In this age of hyper-communication and increased demand for quality visual displays, the Marshall McLuhan premise seems to have been wholly verified: The medium, as McLuhan so ardently stressed, truly is the message. To be sure, content, narrative, and gaming stimulation carry with them their own messaging, but the ceaseless insistence upon higher and higher screen resolutions suggests that simply engaging one’s eye with crisp imagery is an end unto itself.
Thus with the medium itself being so highly prioritized by modern consumers, the 5 considerations for wall screen technology listed below are of importance both practically and commercially.
From a practical perspective, the technological foundation upon which visual display interfaces have been engineered is prone to shifting as electronic advances continually render obsolete once cutting edge system designs. This is not to say that any purchase in this space will find itself immediately dated, only that the 5 considerations for wall screen technology should be taken into close account in order that the system one ultimately elects as their own does not appear to be on the verge of being eclipsed by relentless innovations in the digital interface arena.
Commercially speaking, retailers and third-party purveyors of visual display systems might do well to consider the consumer’s tastes, as well as monitoring closely the plethora of wall arrangement options, many of which are ideal for the private user (gaming, film viewing, home office), while others are very much ideal for use in the corporate office environment (conference rooms, building common areas, executive suites). Given these variables, those in the media platform sales community should bear closely in mind the 5 considerations for wall screen technology.
Getting Smart About Wall Screen Technology
Where specifically is the wall screen to be established? Is it an office? A home? A sports venue? A high capacity restaurant? The needs from one to the next are not wholly different technologically, but questions of pixel density and screen arrangement are certainly likely to vary based upon the setting in which one’s wall screen is to be displayed. Home offices tend to be smaller in scale, as modest wall space might allow for only a couple of interconnected screens.
Visual quality is also of lesser importance in a home setting, given that most users tend to be positioned somewhat closely to the monitors with which they engage and are not as concerned with image crispness as with simple clarity. Conversely, a boardroom wall screen will almost certainly have more square footage with which to work and a need for higher pixel density given the distances from which most will be viewing the interface.
2. Aspect Ratio
Many scaled integration systems allow only for what are known as matrix grid layouts, but more advanced systems are quite flexible in the displays they are capable of supporting. While the former limits its user to a basic 2×2, 3×3, et cetera arrangement, more sophisticated scalers allow for configurations beyond the grid format. If a 1×8 display proves necessary, purchasing a scaler system capable of supporting as much is essential.
3. Controllers (Software)
Based on the specific purposes for which a given video wall is being assembled, the software controller method is very possibly preferable to its hardware counterpart (see below). Software-based controllers are inherently more dynamic than the alternative, in large part because of the external applications for which they allow.
4. Controllers (Hardware)
Higher performance and system specificity are the primary selling points of a hardware-based processing setup. A hardware infrastructure is less prone to operational disruption than are software setups, which is attractive in the corporate sector where presentation counts for a great deal. The expense is understandably greater, but the performance tradeoff is likely to warrant one’s investment.
5. Display Technology
Video walls rely upon a wide range imaging technologies, a few of which are familiar to the televisual landscape. Liquid-crystal display (LCD) and rear-projection are exceedingly common in the video wall space, particularly as both are fairly affordable and, from a practicality standpoint, dependable.
However, if one is not overly committed to tradition and technological precedent, the light-emitting diode (LED) option is also deserving of consideration. The exceptionally bright light-emitting diode is capable of illuminating signs of particularly large size; thus, if visual magnetism is of relevance to one’s display needs, LED is arguably preferable to its LCD and rear-projection alternatives.
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