NEWS ESCO

Video Wall in Digital Display Landscape: A Short Review

Recent updates to the digital display industry has seen many new trends and advanced technologies. One of the biggest challenge to date in digital industry is the getting the display to do the job minus the fuss and with lowest investment possible. With today rapid development of technologies, those days seem not very far away. Among the rising digital display applications is video wall which is particularly popular because it allows users to deliver digital media in big screen effectively in most flexible way possible. Despite the fact, video wall is only one solution among the crowd in digital display landscape. So how exactly video wall fare in digital display landscape? Let’s make a quick review. It comes in bigger size but so do the others. It offers flexible applications but nothing seems to beat the flexibility of mobile devices, at least yet. After all, those mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can as well be considered the key players to contribute to the future of digital display landscape. In fact, you can see just how many devices now actually comes with integration of apps or built-in wireless support so that they can work with those mobile devices. Compare video wall. You may find video wall in multiple places but they are mostly used for commercial applications instead of more universal applications. That said, video all also packs a wide range of connectivity options but hardly integration with most devices. Will it survive? Or will it have to come to and end? Only time can tell how video wall will do in the future.

One thing for sure is that if video wall to become digital display new darling, it needs to change and become even more powerful while versatile at the same time. And there are several ways to do it including to make it available for wider market applications. But then of course, the fate of video wall will greatly depend on a variety of key aspects like the the core technologies in digital display. For now, below are some possible future predictions for video wall in 2013.

New Technologies

With many devices including digital display, technologies seem to take center stage in determining their survival. The new technologies can either help them to step forward in the competition or fall down in an instant. The same goes video wall in digital display industry which is not only diversified but also highly competitive. Latest technology improvement in digital display landscape is the new ultra high definition resolution which boasts four times higher amount of pixel than Full HD, approximately at 3840 x 260 pixels. As such, digital display today can really live up to the promise of delivering lifelike images and even life-size ones if you consider the massive size. In video wall scene alone, there have been few manufacturers including Planar and Panasonic to introduce Ultra HD digital display for video wall applications. While there is more ultra HD digital display out there for consumer applications such as television, ultra high resolution digital display will be more likely to take of better in video wall applications. Given common use of video wall in commercial applications, the improved image quality will be highly appreciated as opposed to consumer application since users in commercial applications definitely got stronger reason. For one, they expect that the ultra high resolution digital display used for video wall applications can easily and effectively capture audience while delivering overall engaging visual experience thanks to the higher impact and realism.

And while we're talking about the realism, 3D technology may as well begin to build its path to video wall scene. If you are aware, LG made quite a scene back in CES 2013 by showcasing largest 3D video wall in the world. So far, we've seen video wall applications with 2D contents and in some cases they look very impressive. Imagine if the video wall displays 3D contents instead with products look as if they were popping out from the digital display. That certainly would be a completely new visual experience to begin with. However, the wow factor of 3D technology in video wall application may get a reverse effect when 3D glasses is mentioned. To enjoy 3D contents, users will have to wear either active-shutter or passive 3D glasses. At some points, Toshiba did unveils 3D TV which requires no glasses but the technology turns out to be less optimal with unfavorable viewing experience. The problem is that most video wall is intended for commercial applications which are likely to be stationed at public places for general audience. You simply cannot expect users to provide 3D glasses for everyone right. As such, even though the realism of 3D technology may give a total new perspective to video wall application, they are just not up to the level yet for mainstream deployment.

Nevertheless, there is high possibilities that LED technology will become the future of video wall. In the first place, they have been used along with LCD and plasma digital display for video wall applications all these times. Next, users seem to prefer LED-based digital display over the LCD and plasma ones since it offers higher energy efficiency while producing excellent image quality. In terms of energy efficiency, LED-based digital display is capable of saving more energy because it can automatically adjust the brightness accordingly. The higher energy efficiency matters especially in video wall application since they are usually meant to run around the clock. To further extent, the LED technology also makes digital display to last longer and retain brightness longer than it should be; making it just ideal for video wall application in demanding environments. Finally, the use of LED technology also enables compact design and super narrow bezels for video wall and thus more versatile for various requirements.

High Impact War: Big vs Small

With digital display, it is often a matter of taste and preference. Some people prefer small sizes while other prefer bigger size. Each digital display size seem to work in some situations and so now we got so many options. Video wall, however, is apparently more suited with bigger size than small size or so it seems. If you are working in environment where visuals matter most to attract audience, bigger digital display certainly works better for video wall than small ones. It also applies to detail or color-critical video wall applications since audience can definitely see better when the screen is bigger in size. Bigger-sized digital display will also work better for video wall application if users want to create high impact in large venues such as auditorium or convention halls. It is because big digital display can grab attention and make impression more effectively with the near life-size images while also providing wider viewing angles in vast environment. On the other hand, some other people actually think that video wall applications will be better off with smaller digital display to deliver more personalized and unique user experience to every and each audience. After all, video wall is one option to get bigger picture size.

Growing Applications

All these times, video wall is more popular with commercial applications such as control room, public displays, or digital signage. In the future, it will likely to continue to be so. In fact, Futuresource consulting predicts that video wall adoption will increase in double digit with sales projection soaring up to one million in the next two years. Among the potential key factor to drive growing application of video wall applications even further in these commercial application is the more advanced core technologies as mentioned earlier which makes video wall application easier and cheaper with effective results. Then, the reduced prices of digital display in general will also significantly contribute to wider adoption of video wall deployment in various applications. Lastly, advanced content software management will surely help users to get the most of out of their video wall application; delivering the right messages to the right audience at the right time and place.

(Date: 17 April 2013; Lidya)

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