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Hiperwall© - True High Resolution Video Wall
Many Large Format Display (LFD) manufacturers have implemented a methodology to create video walls natively. Most use a method that allows you to daisy-chain a video source from one monitor to another. Physically, on the back of the monitor, you might see a VGA IN and VGA OUT connection. One physically creates the matrix by connecting the VGA IN to a media player, then using a VGA cable to connect that monitor's VGA OUT to the VGA IN of the next monitor (and so on). Then you are able to enter the monitor's menu settings and select the size of the video wall to match your configuration. The content you send to the first monitor will then be stretched across all the monitors in the matrix. Many LFD's are capable of a displaying a matrix up to 5x5 displays.
Native Video Wall Limitations
When using the native capability of a matrix of monitors to create a video wall, the first monitor will receive the content and each monitor in the matrix receives a scaled portion of the image to display. For example, a 1920x1080 image sent to a monitor that is part of a 2x2 native video wall will only show a portion of the content equal to one-fourth (480x270) of the original image.
Everyone reading this has probably already guessed that the content will not look very crisp. When you blow up an image to 4 times its size, it ends up looking pixelated and out of focus. Why devote resources on a large video wall to "WOW" your viewers, only to miss the mark by displaying what now appears to be low-quality content when stretched across many monitors? But wait, you say. Why not just create the content at a resolution of 7680x4080 (4 times 1902x1080) and assuming your media player's video card could render it, send that to the matrix and get a 1920x1020 portion of the image on each of the four monitors for a crisp and clear display.
The problem with this initial moment of brilliance is that while your media player's graphics processor might be able to render a 7680x4080 image, the the first monitor in the matrix cannot accept images greater than its maximum resolution (typically 1366x768 or 1920x1080) and would not be able to accept the larger image in the first place. Thus the term "Maximum Resolution".
Hiperwall© to the Rescue
Hiperwall is a unique video wall solution that is fundamentally simple, yet elegant in in its execution. At its core, it consists of four basic software components that run on commercial off-the-shelf PC's. These components include the Display Node, Sender Node, Streamer Nodes and the Control Node.
The Display Node's job, as its name implies, is to show content sent to it by the Sender and Streamer Nodes as dictated by the Control Node. The Display Node is run on individual computers that are connected to each monitor in the video wall matrix (or anywhere else for that matter) via the monitor's video source input connection and to the Control Node via the network connection. A Sender Node which is installed on a computer and responsible for sending whatever content the computer is capable of displaying via a gigabit network connection. Another component of Hiperwall is the Streamer Node. This node is similar to a Sender Node, but is purpose built to send high-definition, live video at up to 30 frames per second, such as a security camera's output or other live video feed. The Control Node, which also installs on a standard Windows© PC, accepts Sender and Streamer Nodes as possible content sources. A sufficiently powered Control Node PC could also act as a Streamer Node if needed.
What makes the Hiperwall solution unique is that the Control Node is responsible for the position, size, scale, rotation and other display options of the content upon the video wall matrix. The Control Node assigns portions of the Sender Node's content to individual Display Nodes to send to its respective monitor. Since the monitor may only displaying a portion of the larger content, the combined video wall can display very high resolution content and images across multiple monitors without distortion (although additional scaling is still possible). A unique demonstration of Hiperwall's capability is to overlay, scale and position high-resolution satellite images of the Louisiana coastline before and after Hurricane Katrina. Then using a transparency slider, one can then compare and contrast the differences between the images on the video wall.
Hiperwall v1.2 includes a new ‘Scheduler’ function that enables an administrator to configure the system to automatically add or remove content from the video wall at specific times and dates, a very useful feature for digital signage applications. An example benefiting from this feature would be a video wall inside a shopping mall displaying store and restaurant promotions at specific times of the day.
The latest Hiperwall software version also features a ‘Web Services Interface’ function that turns any PC or other networked digital device, including AMX© or Crestron© controller systems, into a remote control unit that can change the video wall display in a single room or throughout a facility. [Press release]
Call JSCS for More Information
JSCS is a Hiperwall certified value-added reseller. Call us today to discuss your requirements and receive a customized quote for your solution. Visit our Hiperwall mini-site to view a demonstration.