A video wall is the focal point of a room, especially when it comes to mission critical. In many cases, rooms are designed and built around the plan for a central video wall where operators share critical data.
Because a video wall is such a pivotal component of your operations center, choosing the right design and technology is not a task to take lightly. With the help of an integrator, here are things to consider when preparing to build a video wall.
Room size and spatial planning
One of the first key considerations is exactly how much space you’ll have to work with– not just to determine how big your video wall can be, but also the layout of the space 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. Of course, more than just the room size and spatial layout can indicate whether a technology like LED or LCD is a better fit for your application. Choosing the right technology is a balancing act that the integration experts at Constant will guide you through based on your needs.
The content you plan to display is also a key factor to consider when preparing to build a video wall. For instance, if your control room operators will be viewing software where subtle color differences can make the difference between “caution” and “emergency,” then the color accuracy and contrast levels of your visualization technology should be a key priority. Often, this is seen in control rooms that view aerial or radar imagery.
Another content consideration is whether you plan to spread a single application across the entire video wall, or whether the display will consist of several types of content boxed within individual displays. An LED video wall is the only type of display to offer a truly seamless viewing experience and may be the better choice if you need to extend a visual across the entire video wall. However, if your content will have multiple applications where a perfectly seamless display isn’t as important, LCD is a good choice with many ultra-narrow bezel options available.
Planning your content display needs is also important because it will affect the other technology in your video wall system such as your processor and control system. The number of different sources a processor can display at once varies, and not all can display streamed content sources. Communicating your content needs clearly ensures that your integrator will install the best possible technology for your space.
Control room lighting
Years ago, control rooms needed to be dark in order to prevent interference with the displays. Display technology has developed leaps and bounds beyond where it started, and now mission critical video walls produce enough brightness to function well even in brightly-lit rooms. Both LCD and LED video walls are bright enough and have high enough contrast to be a good choice for a variety of lighting situations. However, it’s important to keep in mind that of the two, 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, as most light interference can be mitigated with proper positioning of the light sources within the room. 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 build your video wall.
Cost and Long-Term Expenses
There are a multitude of factors that can contribute to the cost of a video wall, and prices of displays can vary dramatically not only in regards to the upfront cost but also the total cost of ownership. Technologies that may seem initially affordable can have unexpected long-term costs such as regular maintenance, high power consumption, and consumable parts. Video wall technology that costs more up-front can ultimately have a less total cost of ownership due to more efficient performance and low maintenance demands.
In mission critical video wall systems, one of the most important factors is the reliability of your technology. Not all processors – or video wall system components such as processors – are built to withstand 24/7 runtime. In your operations center, it’s important to implement high-quality displays that will be reliable enough for the significant demands of your use case.
Creating a video wall with Constant
Working with an industry-specific integrator is key to building a successful video wall for mission critical. An integrator attuned to the specific needs of 24/7 will help you balance all of the above considerations to create a system perfectly tailored to your unique use case.
Constant has over three decades of experience implementing video walls with a client list that speaks for itself: we have worked with firms including 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.
With a project as important as a mission critical operations center, you need an integrator you can trust to help you make the right choices in your video wall. Constant has a depth of knowledge unmatched in the industry and offers 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 preparing to build a video wall for your mission critical control room, contact us today for a free design and budget consultation.
Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+ years of experience, we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.