What is a Video Wall?[email protected]
A video wall is a cluster of specifically connected screens, mounted together to create one large video display, designed to create big visual impact. Many companies use video walls as a statement piece in a reception or a prominent public area to impress guests or visitors.
They are also used to display large video images to capture attention and deliver messages and information in large spaces to large audiences. You might be forgiven for thinking these are just a set of TV’s mounted in a group but these are commercial screens designed to run up to 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
2 main types of video wall
Today the term video wall describes two quite different technologies. LCD Video wall or LED Video wall, otherwise known as DL-LED (direct Lit) LED.
LCD Video screen style is typically made up of 49″ or 55″ LCD screens mounted together often in patterns of 2 wide x 2 deep (4 screens) 3 wide x 3 deep (9 screens) and in other larger arrangements too.
LED Video walls are constructed from led modules to create a large seamless single screen. This type of video wall can theoretically be as big as you wish. Historically you will have seen these as backdrops at music concerts, sporting events, airports and train stations, but more and more LED displays have also become common place in large retails stores, shopping malls and large corporate offices. LED is used for outdoor as well as indoor displays.
One image or multi-image?
LCD Video walls are usually desired for their ability to display super-sized video content across 4, 6, 9 or more screens but they can also be used to show individual videos on each screen. We commonly see the individual screens used in security and operations centres for applications like multi-location CCTV monitoring. Using multi-screen inputs can allow extra digital creativity when designing content, playing multiple videos and content with in one video wall, can really attract attention and make your message stand out.
LCD video walls also have bezels or ‘frames’ between sections of screen – the most obvious visual difference between LCD and LED Display screen. This slim protective screen edge is actually very attractive in corporate and retail settings however LED screens offer a seamless, arguably more modern look.
If you look closely enough, you’ll see the screen is made up of hundreds of individual diodes and these give higher brightness and greater contrast than most LCD screens. Viewing distance from the screen is critical in specifying the correct pixel pitch for LED screens so that images do not appear pixelated or low resolution.
Which is best for my project LED or LCD?
- If your large screen is for outdoors, usually LED would be your best choice
- For 2×2 or 3×3 or walls up to around 4m wide LCD is probably ideal
- For 4m – 6m in width you should consider both as an option
- For 6 metres or wider, LED would be the better choice…depending on viewing distance
- For close viewing and HD viewing, opt for LCD.
Can a video wall go anywhere? How should I mount it?
A Video wall can be mounted on a wall or from the ceiling, they can also be mounted to freestanding mounting systems. With LED you can even create circular video displays. When mounting multiple screens to a wall or ceiling, brick or concrete is ideal for fixing, however, plasterboard stud walls would usually require strengthening to hold the weight of the video wall. It is important when mounting a video wall/large screen that you mount to a flat surface, as this will give you the best flat screen finish you are looking for.
Finishing and connecting my video wall
Even though LCD screens have a small bezel edge, when mounted onto pop-in pop-out mounts your display will protrude from your wall by around 160mm. Which can leave you with an unsightly edge to your display. Lots of customers create apertures/fake walls to recess the screens, giving the modern flush screen to wall finish. Alternatively, you can create a frame to finish off the edges.
Behind the screens you can connect a variety of input sources, such as media players, sky box, PCs etc. Depending on your requirements you may also need other hardware such as a controller, processor, a matrix, AV/IP solutions as well as cabling and software to connect your screens together to offer seamless management of content. They also require specialist mounting, installation, and setup. [I moved this section from the end of the ‘2 main types of video wall’ section above]
A video wall is a project, which needs consideration and expertise to specify, install and commission. Always speak with a professional to find out which video wall set up is best for your location, requirements and budget.