How to choose the right videowall technology for your control center: quick guide (part 2)

As we already told you in this article, not all display technologies for implementing a videowall are the same, so a series of factors must be considered that influence the decision.

In this article we continue the factors that we began to tell you in the first part.

Work spaces

• Command and control
Videowalls are now a standard feature in the command and control rooms of government facilities, military bases, and public safety and intelligence agencies. These videowalls provide a large, centralized display that allows people in the room to share content and typically display a variety of information sources, some classified and some unclassified, to facilitate data monitoring and decision making. These sources can include camera feeds, satellite news, computer signals, digital video, static maps, and more. Typically, a video wall consists of multiple screens and is managed by a shift supervisor.

• Emergency rooms
Emergency rooms perform similar functions to command and control rooms, but on a smaller scale. In these rooms, a small videowall consisting of six or eight monitors is generally used to display updates on emergency situations. Information sources include satellite transmissions, maps and intelligence data. Senior company executives or government officials meet with staff to monitor and manage crises. As in command and control room applications, 24-hour operation capability is crucial for both the display devices and the videowall processor.

• Sectors
It is important to know the needs of each client, identify their sector to be able to recommend and determine the most appropriate design and technology; such as understanding the nature and origin of the information sources, if it is a 24/7 operation, if there are more locations where information needs to be brought or projected, if it will be a collaborative space, a centralized or decentralized system, layout of the rooms, etc.

For example, these are some general cases of some sectors.

Safety and traffic management
Safety and traffic management centers can be found on corporate campuses or in public safety and government facilities. The videowalls in these environments display maps, data screens, and a large number of video or IP camera streams.

Emergency operations centers
An emergency operations center – EOC are facilities run by the national or regional government as well as public safety organizations. Videowalls in an EOC allow staff to monitor critical situations by displaying news, broadcasts, maps and computer feeds that provide the location and status of regional or international events in real time.

Network control centers
Network control centers – NOCs monitor, control and manage complex network environments for telecommunications companies.

Energy exploration, production and distribution
Public and private service providers, refineries, and aggressive exploration organizations employ the videowall for team members to perform collaborative analysis of system data. Typically, videowalls display specialized software applications for supervisory, control and data acquisition systems – SCADA that present data as well as tables, graphs and other types of information.

Educational institutions
The collaborative and information-sharing nature of videowalls makes them the perfect piece of equipment for educational institutions. Videowalls can be found in classrooms and laboratories, allowing teachers to display lesson material that may include computer feeds, broadcast and cameras in a common visual workspace.

Sala de control de DNV GL

Content/Information

In addition to the physical characteristics of the control room, the content that will be displayed on the videowall is of great importance. The space between the screens or the width of the bezel plays a crucial role in this aspect, as these elements can create black lines around the individual screens giving the appearance of a rasterization effect on the videowall.

When the content is made up of several windows framed within individual screens, these black lines are usually inconspicuous and do not represent a problem. However, in some cases such as utility and process control applications, a single application is spread across the entire videowall causing black lines to interrupt the content, especially if the background is black.

Types of technology

LCD
An LCD display, or liquid crystal display, is a type of display that uses liquid crystal technology to produce images. These displays are common in control centers due to their low power consumption and ability to display crisp, clear images.
Advantages:
• Multiple reliable manufacturers and market availability
• Full HD resolutions 1920 x 1080 pixels
• Reliable technology
• Various bezel sizes
• Easy installation
Disadvantages:
• Only size 55″ (international standard)
• Ghost screen with still images
• Components embedded in chassis (with some exceptions)

LED
An LED display is a type of display that uses light-emitting diodes to produce images. These are configured by modules (they change by each manufacturer) and different pitch sizes (separation between diodes).
Advantages:
• Flexibility of size and shape
• Market diversity
• Currently there are quite small pitches that help to have a good image resolution in a smaller area
Disadvantages:
• High price
• Resolutions dependent on size and pitch
• Viewing distances depending on pitch
• High heat emissions
• High energy consumption
• High brightness and blue light (can affect operating personnel such as fatigue or visual disorders)
• There are many manufacturers, especially Chinese, and different levels of quality.

Laser rear projection
A laser rear projection screen is a type of screen that uses a laser light source to project the image onto the back of the screen through a mirror.
Advantages:
• Longer lifespan 120,000 hours (13-14 years)
• No ghosting or burn-in effects
Disadvantages:
• Larger mounting space required for structure
• There is no variety in the market
• High price

Scalability

Scalability is an important factor to consider when planning the lifespan of a videowall.

Eventually, the time will come when it needs to be replaced and in this situation there are two options available: replace the entire videowall entirely or look for ways to reuse parts of the existing installation. However, we are not referring to simply replacing a wall tile, but the entire system.

If you are interested in preserving part of your existing installation, rear projection is often the most suitable option. This technology comprises a projection module and a sturdy screen structure that tends to stay in good condition. There are manufacturers that offer upgrade kits that include the projection module and the necessary connections, making the upgrade easier and faster, while being a more economical and environmentally friendly option.

The added advantage is that retrofit upgrades typically do not require extensive construction, thus minimizing disruption to daily operations.

On the other hand, with technologies like LCD and LED, upgrade opportunities are more limited and sometimes parts of the mounting structure can be retained if it is compatible with the new technology.

Sala de crisis SASEMAR Tarragona

Summary

In short, choosing the right videowall technology depends on your application, content, and infrastructure.

• LCD videowalls are ideal for small to medium-sized walls, require little space, offer excellent close-up image quality as well as good viewing angles, and are suitable for video-centric content.
• Rear projection cubes have a small, barely visible gap between screens, making them suitable for any application. Additionally, they are ideal for static content such as SCADA, especially in environments with predominantly dark backgrounds and without the risk of burn-in effects, which are common in LCD videowalls. They are also upgradeable to prolong the investment.
• LED videowalls are suitable for medium to large sized walls, are very thin, take up little space and provide high brightness, making them ideal for environments with a lot of ambient light and are the only ones that offer an optimal viewing experience. complete without interruptions (intermediate bevels). Other important advantages they have are flexibility in size, shape and market diversity, but it is important to consider the disadvantages they offer in control rooms such as resolutions depending on the size and pitch of the model, viewing distances depending on the pitch generally give high heat emissions, high brightness and blue light (affects operating personnel such as dazzling them, eyestrain, visual exhaustion, etc.)

Ultimately, the choice will be based on the specific needs of your project and the features that best suit them. Therefore, we always recommend contacting us to offer guidance and help, always taking into account specific needs.

Related articles

Contacta con nosotros y solicita más información

Scroll to Top