What is a videowall?
A videowall is a display system that consists on a distribution of projectors or monitors that work together as a single consistent unit, a processing system that allows the reception and distribution of different sources of information in the arrangement.
How is a videowall use?
The videowall is often used to provide multiple sources of visual information in one place easily visible to anyone within a room, such as a network monitoring center or command and control room. They are also often used in digital signage to create impact and attract attention with large images in company lobbies, train stations, retail locations, and other public settings.
How important is videowall content management?
Within monitoring centers and critical environments, the videowall plays a fundamental role in decision-making, so correct access to data and its control are essential. Thus, the deployment, customization and management of the content to be viewed are determining factors in the success, speed and justification of these decisions.
As part of the definition of the technological solution for a videowall, it is very important to consider how the management of its content will be carried out, considering that the manager or processor of the videowall will allow greater flexibility to customize the canvas of visualization (arrangement of screens) and that by means of this it will be possible to have available various types of fonts and “layouts” (arrangement of fonts within the canvas), at different times or demands of the operation.
Currently there are still analog solutions on the market, however, new technologies and digital equipment have been designed to improve control and different signals such as image quality, signal efficiency, data accuracy, collaboration and delivery of sources, the scalability and stability of the systems, among others.
Which factors must be considered in the manager of a videowall?
Since control centers are specialized rooms to attend and manage critical processes, it is very important to consider the following factors that can impact the effectiveness of the content and, in general, the use of display systems.
Image quality and performance
For the content to be relevant and fulfill its function, it is important to know during the design of the videowall parameters according to the environment that allow the content to be clearly visualized, considering the human factor and the criticality of the content.
Because videowalls are typically large and highly visible, your images should always appear bright and sharp, and content should be clear and easy to decipher. Videowall processing must provide consistent image performance regardless of signal load, maintain the original frame rate of high-motion content, and preserve essential image details, including text and graphics. A videowall processor also needs to respond to user commands without delay, even when handling input and output signals under full load.
Scalability and versatility
It must be possible to see and interact with multiple types of sources (applications, programs, equipment, web services, IP video, streaming, among others) through a multi-canvas concept, which allows generating different arrangements with these sources and saving the different layouts depending on the time of the operation.
Each operation is unique, therefore each videowall is also unique. This is why the solution to be implemented must allow the reception of different types of content and the easy combination or arrangement of this information. And that even, as the operation transforms and grows, new information from different sources can be discharged in the same environment.
Comprehensive management and easy collaboration
Usualy, decisions are made by different people in different locations, therefore, it is important that the information is in a network environment that allows it to be sent and received from and to any screen (be it a monitor or videowalls in other rooms) of agile and efficient way.
Both in a crisis room and in operating positions, it should be possible to create perspectives (content grouping) to share with co-workers, thus facilitating the communication of key information and decision-making inside and outside the control center.
Videowalls are one of the most complex types of AV systems to configure and adjust. The end user will be a system operator who may not have detailed knowledge of the configuration or functions of the controller and management software. Therefore, the ideal is to provide an intuitive user interface, for example a touch screen with a simple button layout that allows the user to easily select presets for window layouts or to switch between input sources.
A videowall must provide continuous and robust reliability at all times when deployed in critical environments, so that both the screens and the controller and its content manager, should not need to completely deactivate the system at any time, including maintenance and/or replacement of parts.
It is important that you have availability to integrate third-party programs through APIs that generate other functionalities, for example, alarms before events in the processes.
Security and configuration
One of the most critical issues within the control centers is computer security, so the system must guarantee a high level of security against intrusions and failures (access to the interior of the LAN can be limited). Additionally, it is recommended that there is always a control of user roles that allows limiting or restricting the use of information according to the profile of each system operator, while the work of these users is saved, allowing the last status to be automatically retrieved of the session of each operator and maintaining their established configuration and the various custom layouts.
Within the multidisciplinary team of GESAB there are experts to study and propose the best and most innovative technologies and customized solutions that allow each monitoring center, regardless of the size of the space or sector of the company, develop the maximum potential to have key information at the right time.