Video Walls for Control Rooms
Regardless of your video wall use case, a deployment is a big investment: screens, mounts, controller, installation and training. When planning a video wall install, it’s easy to list out the needs of today, but it can be difficult to predict the needs of tomorrow. When deploying a video wall for a control room, this is even more important as needs are more likely to evolve and change over time.
If you purchase a proprietary hardware based video wall controller that has X inputs and Y outputs, you’re going to be limited in the future if you want to expand.
Choose a solution that can meet your requirements today but allows for growth in the future--the option to expand and add more inputs or outputs, display features like picture in picture and multi-window even if you’re not needing them today, in the future you likely will.
Simplicity of Management and Control
Today’s control rooms are demanding environments with the need to display multiple diverse content sources simultaneously on a video wall and to quickly change that video wall content on the fly. This doesn’t have to result in a complicated solution.
Simplicity and ease of use is one of the most important factors in choosing a video wall for a control room. You need to ensure that operators can easily use it or you will significantly reduce ROI.
Userful is an example of a solution that is powerful, featureful and flexible without being overly complicated.
Operators and administrators need to be able to control what’s displayed where on the video wall and to interact with the video wall quickly and easily.
There are video wall controllers that simply take HDMI inputs and scale them onto the video wall or a zone within the video wall.
When this is the case, it can be difficult to ensure all operators can interact with the source of that HDMI input.
Take the example of an NOC that needs to run 6 browser sessions on its video wall. They can use 6 HDMI inputs each connected to a PC each of which is running a browser.
This is cumbersome and means the solution design needs to ensure anyone who needs to can interact with those six PC’s and the browser sessions running on them.
A software based solution like Userful makes interaction with the video wall and the content on the video wall easy.
Instead of having the video wall controller connect to 6 desktops, 6 browser sessions can be run directly from the PC.
For interactivity any of the operators can launch the interactive viewer and with that control they can control the mouse and keyboard for one or all of those 6 browser sessions.
Presets and Video Wall Lay out
Some video wall processors and controllers allow you to display content on the entire video wall or on a single screen or groups of screens.
More advanced video walls allow multi-window and picture in picture for greater display flexibility. Even if this isn’t a feature required today, it likely will be in the future--this kind of display flexibility is very common.
With video walls such as Userful it’s easy to control what content appears where on the video wall. Administrators can use presets to set up multiple specific configurations that need to be regularly used, each with different zone layouts and different content sources as needed.
Downtime at a mission critical control and command center is unacceptable.
When deploying a video wall in a control center, be wary of anything with a single point of failure. The more complicated a solution, the more of a challenge it can be should something go wrong.
Proprietary hardware can be difficult to service and if your video wall controller requires a specialized technician, any down time can be magnified by delays involved in getting the right person on site.
Solutions such as Userful which uses a standard off the shelf PC’s keeps costs low but also ensures ease of support.
Userful also offers automated failover which allows customers to put a second identical PC on site and set it up in the Userful software as the automatic backup PC.
Presets and Video Wall Lay out
While the cost of displays has dropped significantly, the cost of a traditional video wall controller for a control room, NOC or command center is still high. This is usually because those controllers are built from specialized proprietary hardware which has low volumes and high costs.
Cost matters in every project and no customer wants to spend unnecessarily.
Know that there are cost effective options such as Userful that deliver all the key features which are easy to use and high performance.