Since recently, direct view LED walls have seen an increase in market share in comparison to traditional LCD video walls. This is because for one, the prices of LED walls have dropped significantly and two, LED walls are now being manufactured with lower pixel pitch and higher resolutions. Moreover, LED walls offer a clean canvas with no visual disturbance. And another important reason is that LED walls can withstand extreme heat conditions, thereby prolonging its life.
Let’s have a look at the changes in technology that have taken place in the control and management of LED video walls.
Characteristics of traditional video processors
In the past, traditional video processor systems were used to deploy large, spectacular LED video wall displays such as those seen at Times Square in New York. But today, LED walls are used in more situations than to stun crowds on a busy street. Hence the solutions no longer need to be so expensive so as to be compatible with specialized hardware. The same level of processing power, synchronization and resolution capabilities are now possible with simple software, basic networks, and commercially available servers.
It is the increase in CPU and GPU capability that has been the key driver over the past decade in terms of transforming the AV industry from focusing on hardware solutions to an industry driven by software solutions. Expensive proprietary hardware is not needed anymore to implement stunning LED walls; instead, digital signage providers use a software driven solution managed via the cloud, adhering to enterprise security and management standards.
As a result, maximum cost savings are possible. With a software based solution, one product from one vendor can include all enterprise management, security and control features that are required. The traditional video processors that are still being used now require additional software packages and integration to be able to deliver essential management features necessary in an AV solution today; from access control to central cloud management, remote access, troubleshooting and support.
Must-have features in today’s video wall processors
- The ability to designate and restrict certain features and permission levels based on the role of an employee in an organization.
- Command and control by adding, removing and resizing windows on the LED video wall directly from their desktops by controlling the screen with their keyboard and mouse.
- Being able to share content across multiple sites anywhere in the world. This is essential for ensuring complete redundancy and remote oversight for departments such as control rooms and operation centers.
- Cloud management – allowing central and remote management and interaction with all the LED displays in the network.
- Supervisor dashboard feature allows managers to view what each video wall is displaying from different servers in different locations.
- High levels of security, allowing enterprise teams to use their own protocols.
- Complete remote access to allow teams to work smoothly from any location.
- The ability for users to display any number of independent desktop or browser sessions on the server directly.
- Analytics tools to identify potential network and server constraints before the performance of the LED video walls are affected.
Enterprise usage of LED Video walls
Enterprise IT teams are continuously installing LED wall solutions for applications such as operation centers, lobby displays, meeting rooms, and corporate theaters. Unlike in the past where IT departments thought expensive hardware was the only solution for LED signage installations, there are now high performance, fully featured, flexible solutions that rely on IT standards and commercially available hardware.
Instead of hiring special AV consultants, IT professionals can implement any LED video wall solution with advanced features using familiar off-the-shelf hardware and software components. The solutions can run on any corporate or isolated network via cloud management, and can be regulated with existing security tools. Just the browser is sufficient to conduct all management; no apps are required, which eliminates another weak security point.
LED Walls for Control Rooms, NOCs and SOCs
When looking at the mission critical space, the traditional video processors used for LED walls are not adequate now as the needs are constantly changing. In control rooms, it is essential for operators and key personnel to have complete awareness of the situation in order to engage in critical real time decision making. The industry is increasingly becoming dependent on artificial intelligence and computer vision to detect events in video streams that catch the human eye. Operation centers require a smart LED solution that supports advanced LED technology while also delivering the necessary features for a modern control room that prioritizes ensuring situational awareness.
In other words, a control room requires the following:
- What you see is what you get interface to control all windows on the LED video wall
- An integrated computer vision solution to use AI for real time video intelligence
- Remote access to video wall sources
- Supervisor access to content on all displays
- The ability to share content beyond the walls of a control room.
With lesser dependency on hardware, and more incorporation of advanced software solutions, LED video walls can now deliver the best viewing experiences with easy-to-manage features, making these a much sought after marketing and enhanced customer experience solution for many businesses today.