Large visual displays are nothing new. For as long as people have been advertising products, they’ve been looking for ways to broadcast their message in bigger and better ways. Video walls have been in existence since the early 1980’s, usually consisting of multiple television screens arranged to display various messages. Video walls didn’t quite take off at first due to hardware and software limitations. But as technology continues to improve, the advertising world is increasingly finding new and exciting uses for multi-screen video wall displays.
What is a Video Wall?
Using the broadest definition possible, a video wall is an interconnected network of screens that allows you to display data and images for consumers. Video walls can be composed of multiple television screens or computer monitors arranged in such a way as to make it appear as one big screen.
A video wall may be hardwired to one source, as is the case with a DVD or Blu-Ray player, broadcasting your message over and over. Business owners wishing to use a video wall to play an advertisement for a new product might use their digital display in this manner. Some video wall operators opt to have the screens set to a software-based interface to customize the content at will. If you run a business where customers need real time statistics or information, as with travel departure and arrival times, you may opt to use your video wall in this fashion.
Video Walls Vs. Other Digital Signage
Every piece of advertising you use to draw in your customers’ attention has a purpose. You wouldn’t waste money and time launching a snail mail campaign when you know from market research that most of your customer base prefers e-mail. Video walls have their place; they offer some distinct advantages over other types of digital signage.
Video walls convey information in a very accessible, hard-to-miss format. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might choose to display your menu on a video wall in your lobby so customers can make their choices while waiting for a table. A smaller display might prove difficult to read and easy to ignore, yet this same type of signage featuring scrolling images can be a good pick for displaying your weekly specials.
Using video walls in your store design can also free up your employees’ time by displaying vital information, especially if you’re running a huge promotion with a deep discount. Your video wall could have a few screens dedicated to the items included in the promotion and what’s required to get the discount. Another screen could be dedicated to answering common questions, exclusions to the promotion and other pertinent information.
Video walls are no more or less beneficial than other types of digital signage, but they can be a valuable part of any business’s digital arsenal. Whether used alone or in conjunction with other forms of digital displays, they allow you to quickly and easily engage your customers while saving time and effort.
Design and Display
As with all types of digital signage, the design and display of video walls impacts their efficacy. A large video wall comprised of four or more big screens crammed into a small space can overwhelm a customer. On the other hand, that same layout would be right at home in a spacious hotel lobby. Scale the size of your video wall to the space in which you’re displaying it for maximum customer engagement. Otherwise, you risk people chalking up your display as more “visual noise” they have to filter out of their field of vision.
The message you display is just as important as how you exhibit it. A large wall of text on a big display is harder to read. In this case, consider breaking up the information into smaller chunks and displaying one piece on each screen of your digital display.
Because video walls don’t rely on a solitary screen, there’s a bezel to consider. A bezel is the point where the screens meet. With textual information, it’s easy to accommodate for the bezel, but if you’re broadcasting video or pictures, you may have to make some edits to compensate for pixel loss where the screens meet or the image may become distorted.
As with other types of digital signage, it’s important to take screen resolution into consideration when designing your video wall. The standard resolution for video wall displays is the native resolution of the monitors you’re using. This information is easily found by consulting the manufacturer’s screen documentation.
The biggest concern most business owners have with video walls is cost. Will the cost of the video wall be worth the benefits? Only you can decide if a video wall is an advantageous addition to your digital signage lineup, but most video wall owners find the time savings and increased customer engagement worth the initial cost of the monitors.
The next concern is installation, maintenance and upkeep. If you’re not highly tech savvy, installing and maintaining a video wall can seem to be a very formidable task. There’s no shame in hiring a professional to do the heavy lifting. At Retail Radio, we provide hardware installation and can train business owners how to keep their new equipment in top operating condition.
Even better – if you choose professional services like those we offer, you’ll have access to software that simplifies the art of changing your video wall display whenever you like.
Is a Video Wall Worth It?
Both customer and owner responses to video wall polls suggest that implementing them in the right space is overwhelmingly worth it. If you have a lot to show your clients and a limited amount of time to grab their attention, video walls can prove a visually captivating way to do so. When paired with other types of digital signage, a video wall can enhance the customer’s experience and free up time for your employees – time better used servicing your customers.