Do you recall the first videowalls?

Well, they weren’t really video. And the wall? Not so much. They were large screens with banks of slide projectors clicking and whirring away. With a ton of slides and some clever programming “virtual” movement was created on a grand scale.

For all the progress large-scale projection technology has made over the years, from slide projectors to CRTs, from VGA to LEDs, videowalls have always had one thing in common – EXPENSIVE!

But now, technology has brought us something even more amazing than super-sized visual impact. A price drop. Big time.

Whether your videowall has four monitors or 40, the most expensive component is the video controller. Powerful card-based computers, decoders, scalers, daisy chain inputs are all driving high resolution (up to 4K) digital signals for rock solid, brilliant imagery for – well – as far as the eye can see.

But now, a lot of that expensive hardware-based processing can be accomplished using software. That one change is dropping the cost of systems of comparable performance by as much as 60 percent!

Now, if you’re thinking about 40 monitors, that kind of price drop might not be so meaningful compared to the overall cost of the wall. But, if you’re communication objectives call for something a little more modest – you may be in for a very pleasant surprise.

Which often leads to the first question most people ask: “How many monitors do I need?”

It’s a good question, but it should be one of the last questions asked…if it’s asked at all.

Today, large format image displays utilize a wide variety of technologies. LCD, LED, projection cubes, blended projection, LED curtains and more. They can be flat, curved, wrapped around columns or even three-dimensional shapes. They can be small enough to be portable or multiple stories high…or in the case of “Big Hoss” at Texas Motor Speedway…they can be nearly a half-acre in size.

The very first question that needs to be asked? “What communication objectives are you trying to achieve?” The answer to that question starts a waterfall of subsequent questions and answers that ultimately point toward one technology or another…and how big.

Which is the value of an AV systems integration company like ExhibitOne. We are fully fluent in translating objectives into technology. While we can’t think of any objectives that translate into “slide projector” anymore…with today’s lower costs, there are a lot of communication objectives that can now be met using videowall technology…albeit on a smaller scale than Big Hoss.