The best display technologies of only 10 years ago are considered primitive by today’s standards. They were a poor return on investment because they were expensive and added little to the control room’s comparative ability to manage critical information. Expensive large format front and rear projectors were the primary choice. They were undependable, relatively low resolution, and required expensive maintenance contracts because they rarely had redundancy when a projection lamp failed. Then you add expensive, bulky hard-wire switchers to bring signals to the projectors and you still don’t have the capabilities of today’s most basic LCD video wall driven by a computerized controller. In fact, much of what was considered state of the art at the time was just “eye candy”; it looked good, but did little to advance the performance of the people using it.
What is considered a modern video wall system?
It employ a matrix of displays driven by a sophisticated computer that allows the operator to acquire and display more information faster than with older methods. This also means faster and better decision making. These are the type display systems that do much more than merely connect a switch between computers and individual displays mounted to the wall. These systems allow you to reach out on the data network and bring in an almost unlimited number of sources to the video wall, and as the network grows, it is unaffected except to say that more screen surface could be needed to display more information than before.
The growing popularity of LCD video wall systems
These are now more popular because they meet most performance requirements, require less investment and occupy the least amount of floor space. In fact they can be mounted on the wall taking up only 4-6″ in depth. These high resolution displays form a matrix or single pallet. Each display’s ultra-thin bezel is designed to minimize distraction when enlarging images across multiple displays.
These are relatively easy to install and require little maintenance or adjustment. They are rarely repaired because it’s easier and faster to replace than repair, however the typical industrial LCD display will run dependably for thousands of hours.
I should point out that these systems perform the same as video walls with other type displays because it’s the video wall controller, or brain of the system that acquires and displays what is shown on the video wall. The video controller (processor) doesn’t see the number of displays, or the type or size of displays. The controller sees the matrix of displays as a single display allowing the images to be easily placed and sized anywhere on the overall screen surface.
There are two types of LCD video wall used in control rooms; wall mounted or freestanding cabinet. Wall mounted systems require that the wall be reinforced and cannot be installed or easily relocated like a 12″ deep cabinet. The cabinet is modular and stores all supporting electronics in the base and as a result, can be easily expanded and relocated as requirements change.
For more information on this, ask advice from an experienced LCD video wall integrator like Americon that specializes in control rooms and offers a variety of screen sizes and methods for mounting the displays.