Videowalls are one of the most impactful technologies an A/V integrator can provide to a client, and it's easy to see why. A properly configured and designed videowall will make an immediate, incredible impact, and its modular nature means that it can be scaled up or down for nearly any purpose. Videowalls are ideal in large public spaces or venues, in building lobbies, for conventions or special events, or anywhere that a business needs to make their presence known. Videowall technology has naturally benefited from the breakneck pace of digital display iteration, and modern versions of the technology are truly stunning.
There is no shortage of digital display manufacturers, but videowalls require a level of expertise and specialization that most of those manufacturers do not possess. As a result, there are only a few brands that deserve serious consideration.
Who makes some of the best videowalls?
There may only be a few primary videowall designers and manufactures out there, but they offer a plethora of display solutions. As such, there isn't a single best solution or brand that will fit into every company's vision. That said, these are the manufacturers that should get the first look when putting together a videowall solution:
1. Samsung - Let's start with a name everyone knows. Samsung is a technological juggernaut, with a strong presence in many industries. Display technology has always been an industry that Samsung is closely associated with, so it's no surprise that the global brand has strong videowall products to offer.
Samsung's videowall offerings tend toward the traditional, emphasizing extremely thin bezels in a standard grid-like wall design. Among its top videowall offerings is the UHF-E series. It is built with a 1.7mm bezel and can be daisy chained using DisplayPort or HDMI port connectivity. The UHF-E series is designed to defeat glare from ambient sources, with an advanced antiglare panel that features 25 percent haze. No matter where the light comes from, or how intense that lighting is, the UHF-E series will retain a vividly clear picture.
And with Samsung comes the company's excellent reputation for proper display calibration and testing. Videowalls are expected to operate around the clock, with very little downtime. It takes higher quality components and manufacturing methods to keep these displays functioning long term, and Samsung has always maintained strong quality controls in this area. Further, Samsung subjects its videowalls to a multistep factory calibration process that ensures uniform brightness and color throughout the entire videowall. That's why Samsung can boast greater than 90 percent color uniformity for the full display.
If a reliable, workhorse of a videowall solution is the ideal, then Samsung is always a respectable choice.
2. Planar - Planar is under the Leyard family of companies, and unlike Samsung, it has a laser-like focus on the digital display industry. Planar is a top option for companies that need something more advanced and more impactful.
Planar offers a full line of videowall solutions, but the Leyard DirectLight can be considered its flagship product. The DirectLight is an LED videowall that is truly seamless and is built with an ultra-fine pitch. It is available in several LED pixel pitches, from 2.5 mm to .7 mm, so the DirectLight can create some staggeringly detailed imagery. The DirectLight is also available in an interactive model, dubbed the Leyard LED MultiTouch.
The LED display itself is impressive, but Leyard has placed intense focus on creating an innovative mounting system for its products. The result of that effort is the Leyard EasyAlign Mounting System. EasyAlign mounting requires only 4 in. of wall depth for installation and is anchored with a 6-axis alignment design, which guarantees seamless, precise alignment. And this is true seamless, with no bezel. The EasyAlign comes with positive locking features so the videowall will not shift, even when it is installed at an angle or in a curved arrangement. And nothing is sacrificed for this improved functionality and seamlessness, as every panel can be easily accessed for maintenance, without having to remove neighboring panels.
The DirectLight utilizes a remote power supply (RPS), and this power supply features n+1 redundant, hot-swappable modules. With the RPS in place, heat, noise, weight, depth and service points are separated from the videowall and ushered into a ventilated rack room.
3. Christie Digital Systems - Christie, like Planar, is a smaller company (at least compared to Samsung) that is hyper focused on digital displays. The company also develops a range of videowall solutions, similar to those offered by Samsung and Planar. However, Christie Digital developed a product that is just plain cool, and something that most people have never seen before.
That's the Christie MicroTile system. Christie MicroTiles act like display building blocks, in that they are shaped like cubes and can be stacked on top of each other. Once the system is configured, every MicroTile is recognized by the display as soon as it is added, so it becomes a part of the image with little calibration required. Every MicroTile features an ultra-fine pitch LED display that is rated for up to 65,000 hours of performance before dropping to half brightness.
Design is clearly the interesting aspect of Christie MicroTiles. They can be arranged in a huge variety of layouts and built around, so if companies are looking for a videowall that no one has ever seen before, MicroTiles are a clear path to that. And fortunately, there's no complicated controls or maintenance with the MicroTiles, as they are front accessible and can be controlled with a simple touchscreen.
Nothing says visual like a videowall, and A/V integrators can configure and install them in an impactful way, helping the business make a positive statement.