Ask the Board – May 18, 2020 | STEVE “CHEWIE” STAVAR


“What is your opinion on using traditional video wall panels vs. tight-pitch LEDs?”

When thinking about a project that uses traditional (ultra-thin bezel) video wall panels vs. tight-pitched LED panels, the first thing that comes to mind is the scope and life of the project. I think end users are too often so fixated on the “wow” factor of a large digital display that they are not concerned about the other things that come with a large-format digital presentation, but that conversation is for another time.

The second thing that comes to mind is viewing distance. If people are going to walk right up to this video wall, you will need more expensive LED panels than if they are 10 feet away. This leads to the physical protection of your installation. If people can walk right up to your LED wall, how will you protect the panels from damage? With multiple monitors, you can get monitors that have tempered glass faces or add tempered glass to your monitors.

The third issue is cost – the cost of the initial hardware and the cost of keeping the thing running for the planned life of the installation. Planned life of the installation is the important thing. If the installation is going to be for the length of the monitor, warranty no big deal. If it will be longer, then there may be issues with replacement. If you put in a 3-foot by 3-foot wall of 46-inch monitors, and you can’t get the same monitor four years from then, then what? Even if you can get the same monitor, how are you going to color-match it to the four-year old monitors? My guess is you will need to replace all nine monitors.

There is a place for both types of hardware to be installed. I think sometimes we need to think outside of the box as well. Instead of doing an LED wall or a 3’ x 3’ 46-inch monitor installation, what about installing a ~100-inch monitor? The benefits are a single input and single mount. The problem is, if that single screen is damaged, you have to replace the whole thing. I’ve been there (FYI, a 98-inch doesn’t fit in a standard elevator. You have to carry it up and down emergency staircases).

About Author

Digital Signage Specialist
West Virginia University

End User Council

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