based video walls but are usually just as flexible.
- LED: LED-based walls typically provide the highest resolution.