Are you looking for a multi-screen video wall for your business, conference display, digital sign or any other reason? Connecting multiple screens and using a Windows machine to create a large display area, has become a very popular option for many business owners for the purpose of digital signage. This is also popular for exhibitors that frequent trade shows. So how does all of this work and how can you setup up your own multi-screen video wall? I’ll explain.
Fortunately, Windows has made working with multiple displays considerably easier than it use to be. In fact, you can go to control panel, display setting and as long as you have additional outputs from you video card, Windows will most likely be able to detect them instantly. But it doesn’t stop here. Windows can also help you arrange your monitors in any order you would like. You can also create a panoramic view that stretches across multiple monitors, creating a giant display screen. This works great for digital signage especially. Windows is very smart and setting this up is pretty intuitive, so you shouldn’t have many issues getting this working if you are familiar with how Windows operating system operates.
So what kind of computer and video card(s) do you need? Well it really depends on what type of display you’re going to be setting up. As you would imagine, the smaller the display, the less hardware you’re going to need and the less performance you will need out of your computer. It is highly recommended that you consult with a company, such as multi-monitors.com when you are considering a machine. They’ll be able to customize the specifications of your computer and maximize its performance, which is the key to your success when setting up a multi-screen video wall. Generally speaking, several gigabytes of memory are suggested, along with a dual core i5 or i7 processor (again, varies based on how many screens you are using.)
Another important consideration to make is what type of graphics cards you will be using. Most graphics cards these days include 2 outputs. Graphics cards can vary greatly in price. High end graphics cards can cost upwards of $600, while some lower performance cards are significantly less pricey, including some that are less than $100. However, for your custom system, it is is highly likely that the cards you end up choosing will cost between $175 and $300. This is the sweet spot between performance, quality and cost. Again, a good way to help determine the best graphics card for your needs is to consult with an expert.
So how much a multi-screen video wall end up costing you? While this varies depending on size and number of screens, it is probably reasonable to expect to pay more than $2500 for a small system and for some of the larger walls it can cost upwards of $15,000. While that may sound like a lot, the system will more than pay for itself as your customers (or perspective customers) will likely be blown away with your new video wall.
Despite the costs, more and more business owners are taking a leap of faith and moving away from traditional advertising methods and more towards digital signage. For business owners that want to wow their customers, nothing sends such a large impression as a beautifully lit custom multi-screen video wall display important information, large graphs and sometimes even interactive designs and styles. Customers will know that you’ve put forth a large effort and this will make your company appear more valuable than before. Trust me, the value is there.
I want to tell you a story about how one guy was able to leverage his multi-screen video wall to grow his business and increase his profits. There was a man who lived in south Florida and ran a small video arcade in a beach front property. He had been running this arcade for nearly 20 years, but as technology for at home gaming programs increased, his customer base dwindled. However, because he was on a boardwalk with a considerable amount of tourists, he did manage to keep his business afloat. His first impression of multiple screen video walls was at a Best Buy just outside of Miami in late 1999. They were using the video wall to create in store advertisements and promotions. He loved the idea, but of course at the time this would have been much to expensive for a small business owner to do on his own. Flash forward to 2009, and the arcade owner now realizes that his customer base has shrunk, but it is nearly all tourists looking for fun things to do, fun places to each and interesting ideas while they are vacationing in south Florida. He also knows that other businesses are looking for ways to get new customers through the door. So he creates a plan. He sets up up a somewhat large video wall display that can be seen by people passing by and in his arcade. He offers advertisements to other local business at a rate of $5 a day and also promotes specials inside of his own arcade. By leveraging his multi-screen video wall, he has been able to generate nearly $6000 extra per month in advertisements, help his community and boost his own business. This was not a complicated tactic to employ and worked remarkably well. In fact, it worked so well that other businesses in the area started seeking his advice on how to setup a similar system so that they could do something similar. The beauty of this is that, aside from the initial investment, this is a relatively easy and cheap way to ensure that your customers know what’s going on inside of your business and really within your community as well.
If you are considering setting up a video wall, simply consult with an expert, such as the folks at multi-monitors.com for advice on how to best set up your multi-screen video wall.