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Choosing a video wall technology

There is no doubt that one of the fundamental reasons for establishing a control room is to help operators to realize potential problems at the right time and present related information from different sources in an appropriate manner when those problems occur to enable operators to interact and take the necessary actions to resolve the issues. Therefore, the right choice of video walls is one of the most important factors for the success of the control room in achieving its desired goals, hence the importance of choosing the right video wall.

There are different technologies currently available in the market for display walls, and each of those technologies has its advantages and disadvantages. Still, before choosing the appropriate technology for the video wall, there must be a clear vision of the needs of each project. These needs are closely related to the nature of the control room function and the type and amount of information that need to be displayed simultaneously on the video wall.

The project-specific requirements or the factors based on which selection of video wall is affected differ from project to project. For example, the electricity bill was a major determining factor for the end-user from a real case. Therefore, they were biased towards the technology that offers them the lowest power consumption level. In other cases, heat dissipation level and the capacity of the room air-conditioning system affect the selection of the video wall.

The Low Cost of ownership is an important factor for many customers who are keening to buy the technology which provides them an extended lifetime. On the other hand, redundancy is the buzzword for other customers looking for a high level of reliability, such as redundancy of the light source, power supply and input sources board, and the failover transition time in case of failure.

The limited spaces in control rooms devoted to video walls could also affect the selection of video wall technology. Products with minimum footprint might not be the right technology for certain applications, but it would be the only choice due to the space constraints.

Typical 24/7 applications would include some static information that doesn’t frequently change, so image retention is one of the main factors in video wall selection criteria. In addition, uniformity of colours and brightness and how these uniformities are achieved is crucial for some applications, whether manually or automatically.

The separation between each adjacent screen is also one factor that affects the image quality and precision of displayed information for a certain application. In real cases, customers base their selection criteria only on this factor, and they were willing to invest extra capital not to see lines between the screens.

As we move off further, right or left, from the centre of the screens, the perceived image quality in terms of brightness and colour is affected. In addition, due to certain control room space limitation or the odd shape of the room, some of the operators supposed to interact with the video wall are not located in front of it. So, products with extended viewing angles would be the right selection in some of the cases.

In the same context and considering the room space, the optimal viewing distance from which the operator can’t distinguish individual pixels is a crucial factor. Video wall technology with minimum optimal viewing distance would be the right choice in some control rooms with limited space.

Availability of local support for after-sales, reference projects, proper project management, fast response, spare parts long-term availability, and modularity of the product’s components are important factors in selecting video wall technology and video wall suppliers.

In conclusion, we can say that many factors affect the selection of video wall. Considering the ergonomics, nature of the application, amount of information to be displayed and other factors, we can conclude which technology is ‘’ theoretically’’ the right choice for the certain control room; however, in real life, other factors such as available budget, customer wishes, space constraints can all deviates the selection far from the ‘’right choice’’.

March 9, 2022
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