Expert Tips for Successfully Deploying Video Walls in Retail Environments
By Michael Ferrer
NEW YORK, NY — Video walls are growing in popularity and part of their appeal is in how they inspire our imagination. While static signs remind us of the past, video walls tell us that the future is now and deliver the “wow” factor. Whether it’s for a company looking to convey an image of cutting-edge technology or a retailer looking to elevate its brand.
Video walls are scalable and come in a wide range of shapes and configurations. For example, Victoria Secret’s Manhattan store utilizes a 6 x 5 installation, while Viacom’s New York’s lobby uses an 8 x 7 configuration. Bezels, the space between screen panels, continues to shrink providing a more continuous screen image while offering sharper picture quality at higher resolutions.
Video walls are inspiring creativity opportunities as well. New York’s Diesel retail store has deployed “digital mannequins” that interact with actors forming bold backdrops, as in the Broadway production of “Sondheim on Sondheim” or the Plaza Theatre’s “Fabulous Palm Spring Follies,” respectively.
While each of these video wall installations demonstrate what’s possible for innovative deployment, organizations still need to think through their implications—and have a plan for success.
9 Tips for Getting the Most From Your Video Wall Deployment:
Determine Your Digital Signage Needs and Goals – It’s important to give strong consideration to the video wall’s purpose, size considerations and goals. Will the video wall be used for branding, advertising, wayfinding, or something else? Will it be interactive? If these questions can’t be answered with specifics, then a highly functioning video wall system will be difficult to design, and executives will not be happy after they spent a lot of money on it.
Content Is King – Define the type of content ahead of time. Talk about the types of content to be shown before the hardware gets installed, and decide what resolution and formats the content will need to be created at. You don’t want to be tweaking content on-the-fly minutes before a grand opening. It’s imperative to have this conversation with the content creators up-front.
Go Native – Content needs to match the screen’s native resolution. All the hardware components should also match so you don’t have bandwidth restrictions. Some graphics cards can’t handle full high definition (HD) content. Flash content also has limitations, so if you plan on reusing Flash content you need to consult with a Flash expert to stretch the content to match native screen resolutions.
Choose Professional-Grade Products – Select displays that can be color calibrated to achieve brightness and color uniformity from screen to screen. Industrial-strength monitors can handle the most rugged of applications, while consumer-grade products sold at “big box” stores are not designed to run 24×7 and can’t handle commercial demands. Go with high-end products for their reliability, inputs and color calibration capabilities.
Choose Appropriate Mounting Systems with Easy Access for Maintenance – This is very important since labor is the most expensive part of any video wall project. An important question to ask is whether the existing wall is structurally sound? Get a structural engineer involved to make sure that it can support a video wall. As for maintenance, ensure that you use pull-out mounts to service video walls correctly and safely.
Keep It Cool – Video walls produce a lot of heat. Proper cooling and ventilation need to be part of the overall project planning and budget. Purchasing displays that offer integrated cooling fans will ensure unfailing operation.
Determine Electrical Requirements – Make sure you have thought through all the necessary components for the video wall system. If you’re deploying 15 screens, you can’t power them off of one outlet, you need a dedicated power source. If you’re a hotel, you don’t want to turn on the microwave in your kitchen and discover that your video wall has shut down. Discuss power conditioners and surge protection with your systems integrator.
Use Trained Professionals for Your Video Wall Installation – Do yourself a favor and connect with an experienced partner for the installation. That partner will help you locate power sources and data jacks and help you do the job correctly the first time.
Perform Color Calibration As Part of System Maintenance – This will ensure a consistently great-looking video wall for years to come. Also make sure you budget maintenance and cleaning of your video wall to ensure functionality and a great performance for the long term. If you don’t vacuum vents, for example, the ensuing heat accumulation can destroy the monitors. Maintenance contracts should be discussed upfront.
Keeping this checklist in mind will help you make the most of your video wall installation and reach your target audience.
The DOOH Ad Network Locator is designed to help media buyers, planner and strategists identify digital place-based advertising networks by location, venue type, demographics and reach. There are 160 advertising-based networks organized by country. The United States is organized by venue type as it has the broadest range of venue categories, with the greatest number of ad-based networks operating within each category.
Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising, also known as Digital Place Based (DPB) media, utilizes strategically placed, networked digital signage displays to reach on-the-go consumers while they are outside of their home with highly targeted messages. Digital place-based screens can be found in locations that include transportation hubs such as airports, railway and bus terminals; executive networks in office-building lobbies and elevators. Other venues include shopping malls, gas stations, fast-casual restaurants, fitness centers, hotels and more.