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Tuck Technologies found Userful through a former employee and quickly knew that Userful was the best option for the project. As Stephen Lee, president of Tuck Technologies, points out “The ease of install and use was a key selling point. Userful is intuitive, and there is no need for the administrator to be an expert, or a high-level, IT professional’. Userful also had a great price point. As Lee puts it, “if someone building an office space can get a video wall, including monitors, for about $8k - $15k, as opposed to the $25k - $40 that other solutions cost, that is a no brainer”.

The content Dataminr wanted to put on the video wall was a network stream of the interactive application Dataminr have—a rotating image of the earth with social media and news flashes from around the globe. They installed the video wall at the front of the office with the purpose of showcasing Dataminr’s products for their visitors in a cool way.

And of course, Userful also allows Dataminr to have the host PC away from the video wall (eliminating the need for space to house the unit next to the wall). According to Lee, “the flexibility of delivering the video wall content via the network, and having the streamlined zero clients on-site, rather that having media players and controllers that take up a lot of space, is a great advantage to the Userful solution”.

The Solution

Towards the end of 2015, while searching for new video wall ideas, the Broadcast Unit’s Executive Director, Warren Bowles came across the Userful video wall solution and knew it was the answer: “It’s a must have,” he said and adds that once they found it, they didn’t look for any other solution--Userful delivered exactly what they were looking for.

Userful allowed the Broadcast Unit to display multiple channels through TriCaster, a multi-camera production solution for broadcasting and live streaming. Userful allowed the team to centrally manage all the screens on the system, which was a key aspect in the Broadcast Unit’s requirements. Bowles was amazed by the performance of the Userful solution, noting that “Once the system is setup, there is no render time needed”.

Bowles and his team were excited by the idea of being able to not only rotate the screen clockwise or anticlockwise, and still maintain a straight picture for the audience. Userful’s artistic video wall feature allows customers to rotate individual displays within a video wall to any angle and mix displays of different sizes and aspect ratios. Best of all customers can use any display with an HDMI connection.

For the awards’ event, the Broadcast Unit deployed 12 displays, organized in groups of three, with different layouts, spread across the stage, all powered from just one PC. Userful is able to support up to a hundred displays from a single PC. Each display gets a small zero client that has no moving parts, no processor no hard drive, no software, is in effect a network addressable video card. These devices connect back to the Userful PC over a standard network. The Userful PC does all the rendering of content ensuring flawless synchronization.

Specializing in live events, the Broadcast Unit greatly values portability in the solutions they use, and they were able to fit the Userful systems—without the displays—in a few portable road cases (one for the PC, on for the Zero Client devices, and one for the cables). The small profile of Userful’s architecture, allowed Bowles and his team to easily conceal the zero clients behind the screens and only run a single cable to the PC.

When Ajoy Bhattacharya, Senior Director of Innovations and New Technology at Suffolk came across Userful, he was immediately drawn to its 1) ability to pull any type of high quality content (up to 8k) onto the video wall from a tablet 2) flexibility to divide the video wall into multiple zones and display images and slideshows all at the same time and 3) affordability due to it’s use of a standard PC and network. Based on these three benefits, Bhattacharya and his team decided to replace their existing video walls with Userful in all their Smart Labs (Boston, Miami, New York City, San Francisco and Tampa)

“What I like best about Userful is that [unlike our first product] it actually works”, said Bhattacharya. “Not only did it fulfill our requirements, but it did so at a competitive price. Also, being able to access the control panel from anywhere using a tablet was a major selling point. Our video wall is at a location with walking space and we wanted to be able to show clients data on the video wall while being able to manipulate it on the go.”

The Solution

Nick Nichols, President of Keywest Technology, learned about Userful’s network-based video wall solution through their partners, display maker Philips. After careful research and consideration, Nichols realized Userful was just what they needed.

Userful’s ability to turn a standard PC into a high performance video wall controller that delivers content over the network ensured the total solution was cost effective and met the arena’s budget requirements. Userful’s ability to support just about any content from any source meant the solution could easily support their cloud based CMS.

Userful provided the flexibility to create the initial 9-display banner video wall on portrait mode, all powered from a single standard Intel Core I7 PC. For a seamless look, Keywest chose zero-bezel 49” Philips displays. The video wall is located in highly visible area, but it was easy to conceal the small zero client devices Userful uses to connect the displays over the network to the PC.

“What I like most about Userful is its flexibility, and how it can adapt to different project’s requirements,” said Nichols. “With Userful basically we can install it once, and then simply add as many displays as we need to increase the size of the video wall. It just provides a lot of flexibility, and makes it very easy for the crew to work with.”

The Solution

When looking online for a solution that allowed them to run multiple displays from a single computer, Nick Thrasher, Media Specialist/Editor in Chief, of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, came across Userful’s video wall solution, and realized that this was exactly what they were looking for. Userful enables customers to drive a large and flexible number of displays over the network using just a single, standard PC. It’s got an easy to use drag-and-drop browser based control center that makes it easy to manage content.

Thrasher and his team deployed a video wall of six 55” LED displays in portrait orientation. They are all powered from a single Intel Core i7 PC with 32GB of RAM located in a server room and connected via Gigabit Ethernet network. The videos they use to showcase donors are currently stored on the PC’s hard drive, though in the future they plan to incorporate web, or HTML5, content.

Thrasher loved that Userful’s solution “was simple and straightforward to set up and install, and it has proven easy to update and reconfigure with little to no maintenance at the actual display locations. Userful has operated reliably despite occasional disruptions such as network and power outages.” Equally important, Userful has brought, “significant reduction in man-hours required to deploy and maintain the video wall system, as well as in cost of hardware when compared to purchasing multiple PCs or a video wall controller.”

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