Video Wall Software
Your typical video wall used to require special expertise, expensive hardware, and complex software. It was a very involved affair that would consume weeks of planning and research. Today, professional results can be achieved using commercially available digital signage video wall software like Navori QL digital signage software.
Excellent results can be achieved using a multi-display capable PC and a compatible digital signage content management system (CMS). While Android and other alternative types of devices are becoming more common, not many can support multiple displays like PCs.
Picking the right CMS software for the job
It’s safe to say most CMS products on the market can manage and display content on single displays. Things get dicey if you start looking for multi-display capability. Even then, few can easily switch from a single piece of content shown across all displays to individual content on each display. Therefore, you should look for professional-grade video wall software that lets you create flexible layouts with the fewest restrictions.
The best products will let you design digital signage video wall layouts. This enables the content to be assigned to any number of displays, regardless of their orientation, or resolution. You should be able to assign content that spans one or more displays and change layouts easily. Templates should not be difficult to create or update by non-technical users.
Displaying data on your video wall displays
Your digital signage CMS should support data and graphics overlays. So it’s easy for you to add news feeds, weather information, sports results, financial/ banking information, corporate data, production statistics, and other live data feeds. Your preferred solution should let you position any image, graphic, or text element, anywhere within the multi-screen display area with as few restrictions as possible. Transparency layers should also be available on your video wall software of choice. This lets you create professional-looking content. For example news tickers or a clock with the current date floating on top of any media displayed on the screen.
Controlling the multi-screen canvas
Many digital signage software products designed for the Windows operating system rely on the PC’s video drivers for display management. Keeping your video drivers up to date is crucial as video card manufacturers frequently release new features and bug fixes. Once you have installed the hardware and configured the PC, it becomes essential to ensure that the video drivers recognize all connected displays and display them in the correct order. Otherwise, there may be instances where content appears on the wrong display.
Both Microsoft Windows and video card driver software applications offer features that allow you to check the organization of your displays. If you notice anything suspicious, you can swap out video cables or reorganize the displays using the video driver software until you achieve the desired results.
In certain situations, you may wish to mix display orientations, such as having two displays in landscape and two in portrait orientation. To support this configuration, you will need a video card with four outputs that can handle mixed orientations. The video drivers should be configured to account for the dimensions of all the displays. Additionally, your digital signage software must support this layout; otherwise, your content may not be displayed correctly. It is crucial for all components to work harmoniously together to ensure proper playback of the content.
Examples of video wall applications
Restaurant menu boards: Digital signage video walls are increasingly popular in restaurants and quick-service establishments, serving as dynamic and eye-catching digital menu boards. With video walls, establishments can display their menu offerings, promotions, and special deals in an engaging and visually appealing manner. The flexibility of digital menu boards allows for easy updates, enabling businesses to showcase new items, adjust pricing, or promote limited-time offers quickly. Video walls in these settings enhance the customer experience, streamline ordering processes, and provide an opportunity for upselling and cross-selling.
Retail environments:Digital signage video walls are a powerful tool for retail environments. They can be used to create immersive brand experiences, showcase product catalogs, and highlight promotions or sales events. By leveraging the large display area and captivating visuals of video walls, retailers can grab the attention of shoppers, enhance the overall shopping experience, and drive sales.
Corporate Lobbies and Reception Areas:Video walls in corporate lobbies and reception areas make a strong first impression on visitors and guests. They can display dynamic content such as corporate branding, company announcements, welcome messages, or even showcase the organization’s achievements. Video walls in these areas create a visually stunning and engaging environment, leaving a lasting positive impression on visitors.
Event Venues and Arenas:Video walls play a central role in enhancing the spectator experience at event venues and arenas. They can be used to display live event footage, instant replays, sponsor advertisements, interactive content, and social media feeds. Video walls in these settings create a vibrant and immersive atmosphere, amplifying the excitement and engagement levels of the audience.
Advantages of a software-based video wall
Video walls that are built around digital signage technologies represent significant advantages over hardware-based video wall installations.
- Reduced costs: Dedicated, hardware-based video wall controllers tend to be much more expensive than digital signage-based systems that use regular PCs with multi-output video cards.
- Ease of configuration and use: Traditional digital signage software can be relatively easy to use compared to the proprietary interfaces used for hardware-based systems. PCs are also easier to configure and use standard components (RAM memory, hard drives, etc.). PCs don’t require specially trained personnel.
- More flexibility: Hardware-based controllers are single-purpose devices so they can only be used for that specific use. PCs can be reconfigured, upgraded, and redeployed very easily.
- Ease of maintenance: PC components are easy to source and less expensive to purchase. They can be repaired out in the field where most hardware controllers need to be sent to a specialized shop for repairs.
Dedicated hardware-based display controllers have their purpose. They are essential when designing artistic layouts or when you need to mix displays that have different sizes and image aspects. Hardware display controllers are also extremely reliable but their high cost relegates them to very specific applications. They are rarely used for basic video wall applications anymore.
The advantages of using digital signage software and PC hardware are obvious. You can operate your digital signage video walls with hundreds of other displays and interactive kiosks using a single technology. You control individual displays, multiple video walls with different layouts, touch enabled displays and other means of content presentation using a common software product.
As PC hardware and video card technologies further evolve, we anticipate hardware based video controllers will become obsolete. It’s just a matter of time before video card manufacturers bridge the gap.
In the meanwhile, there are plenty of solutions for every project, and every budget.
Best practices for digital signage video walls
Unleashing the full potential of your digital signage video walls requires a strategic blend of artistic finesse and technical expertise. As you embark on this captivating endeavor, consider the following best practices:
- Display Selection: Select high-quality displays with slim bezels, creating a seamless and immersive video wall experience. Opt for screens that offer optimal brightness and contrast, ensuring vibrant and clear content delivery even in well-lit environments.
- Thoughtful Content Planning: Strategically plan your content layout to make the most of the video wall’s unique capabilities. Utilize templates or dedicated content management systems like Navori QL which are tailored for video walls and to streamline content creation and scheduling processes.
- Optimize Content: Optimize your content to match the video wall’s resolution and aspect ratio. Utilize high-resolution images and videos to ensure sharp and clear visuals on the larger display area.
- Visual Hierarchy: Create a clear visual hierarchy within your content, placing important information or key messages in prominent positions on the video wall. Utilize larger fonts, bold colors, and visual cues to emphasize critical details and guide viewers’ attention effectively.
- Synchronized Content Playback: If your video wall comprises multiple displays, ensure synchronized content playback. Utilize video wall processors or content management systems that support synchronized playback to eliminate visual discrepancies between screens. This synchrony enhances the immersive experience for viewers.
By adhering to these professional best practices, you can elevate your digital signage video walls to new heights. Thoughtful planning, meticulous execution, and ongoing maintenance will result in captivating visual displays that effectively communicate your messages, leaving a lasting impact on your audience.