Video walls are hot right now. Customers want them, and many solution providers are hoping to cash in on the opportunity. Unfortunately, in a rush to grab the business, some solution providers make critical, but avoidable mistakes. As a technology consultant II, Pro AV/Digital Signage for Ingram Micro and his experience working directly with Pro AV solution providers, we sat down with Tom Jones to identify some common mistakes you should avoid with your next video wall install.
Let’s start with the design phase of a video wall project. What are some common mistakes you see here?
Jones: All too often, we see solution providers, at the request of customers, try to save money by using displays not designed for video wall applications. For example, wall-specific displays have a minimal or no bezel to allow for the appearance of a continuous display across panels. Additionally, we still find consumer-grade displays being used, which simply lack the build quality to last long in video wall applications, not to mention lacking features.
Another common issue concerning planning is not accounting for power and connectivity. A collection of displays will require not only an outlet for each, but surge suppression as well. There will also need to be some form of network connectivity available to allow the displays to access content.
What are some common mistakes concerning the installation process?
Jones: A significant mistake is not strongly recommending high-quality video wall mounting solutions. While they might cost a little more, today’s mounts are self-leveling making it easier than ever to put together an array of displays. Additionally, proper mounts make it easy to service displays, regardless of their position in the array. In the past, getting to a screen surrounded by others was tricky and time-consuming.
Do solution providers need to worry about any rules and regulations concerning video walls?
Jones: ADA compliance is the big regulation that many solution providers overlook. This is important if the video wall is at ground level. Simply, the displays cannot get in the way of anyone who might fall under ADA rules. More commonly, if the video wall is going to incorporate touchscreen functionality, there must be a way for someone in a wheelchair to access the interface.
Where else do you see solution providers stumble with video wall projects?
Jones: Despite an overall better-educated solution provider network, we still come across video walls with low-resolution content, sometimes at the wrong aspect ratio. Never forget that what might look decent on a desktop display might not look as good on a 9x9 video wall blown up 10 times its size. Additionally, if bezels are involved—even the thinnest—test to ensure that content isn’t being interrupted by the bezels.
Finally, we hear about solution providers cutting corners when it comes to staging and assembly. Going from digital signage to a video wall where you might have nine displays is a big leap. You’ll need room to test the displays and ensure everything is in working order before shipping all the units to the customer site.
If you’re concerned about making these mistakes or similar ones, Tom Jones is available to help and only an email away. With his help, and by avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes, you can increase the likelihood of a successful video wall installation.