The display wall in your control room is key to its functionality. Video walls are vital to situational awareness and collaboration. With so much weighing on your control room display wall design, it’s important to carefully consider your choices.
Here are 5 important factors of control room display wall design you should take into account.
1. The content you plan to display
The kind of content you will display on your video wall will affect the ideal technology and design.
What kind of content will you need to display on your control room video wall, and how do you plan for it to be displayed? Will there be multiple windows ‘boxed” within the individual displays? Or will a single application be spread across the entire video wall?
This determines whether you need a truly seamless display to avoid negative impact from bezels, or whether bezels will not hinder the display. LED screens are the only type of display that can provide a truly seamless video wall, but commercial grade LCD screens will have very narrow bezels.
The content your sources will display also affects the video wall size. Will your content be text heavy like spreadsheets, dashboards, or rows of text, or will it be more easily viewed from a distance such as video content from security cameras? Text heavy content can be difficult to read from a few rows back if it isn’t enlarged enough, but zooming in enough to make it legible means you will need to account for the screen real estate that will take up.
2. Room size and spatial planning
As with other design elements of your control room, your display wall design is affected by how much space you’ll have to work with. This does not just determine how big your video wall can be, but also the ideal layout of the rest of the control room in relation to the content displayed. The room size and planned number of operators will determine which video wall technology fits best, as viewing distances and angles may dictate the choices for your video wall system. Depending on the pixel pitch, LED walls may be better suited to greater viewing distance and work better in larger rooms. Mission critical LED walls can have a smaller pixel pitch and function well in a number of rooms, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the lower the pixel pitch, the higher the resolution – and thus the higher the cost. LCD video walls can be applied in both small and large rooms due to the quality of images from a short viewing distance. The display wall technology, room size, and layout all affect the display wall’s ideal size and location within the space.
As you design your control room display wall, ergonomics and operator comfort should be at the forefront. Ergonomics are important for video walls because operators in command centers often work long shifts. The angle angle and positioning of the display should ensure that all operators have a consistent view of the data displayed with little to no drop in quality as well as minimal strain to their eyes and necks. A proper balance can be found with careful display technology selection and informed positioning through ergonomic analyses.
Mission critical AV integrators like Constant take this into account and conduct a sight line analysis when designing video walls for operations centers. A sight line analysis is a detailed ergonomic examination of operator placement and viewing capabilities to reduce strain on the eyes and neck.
The goal of a sight line analysis is to make sure that operators will have no more than 25 degrees maximum eye rotation so that they don’t have to bend their heads back to look at the data displayed on the wall. It also takes into account what would be in the field of vision to the right and left for someone sitting at a desk.
In some cases, where the main goal of the video wall is to serve as an impressive showpiece, clients may not be as concerned with whether people in the back row of the operations center can see the bottom of the video wall. But in cases where full functionality is needed, line of sight is key in determining both the video wall size and placement and the overall layout of the room. For example, when there are 3 or 4 rows of desks in a small to medium sized room, it might be difficult for those seated in the back to view the displays. The way to counteract this is with higher placement of the video wall or tiered seating.
4. Control room lighting
When designing your control room, lighting is an important component to keep in mind. Years ago, control rooms needed to be dark in order to prevent interference with the displays. Now, your options for lighting are nearly unlimited, as both LCD and LED video walls are bright displays with enough high contrast that they function in a variety of lighting situations. However, as you design your control room display wall in conjunction with your lighting, it’s beneficial to consider how your display technology interacts with different lighting.
LCD is more likely to act as a specular reflector , meaning it can directly reflect the light coming from lamps. This isn’t necessarily a big issue, but you should consider the proper positioning of light sources in the room to prevent any galre. LED video walls are more likely to act as a diffuse reflector, reflecting light equally in all directions. Both LED and LCD video wall technologies provide high quality visuals to the extent that the lighting won’t cause much issue and they can be used in bright, fully lit-rooms, but your planned control room lighting is still an important factor to keep in mind as you design your video wall and decide on its placement.
5. Longevity and reliability
Control room display walls provide 24/7 data monitoring, allowing operators to respond to critical events efficiently and effectively. In these spaces that run continuously, downtime is not an option.
As you design your video wall, you should choose display technology that is high quality and resilient. In addition, the video wall should be designed with redundancies in place. Not every display screen is designed to withstand 24/7 usage, so the technology you choose for mission critical must be weighed carefully
Displays should not only be designed for longevity with 24/7 operation; they should also include modular design for fast and easy service. Constant Technologies offers long-term service plans to ensure that we can attend to any problems that may come up with your display technology as soon as possible.
Choosing the right display wall for your control room with Constant
Working with a mission critical expert is key to having a successful control room display integration. The best indicator of expertise is proven experience, and Constant’s client list speaks for itself. Our work with firms like CVSHealth, Akamai Technologies, Carnival Cruise, Facebook, Lockheed Martin, and more as well as with government agencies such as the Department of Defense, United States Coast Guard and Air Force proves that we are widely trusted with the most sensitive and vital environments.
With a project as important as mission critical, you need an integrator you know you can trust to help you make the right choices. For over 30 years, Constant has built our expertise in control room environments, creating a depth of knowledge that’s unmatched in the industry. We offer a wealth of experience as well as custom design services and long-term service contracts, and we are dedicated to ensuring your mission critical space operates at peak performance.
If you are ready to install a video wall in your command and control center, contact us today for a no-fee design and budget consultation.
Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+years experience we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around in the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.