What is a Video Wall?

As the audio-video industry continues to experience consistent growth, more end users can fully experience the dynamic solution of audio-video video walls. Video walls are installed in almost any application and can be found in many different public places. Every installer has questions when it comes to embarking on an AV video wall project, so our team set out to answer the top 3 most common questions about video wall technology.

WHAT IS A VIDEO WALL?

The most common question of them all — “What exactly is a video wall?”. A video wall is a multi-monitor display that consists of configurations of multiple LED, LCD screens that display high pixel density and can be configured into a multiple array of sizes. Screens that make up a video wall demand strong high-quality mounts that can support long term visibility and versatility. These AV solutions captivate spaces and can be utilized in virtually any environment. From retail, to higher education, video walls provide a great digital canvas to showcase unlimited types of content.

WHAT's BETTER, LCD OR LED VIDEO WALLS?

Both LCD (liquid crystal display) and LED (light-emitting diode) displays create video walls that draw attention and enhance environments, the difference between the two involve the configuration and view-ability in regard to distance and size. A direct view LED video wall includes several bezel-less screens on a dedicated mounting solution. These smaller screens create high impact visuals because of the light emitting diodes that actually produce dynamic color in high-resolution using densely populated pixels. Since LED displays efficiently create seamless video walls they are a premium commodity in the audio-video industry. However, these screens are just one type of solution available for video walls.

Compared to LED screens, LCD stands for liquid crystal display and is the same type of technology used in laptops and cell phones. Like light-emitting diode (LED), LCD allows displays to be thin, sleek, and captivating. LCD screens are composed of a thin layer of liquid crystals housed between two polarized glass panels which then form images when electricity is applied.

There are many advantages to both LED and LCD video walls. LED displays are seamless, energy efficient, and extremely illuminating. This makes them an ideal fit for large video walls that demand high-intensity visuals. LCD video walls are not seamless but can be beneficial when displaying text, images, and video with crisp detail. Both are commercial application quality and can be scaled to make high-resolution visuals possible.

Ultimately, the difference between the two is centered around the viewing distance of a video wall, the desired price that a customer has in mind, and the content that is going to be played. Both LCD screens and LED panels can create video walls but the determinants of which hardware and mounting solution to select depends on the content, application, and environment.

HOW BIG SHOULD A VIDEO WALL BE?

Video walls are used across the globe to attract attention, deliver key messages, and visualize data. The largest high-definition video wall in the world measures 709.69 m² (7,639 ft² 5 in²) and was created for the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in 2017. The size of this video wall has broken world records due to the larger than life display. Although this achievement underscores the power of video walls, not every display has to measure up to the same magnitude. When deploying video walls, the most important factor is the environment. The size of a video wall depends entirely on where the technology will be displayed. Whether a broadcast control room, corporate boardroom, hotel lobby, sports stadium, restaurant lobby, or even in a home, the size of a video wall is dependent upon audience, budget, and space.

Video walls are unique and attention-grabbing solutions that embody some of the best aspects of audio-video. The sky's the limit when it comes to being creative through the use of video walls to accent any space or to step up any function. Premier Mounts understands the importance of cost-effective solutions that leverage flexible, intentional and customer-oriented solutions so check out the products we carry by them to help make your next video wall a success!


The 5 Best U.S. Cities with Digital Signage

Digital signage is booming across the United States as an integral part of the next generation of “smart cities.” According to a recent Deloitte article, the goal of smart cities is to create digitally connected ecosystems that enhance people's lives through a digital connection. This movement focuses on leveraging a combination of data, digital displays, and user-centered design.

The technologies being introduced into public spaces and urban landscapes incorporate hardware, software and network technology through the capabilities of digital signage. The top five digital cities in the United States include New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle all which ranked within the top fifty on an international scale.

Each city utilizes digital signage in various ways including:

  • Digital wayfinding
  • Free Wi-Fi kiosks
  • Real-time news and weather updates
  • Live bus and train schedules
  • City construction information
  • Contextually relevant advertising
  • Hyperlocal community information
  • Emergency Alerts

New York, New York – Ranked #4 Internationally

Home to the iconic and vibrant Times Square, New York City can be considered the heart of digital signage displays. The fast-paced consumer-driven culture influences much of the larger than life technology being deployed in the city. However, eye-catching digital displays are making their way onto the streets of the concrete jungle. New York City has made strides to replace phone booths on the streets with over seven thousand digital kiosks. These digital displays provide access to interactive wayfinding services, weather updates, and free Wi-Fi. New York Public Transit is also magnified through the use of forward-thinking digital technology. Digital displays are emerging on subway platforms, tourist attractions, and retail stores across the city. The constant installation and cutting-edge technology that is seeping into the city makes New York City a major authority on how to build a smart city through the means of modern technology and digital signage innovation.

Boston, Massachusetts – Ranked #7 Internationally

Digital displays fuel transit solutions throughout the country. In Boston, digital signage has been rolled out across the city's metro system. Not only is digital signage spread across the transit routes in the city, but Boston also leverages the power of digital signage in their world-renowned convention centers. The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center is considered the most technologically advanced convention facility in the United States. With state-of-the-art digital displays, BCEC encapsulates the integration of digital signage in major technology hubs in cities. The flexibility of digital advertising and digital displays has grown immensely over the last few years. With the introduction of digital billboards in Boston, there are even more possibilities for advancements towards smart city initiatives.

San Francisco, California – Ranked #11 Internationally 

Smart cities and digital signage are all about reaching people instantly and improving the lives of communities. San Francisco's network of digital signage does just that. Tourists and residents are greeted with a digital network in the center of San Francisco at the Moscone Center, with digital panels lining all sides of the building. The digital presence in the city travels from the historic Union Square to the Financial District, and even throughout the Westfield Shopping Center on Market Street. Digital panels also surround AT&T park where nearly forty thousand Giants fans attend each night during the season. San Francisco is home to a network of billion-dollar companies all constantly working towards enhancing technology within society. It's no surprise that digital signage has become a key component of everyday life in this innovative environment.

Chicago, Illinois – Ranked #17 Internationally

Deep-dish pizza, the Chicago Bears, and digital signage are all three features highlighting the uniqueness of the windy city. Digital displays are scattered throughout many parts of Chicago, including the iconic Millennium Park. This must-see attraction includes an LED video wall overlooking the reflecting pool off the corner of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street. This figure features video segments that utilize over 147 LED displays and speak to the creativity and smart city initiative happening within Chicago. Digital displays also have a huge presence at the Chicago Sports Museum, where LED displays allow museum-goers to participate in interactive games through motion sensing technology. Digital displays can be tailored to any environment and Chicago is a great example of how cities can create a unique experience for consumers and city structures.

Seattle, Washington – Ranked #18 Internationally

Built nearly 50 years ago, the Seattle Space Needle has symbolized innovation in the city for decades. By combining interactive digital signage with a 360-degree view of the city, visitors can experience the observation deck like never before. Installed in 2014, the SkyPad leverages digital signage technology with a 135-square-foot video wall created to showcase the history of the Seattle landmark. With more than 1.5 million annual visitors, the SkyPad embodies digital signage that is designed to capture audiences and increase interactivity in areas with high traffic.  Across the globe, cities are taking steps toward digital integration allowing for greater levels of functionality, convenience, and technology. Digital signage will continue to provide seamless connectivity and efficiency within the constantly innovating city landscape.


7 Ingredients to Telling a Great Story Using Digital Signage

In a sea of a million good stories, only a great on will make you react. It takes a truly great story to get someone excited about what you have to say and we often believe that this is hard to do. We wonder how videos or content goes viral, but in reality, it takes certain “ingredients” to craft a delicious story.

1. Make a Great First Impression

Famous business author Malcolm Gladwell mentions in his book Blink that humans make decisions on almost no date and stick to those decisions until proven wrong. That means people will judge if they like or dislike your brand on the first interaction.

This makes sense because it's hard for our brains to handle seeing the 2,000-4,000 brands or ads we see daily so in order to survive all the choices we make these snap judgments on brands or products. You only get one first impression when someone interacts with your brand so the story you’re trying to tell through digital signage has to be great.

2. Keep it Simple

Let's keep this point simple: You aren’t standing next to a piece of digital signage explaining the stories to consumers, are you? No way! This means the story has to be easy to understand in a matter of seconds. Don’t complicate your story, keep it simple.

3. Credible

A great story that sticks must come from a credible source. As an expert on mounting solutions, Premier Mounts and PDS share the vivid details that only an expert would know about how mounts are designed, manufactured and installed. As the expert in your field of business, sharing these vivid details helps the consumer to trust in the story because they can trust the source it came from.

4. Level of Unexpectedness

Picture that you’re in the drive-thru of your favorite fast food restaurant picking up food for the family on the way home from a really tough day at work. You ended up here instead of a planned fancy dinner with your spouse because your boss was micro-managing you all day, made you stay late and on top of all that you spilled coffee on your favorite pants. Your awful day is still running through your mind when you pull up to pay for food and realize the car in front of you paid your bill.

How unexpected would that be? Especially on a day like that. That's something that won’t easily be forgotten because it was so unexpected. That's the same ingredient you want to add when you tell your stories.

5. EmotionalImage result for maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Now we aren’t talking about creating a story that will make people cry. We are talking about evoking emotion through a story that prompts consumers to act. In Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we see the pattern in which human motivations tend to move. Being able to capture emotions based on these factors, in addition to understanding our target audiences worldview will make consumers want to take action based on the way they feel.

6. Brings Value

When in the process of creating a great story, ask yourself: “Am I actually bringing the consumer value from what I am saying”. The answer must be yes. If your story does not bring them to value then what's in it for them to remember what your digital signage has to say?

Value can come in many different forms whether it's shouting out a customer story, making them laugh or giving them critical information. They key is to know your audience and what makes them happy or brings them value. Give, give, give – then make the ask.

7. Leads to Action

Most people have heard the term “call to action” and they have for a reason. You want stories to lead consumers to take action based on the emotions they are feeling. Use your digital signage and story to show the consumers the path to follow to achieve your action goal. Make sure to establish the action you want a consumer to take at the beginning of the creative process that way you can frame your story with this in mind.

And that's the list! Keep these 7 ingredients in mind when crafting your next brand story and you will find that with some practice and over time, consumers will notice you more and you will create some amazing content for digitals signage. At Premier Mounts, we love to engage with our readers so if you have questions on anything you read, email Curtis at Curtis@premiermounts.com


Holiday Season Shopping and Digital Signage

As holiday shoppers roam from store to store, there is one thing that actively connects all of their buying and purchasing decisions: professional audio-video systems. When shopping, customers are usually looking for the newest and hottest gadgets or toys to give to their family members. They are looking to give a gift with a big impact.  Just like holiday shoppers, retailers are looking to make their big impact this season by implementing audio and visuals that stimulate buying senses and fill carts with more and more items.

In terms of visual systems, displays have always been used to convey retail marketing content to drive purchase decisions. Display screens are like flowing canvases for retailers. By leveraging the content being shown, companies can showcase their products in a way which is hard to convey through traditional print signage. To activate a purchase, the items being sold must be shown in its intended application. Children shown interacting with the latest toys, or playing the latest video game, are a much more pleasing viewing experience than just a stale, static image. Creating this visualization is a key element brought only through digital signage.

When thinking about positioning your signage, there are key elements that must be considered. Installers can take these points when pitching their services to the enterprise brands that are looking for a rebuff of their store locations. Here are three tips to help get started:

  • Capitalize on high traffic locations – getting customers to view your content is important and putting high-resolution displays in areas that are most frequented will help get your message across. The more people that come across your display and content, the more converted sales can be achieved. Some key areas to consider would be at store entrances, end-caps of aisles, and island kiosks of merchandise.
  • Use multiple displays together – sometimes one screen is simply not enough to capture the attention of masses heading through the front door. Consider a video wall array or linear menu board to spread multiple messages at the same time. Think of this as a dart board, when one piece of content does not hit the mark, a second screen may seal the deal. Retailers can take it a step further by introducing seamless LED video walls in their locations.
  • Optimize your floor space by using your ceiling – sometimes the best way to catch a person's attention is when their heads are in the clouds. Hanging a display from the ceiling is relatively easy with the right mounting solutions. It will allow you to keep valuable floor space uncluttered while still having a channel to spread the news on what's going on in the store.

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, retailers need to realize that audio-video can bring huge benefits to their key metrics. Once implemented to its fullest capacity, the bundle of professional systems and storefronts has the potential to drastically change the traditional brick and mortar shopping experience.


3 Things to Think About Before Buying a TV Mount

In terms of purchasing, to buy or not to buy is not the most important question; since in most cases, that decision has already been made. The real question is “what to buy?”, and more importantly, why a product was chosen. If all things are equal it logically becomes a simple issue of price and availability, but that is an erroneous assumption and proper product evaluations are needed, especially in the world of AV (and mounts in particular). Ultimately it boils down to the old adage, that you get what you pay for.

The truly cheap mounts lack key attributes in terms of usability, lifespan, functionality, and most importantly safety. The investment in a more durable, functional, and safe solution for projects will pay dividends that supersede the initial price consideration. Here are some factors to take into consideration when selecting a mounting solution:

  1. Company Reputation

Let's begin with your company's reputation. There is a whole community and industry of professionals out there who install audio-video solutions for a living. These guys know the importance of not just choosing a cheap, China made mount from Amazon, but investing in a quality solution. They recommend getting a higher quality mount even for your home and doing this doesn't have to break the bank. For example, look at the Premier Mounts brand who builds for the pro audio video industry and their AM65.

  1. Design and Quality 

When examining mounting solutions, you need to look at the entirety of the situation and the purposes of the engineering that went into the design.

Here are a few examples of questions to consider:

  • Is the mount built to the highest safety standards?

    low-cost, low-quality mounting solution.

    The result of a low-cost, low-quality mounting solution.

  • Can it handle the weight of the TV with room to spare?
  • Is the construction of quality, assuring long life?
  • Does the manufacturer offer a long-term or lifetime warranty?
  • Will it need to be replaced midway through the life of the TV?
  • If it is an articulating or movement mount, is it built to operate in an effortless manner?

Experience has taught many people that mount failure is not an option.

Mounts that fail to meet the above criteria may result in minor problems with catastrophic failures. The worst case is when a mount totally fails, and the display falls to the floor. Depending upon the location, the least concern is the display itself, if there are people in close proximity, a poorly made mount can lead to physical injury. High traffic locations such as hospitals, universities and retail stores are the last places you need an accident to occur. Poorly designed mounts can also damage the display during installation if specifications are not exact to that of the display and the costs of replacing damaged displays and mounts increases with less durable solutions. After the fact is not the time to have regrets.

  1. Access to TV

TVs require access to install things like HDMI cables, antennas, etc. If you use a mount with a limited range of motion then you won't be able to get behind the screen! Ever tried to plug in an HDMI on a flat mount TV in a hotel? It's next to impossible. Sometimes you might even need to remove the entire TV from the mount to be able to do it.

In the end, it ultimately boils down to the old adage, that you get what you pay for. Do your research and follow these guidelines and you will find a great mount!

 

Finished LED Video Wall