Common Questions about Video Wall Processors
What is a video wall processor and when do I need one?
A video wall processor is an advanced signal router. It takes several inputs and creates a single image stretched over the entire video wall. A video wall processor is needed to be able to “stretch” the image across all displays, without compromising the images quality. Video wall processors can be either dedicated devices with fixed number of inputs and outputs, or they can be PC-based devices with an expandable Input/Output count. Some advanced video wall processors are also capable of supporting multiple source content (i.e. Live TV, HDMI capture, network streaming, HTML5, etc.).
Userful’s video wall appliance is a great example of a video wall processor, as it supports virtually unlimited source inputs, and allows you to route them to up to 100 screens, either as whole video walls, individual displays, or a mix of both. Userful’s scaling algorithm allows you to display a single image, in ultra high (4k, 6k or 8k) resolution, on very large video walls.
What considerations do I need to take when selecting a video wall processor?
First you want to have a clear idea of what you want your video wall to do—for example showcase video content, display useful information about your business, show multiple content streams simultaneously (i.e. in a control room environment, etc.). You also need to consider the size of your video wall and be sure you’re choosing the right location for it. Once you’re clear about your content, how it will be used and the video wall size, you’re ready to go shopping.
When choosing a solution, it’s worth considering getting both a video wall processor and a video wall controller—the latter for more advanced control of content sources and video lay out or configuration. Even if you don’t need these features today, this is a big investment and you want to ensure the solution you pick can grow with you and support you as your requirements evolve in the future. For example, the Userful video wall solution is both a video wall processor—allowing up to 8k content for up to 60 screens—and a video wall controller—supporting advanced configuration features, as well as artistic layouts, preset zones with multiple simultaneous content, screen mirroring, etc. If there’s a chance you will need to expand your video wall in the future, you want to select a video wall processor today that allows you to accommodate additional displays.
What type of video wall controller should my processor have?
Depending on the application, your video wall processor may also need a video wall controller to give granular and real time control over your video wall. If this is the case, there are different types of video wall controllers. Hardware-based controllers generally are lower cost, but are very limited in their capabilities; while software-based are able to offer more advanced features, ideal for running more complex applications (i.e. control rooms, high-end digital signage), but they tend to be more expensive.
Userful’s solution is both a video wall processor and video wall controller in one. It provides all the advanced features and high-end content control of traditional software-based controllers, but at a fraction of the cost. It also has the power to drive a very large number of screens and very high resolution content.
If I plan to expand my video wall in the near future, what is the best video wall processor to do it?
Most processors have a fixed number of inputs and fixed number of outputs so if there’s a chance you want to expand in the future, be careful as you may get stuck with a solution that doesn’t have the flexibility for future expansion.
Userful uses the network for its outputs, with a zero client device for each screen. This means the number of displays is limited only by the capacity of the network and the PC, so in order to expand the video wall, all you need to do is connect the new display to a zero client, and connect it to the ethernet switch, and the Userful solution will automatically incorporate into the system. This approach allows you to gradually expand your video wall, and should you need more power to drive your wall, all you need to do is swap the PC for a new one.
I am system integrator, and I have customers with many types of use cases. Is there a video wall processor that can work with any use case and application?There are video wall processors that are better suited than others to fulfill specific types of project requirements (whether is hospitality, live entertainment & sports events, airports, control rooms, etc.) but for this kind of System Integrator, Userful is uniquely helpful. Userful offers a platform that has the capabilities to handle just about any video wall use case from a control room, to a highly creative, artistic video walls, with non-traditional layouts and everything in between.