Video walls can be simple or complex depending on what you want to use them for. This article will define what a basic video wall is, the components you need to buy and tips for designing appropriate content.
What is a Video Wall?
Simply, a video wall is a collection of screens that are combined/tiled together to create one large display. Typical display technologies used include LCD, direct LED tiles, rear-projection and laser displays. They can be used in control rooms, meeting rooms and as a digital signage display. Industries include corporates, hospitals, retailers, government offices, churches, schools, casinos and hotel receptions.
Most video wall installations are going to be LED for a few reasons:
- no seams on the wall
- high brightness
- flexibility in design e.g. curved screens for stone column
Because of their size and clarity, video walls have a WOW factor that makes them very effective for marketing messages and branding. It’s important to note that the content displayed is key in reaching messaging goals for the video wall. And in order to optimize the content displayed, content management software is needed.
The software takes on the role of video wall controller, enabling users to change the content, adjust the content layout, and update content schedules. It provides a richer set of control features including multi-user access and reporting.
That’s what this article is about i.e. video walls with content management software. Surprisingly, only 13% of the video wall systems installed have content management software. Such projects run the risk of showing poor content, which makes the video wall a very expensive decoration.
What are the benefits?
1. Grabs attention
Because of their large size, video displays are able to command attention. They are hard to ignore by customers, employees, or visitors, which makes them an ideal tool for an organization’s branding or informational campaigns.
2. Employee Time
Video walls can help perform tasks an employee normally would. It can free up employee time so they can work on more pressing tasks. This is done by displaying important information that staff would typically have to answer: For instance:
- Large malls can display maps on video display
- Parks and stadiums can display frequently asked questions
- Hospitals can display services offered online
3. Different Types of Content Simultaneously
A video wall that is powered by content management software is designed to display different types of content simultaneously. For instance, a campus can use a video wall to display maps, school events, and useful information like weather, news and social media.
4. Video Walls across Industries
Traditionally, video walls, especially LED ones, have been used in retail for advertising and at events. Costs were high and content management wasn’t as evolved. Today, video walls are cheaper and more affordable for small and medium businesses. They are being installed in corporate offices, schools, government offices, hospitals, hotels, casinos and houses of worship. They are so diverse and thus are used across a large range of industries.
5. Installation is Flexible
LED video walls offer a lot of flexibility in design. For instance, they can be curved to fit around corners and columns. Additionally they can be shaped in architectural ways outside of the traditional rectangle or square install. LCD screens can also be tiled into architectural video walls for a bigger WOW impact.
6. Support Content Customization
The content management software enables businesses to customize and personalize the content displayed on the screens.
Different content can be displayed at different times of the day e.g. a restaurant video wall can show different breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The content also auto-updates e.g. when a calendar changes, the events listed on the video wall are updated.
7. Can Increase Sales
Retail businesses that use digital signage can improve their sales by 32%. Retailers can use a video display system to alert thousands of target customers about discounts and other great deals.
8. Can Improve the Customer Experience
Visual displays can combat customer dissatisfaction resulting from unpredictable waiting times. Leading service providers have been using this trick to keep clients waiting patiently. Thus, like those leading service providers, any business can use this system to improve their customer satisfaction scores.
9. Consumers prefer Shopping in stores with Video Displays
42% of consumers are likely to purchase from stores with video displays rather than those without. The video displays give customers more information about the products, help to upsell complementary products and overall improve the ambiance in the store.
What’s in a Video Wall?
While the display is the most visible part of a video wall, it isn’t the only element. Several other components collaborate to display those attention-grabbing images on display.
Some of the components are:
The hardware refers to all physical components that make up the entire system. The most significant hardware are:
- Digital display
- Media player
Digital display refers to the screens. For instance to form one large display, screens can be tiled together. The screens can be LED or LCD. We recommend using commercial-grade screens with narrow bezels for seamless viewing and best content display.
LED screens have thinner bezels, the widest viewing angles, best picture quality, and more energy-efficient. They are however much more expensive than an LCD screen of the same size.
The media player is a device you connect to your screen. For example, the media player can be connected via HDMI or VGA ports. It receives content from the software and displays it on the screen.
Also known as the content management software (CMS), digital signage software is the central platform to allow users to manage their digital signage content.
Without going into too much detail, your software is the command center that lets you upload/create content and deploy it to your video wall. This is where you’ll manage the content displayed and the hardware used.
This is undoubtedly the most essential aspect of a success digital display. It’s what the target viewers see and interact with. This content can be in the form of images, screenshots, videos, infographics, GIFs, memes, and presentations.
How to Design Content for a Video Wall
Video walls display information. Ideally, this would be to the right target audience at the correct time. Otherwise, this communication and advertisement channel will be less effective.
So how does one make sure that their video wall system plays its role effectively? Below are some design tips;
- Use high-quality realistic images/videos
Like any visual, high-quality images and videos will easily command anyone’s attention than poor quality visuals. Even so, one should refrain from using heavily filtered pictures or videos.
- Keep text short and to the point
As a rule, any text on a display wall system should be as concise as possible. A single line should contain a maximum of 5 words. Anything above five words will look cluttered and harder to read. Also, texts should be large and colorful enough for anyone to read without straining.
- Use the right screen brightness
Lighting affects the visibility of the content displayed on the video wall’s digital screen. As an example, target viewers can hardly see content on a dim screen during a bright day. It’s important to adjust the screen’s brightness according to ambient light.
- Do not clutter the video wall
While a single video wall system can display multiple types of content, it isn’t advisable to stuff it. A professionally designed video wall should contain an adequate white space to let readers view or read through the content easily and quickly.
- Test content often
Testing content is the only way one can know if their content is appropriate, understandable, and actionable. Otherwise, your digital signage will not properly pass the desired message.
To test your content, the content creator can run periodical surveys to gauge the content’s performance and impact. That way, content creators can discover and implement corrections to improve their ROI.
Worth the Investment?
Are video walls worth the investment? The short answer is yes. When used, this technology can increase an organization’s brand identity and streamline visitor experience. A video wall system can foster good first impressions, support self-service, and free up employees. When video display signage are designed professionally, they tend to deliver the best benefits. Unlike amateurs, professionals will align the system for enhanced visibility, and set up the system appropriately. With an expert’s input, a video wall will not disappoint.