Tuesday, June 26, 2012
The title of this article might give the impression that this is about a huge projector in a corporate business room, just like the old days. But instead we’re going to talk about an emerging trend in conference rooms, a trend that you’ve likely noticed, video walls and how they are used for various purposes in the corporate setting. There are several other names which are used to represent the word video wall, such as, data wall, and media wall etc. a video wall therefore is simply a large display which displays an images or video in a presentation format. Unlike other displays, these are typically not one complete display devices as they are comprised of several other displays arranged together in such a way that they can work together as one giant screen, or as multiple smaller screens. The image is scaled into each of these screens according to their respective resolutions by using a special video-processing device. There is no restriction to the particular size of the display device, as it could vary from as small as a 4 inch direct view LCD screen or even be as huge as a 120 inches front, or possibly even a rear projection device. The size of this display device depends on the overall size of the video wall, which is to be made. In the case of LED based display walls they are made up of 0.5 mm bezel discrete LEDs in order to denote each pixel on the screen. A common question is asked about display walls regarding the wisdom behind creating large logical displays according to the technique described above. The reason for this is because it provides the ability to have a brighter, bigger screen, at a greater resolution without compromising on inherent redundancy, when compared to other types of image display devices. When planning to buy a video wall for any purpose more attention should be given to its display, as quality of the display is directly proportional to its viewing ability. As mentioned earlier, of the various kinds of devices that could be used for display walls, including, CRT, narrow mullion LCDs, general LCDs etc. Basically the particular display device that is used determines the image quality of the video wall. There are three devices that comprise the display of a video wall, and the two main technologies, which play a major role in the design of a video wall, comprise of the direct view plasma or LCD screen and the rear projection cube. With the advent of newer technologies entering the market everyday, even the cost of LCD display units have decreased in price drastically, however it is quite difficult to make a LCD display wall mainly due to the fact that it is incredibly difficult to align the monitors in such a way that they form a matrix with the multiple displays as LCD displays have a considerably huge border. The border around the screen of a LCD display is known as the bezel, and while tiling each of these screens together these bezels creates a gap in between the entire image. The term used to describe these gaps is either mullions or transoms. As a result it becomes very inconvenient for the viewer to get a clear view of the image or video depicted on the video wall. The reason for which residential LCD TV sets do not require any maintenance at all is because they have only one screen and less life expectancy. This is yet another disadvantage for the use of LCDs in video walls because when they have a poor life expectancy it would also require regular replacement of displays as well, and when replacing them the entire array must be organised with respect to the other screens so that the picture quality is maintained. As mentioned at the beginning of this article about the types of display devices available, the rear projection video wall offers the benefit of greater life expectancy as well as easy serviceability with respect to the typical LCD or plasma display units. The reason why these are better is because light that passes via the LCD is initially projected from the back, and it is then filtered to its respective colour (i.e white light, black light etc). It is because of this process that viewing an image is more precise as compared to a flat screen as they do not have a large impact in the formation of the image from the human eye. Accordingly, you should note when creating a video wall for any given situation, that in addition to factors such as budget, the display type and organization requirement should be given due attention as well. It is because of this that its very important to ensure that professional guidance is obtained prior to the design of your particular video wall to insure a clear image every time. Failing to do so can result in using either wrong configuration of display panels or using wrong display panels itself for the creation of the video wall. LED displays are becoming more commonly used for this purpose. They tend to encompass all of the positives (bright, clear picture) without the negatives that you might encounter using an LCD. The best part is that LEDs tend to have smaller bezels, are lightweight and out last projection screens, projectors, LCDs and plasmas. This means you get all of the benefits without the negatives.
If you’re a trader or in any industry really, you probably have caught wind of the trend of using more than one computer screen with your computer. This is easier than you think and depending on what you are already using, it’s probably not as expensive as you think. But the advantage of using a 3-monitor computer is every bit as great as you’ve probably read. There have been lots of numbers thrown around, but a university in Utah actually did a study and concluded that yes, if you use multiple monitors you will save a lot of time and your productivity will increase. In this article we’ll discuss what you need to setup a multiple monitor computer, how much it costs and more. There are several components that you’ll to turn your single monitor computer into a 3-monitor computer. But first and foremost you’ll need to check out your computer and make sure that it’s powerful enough to handle multiple monitors. That means you need to look at 3 main things, your processor, your RAM and your graphics card. Let’s talk a little bit about how you check each of those components. For this article we’re going to go over Windows 7, but if you’re using an earlier version of Windows or Mac OS, I’ll point you in the right direction as well. First let’s figure out what processor you’re using.
- Click the Windows “Globe” aka, the Start Button
- Right Click Computer
- Go to Properties
- Open Screen Resolution by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, and then, under Appearance and Personalization, clickingAdjust screen resolution.
- Click the drop-down list next to Multiple displays, click Extend these displays, and then click OK.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Video Walls in Piccadilly CircusAdvertisement is an important part in the growth of any business, large or small. The marketing maxim is, “The more you spend, the more you earn.” Of course, that money must be spent wisely, too. So, businesses are always searching for the newest and most effective ways to reach their customers. There are multiple advertising techniques available to businesses today and the question that must be answered is, “which medium is most effective?” In the rapidly changing postmodern era, people spend more time away from home than ever before. As a result, marketers must think deeply to find ways to maximize the attention of their target audience and potential customers. One technique that has been successful is the use of billboards, but not just any type of billboard. These innovative signs are “moving walls” made of LED screens which stand out in the minds of consumers. One key to successfully using video walls is choosing a site where the maximum number of people can see it; Piccadilly Circus is one of the best places in the world for that to happen. Piccadilly Circus, located in the West End of London, is the gateway to London’s premier landmarks and a hub of multiple businesses and entertainment venues. It is surrounded by shopping malls, criterion Theatre, London Pavilion, and the Shaftesbury Memorial, with its unforgettable statue, Anteros. Needless to say, Piccadilly Circus is a major tourist attraction and its being featured in videos, movies and postcards shows that it has reached iconic status. With such large crowds passing through Piccadilly Circus each day, it is natural that the attention of marketers was drawn there. The first electronic advertisement appeared there in 1910. The size and scope of billboards at Piccadilly has changed over time. For instance, in the late 1960’s nearly all the buildings were covered with neon signs and advertisements. In the 1990’s, Coke placed a digital billboard there with images projected by six LCD video projectors. The result was moving images that were able to change with the weather. Later, the advertisement area was reduced to a single building at the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Glasshouse Street. Piccadilly Lite was added in 2007, with the purpose of increasing the advertising space by using the same screen for multiple brands whose ads rotate being shown. Piccadilly Lite is available for both long and short term lease. In 2012, the Piccadilly Circus has six illuminated screens. Some of the most successful businesses in the world have advertised on these screens including, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Sanyo, Kodak, McDonald’s and many more. Companies all over the globe understand the importance of this hub in gaining access to a maximum number of people. Though the cost for advertisement on the screens of Piccadilly Circus is high, so are the returns.
Video Wall Controller Software: VigiControl Versus eSign 20 Video wall, media wall or data wall – are all ways to refer to large electronic screens that are used to display videos, data or images as a presentation. Usually more than one display device is used as a tile in a matrix that forms a single screen. A special video processor is used to scale an image or video or any text data or multiple images throughout the logical screen. This kind of display is used to present a higher resolution, larger and brighter picture to multiple people in a same place at the same time. Video walls are used for traffic and security management, data display of the stock market, elaborate trade shows displays, data presentation in conference room or simply for advertisements. Multiple variations of software have been developed to enable these special display devices to work correctly. Vigicontrol Data Wall Controller Software (Product Code VC-SPCX) and eSign Digital Signage & Multi-Media Software-eSign 20 (Product Code SPCX-ES20) are two of them. The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast the two types of software on the basis of usefulness, price, performance etc. enabling you to decide which might work better for your project. Similarities: First, we depict the similarity between the two pieces of software. Both Vigicontrol and eSign 20 possess some similar qualities. These are mentioned below: Utility: Both software programs are used for similar purposes: market applications, hospitality, retail advertising, information display, event scheduling displays, factory communications, museums, corporate display and communications, food service menus, control room monitoring, church information display and art gallery display. Operating system: Both run on Windows 2000/Xp and up. Network facility: Both VigiControl and eSign can be operated remotely on any PC via a network connection. VigiControl displays the desktop of the Video Wall Server in use so that you can organize and launch your PC application over a network on another PC or on local machine. You can access VigiControl server via Local Area Network. In the case of eSign, network or local content files run as a standalone system or network operation with eSign Site Manager. Number of IRP: Vigicontrol software uses application Split Screen function to divide an active RGB/DVI window into sub-windows. A maximum number of 16 sub-windows can be created. Also eSign supports up to 20 on-screen IRPs, but recommends for 1-16 displays. Though eSign 20 claims to be 20 IRP, it actually recommends a maximum of 16. So, there is no difference between the two pieces of software. Still and video picture Both Vigicontrol and eSign support industry standard formats for still image display and video playback. Windows screen labeling: VigiControl’s software provides Windows screen labeling. Also eSign offers you a multi-mode text banner player. Differences: Price: There is major difference between the two pieces of software, which may be a discriminate factor in your purchase. That is price of the software. Vigicontrol sells at $1099.99, and eSign 20 sells at $1199.99. Project Manager: eSign 20 provides project manager for daily, weekly and specific date scheduling and background audio player whereas Vigicontrol does not mention such facility. Resize and position application windows: You can use VigiControl to interactively move, size and position application windows and control. VigiControl also has a guide and grid function to aid the positioning of windows. Control of VxSwitch cards: Vigicontrol provides control of VxSwitch cards in stand-alone mode. Screen order: VigiControl’s software provides a screen-ordering utility. Save and re-call layout templates: VigiControl allows you to save specific wall layouts as *.lay files enabling them to be re-called when required. Bezel Masking: VigiControl provides Bezel Masking facility. Creston control: VigiControl’s software supports Creston controllers. Command line interface: VigiControl ‘ssoftware has command line interface for custom applications. Split Windows: VigiControl’s software has Split Windows facility for Security and CCTV Systems and VigiControl now offers the ability to split RGB and DVI capture windows into separately cropped and scaled sub windows. The cropping and on screen display settings for sub-windows can be individually modified and then saved as presets. Inputs can be split into a maximum of 16 separate sub windows. This is useful for applications where specific areas of a captured input need to be individually displayed and controlled, such as security and medical imaging systems. Each sub-window will display a cropped portion of the captured source. When split, the sub-windows will all be the same size and occupy the same total screen size as the window being split. The sub-windows can then be re-sized and cropped using the application Windows properties sheet. Each sub-window can be positioned anywhere on the display wall. Vigicontrol’s software is ideal for use in CCTV and security control rooms. Minimizing Video Gaps: If a video overlay is displayed across multiple screens that have wide casings around the edges, strange effects maybe seen in the video images. Diagonal lines appear broken and circles appear elongated. Parts of the video are lost in the gaps. Vigicontrol’s software allows the video to spread across the gaps between the screens so that the lines are straight and the circles remain circular. Data input Labels: The video overlay input label allows you to allocate specific labels; each input can be given more than one label. Depending on how many graphics cards you have installed will determine how many input labels you can create. The output of the rendering system or source PC is captured by the EMS XtremeRGB capture card and displayed as a single window. From the above discussion, it could be decided that Vigicontrol’s software is more enriched with versatile facilities need for the optimum utility of the software. You can find this software here: VigiControl: http://www.multi-monitors.com/product_p/vc-spcx.htm eSign: http://www.multi-monitors.com/product_p/spcx-es20.htm
Sounds expensive, right? Today, most computers have graphics cards capable of supporting multiple monitors. You may be wondering how much a dual monitor system can increase your productivity and/or how much would it cost. I will address some common concerns that potential users have when researching dual monitor systems. Hopefully, this article will help answer your most pressing questions and help you decide if this setup upgrade is right for you. When speaking with some friends about multiple monitor computers, I recall being asked, “What applications support these monitors?” The short answer to this is very few. However, this is irrelevant because most applications do not need to be aware of the monitors because that is the job of the operating system. Additionally, applications such as UltraMon (www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon) are available that “trick” your system into thinking that different monitors are actually one large monitor. These applications can also be used to differentiate monitors. For example, they can give you the ability to activate a screensaver on the inactive monitors while you continue to use a different monitor. Multitasking today is a great incentive to increase surface area or “real estate” onto multiple monitors. These monitors allow users to have several applications accessible at once, which can be beneficial to both work and play. By using multiple monitors, you reduce the wasted time and hassle involved in minimizing, maximizing, closing, and reopening windows as you decide which task deserves more of your attention. With a dual monitor setup, you can carelessly switch from task to task without any wasted time or hesitation. A commonly overlooked concern is whether the user has enough desk space to begin with. This is a special concern. However, there are custom stands available to assist you in planning your space. Ideally, both monitors in a dual monitor setup have identical specifications. This is important because monitors placed side-by-side can emphasize differences in quality. I recommend purchasing the same models at the same time, to guarantee that comparable components are shared between the monitors. As mentioned before, applications (often free) are available to help you customize your display settings such as desktop wallpaper, screensavers, etc. You may even want to calibrate the monitors to assure that their color profiles are as similar as possible. Of course, most people do not care to spend too much money on new monitors, and you should not have to. Monitors vary by size and price just as anything else you would buy. Prices of monitors are also influenced by features available on the monitors, quality of picture, etc. For example, 20” monitor selections can vary from $130 to $150 depending on the monitor’s aspect ratio, resolution, mount, input, adjustments, speakers, response time, and availability of USB. This is also true for 22”, 24”, and 26” monitors. In conclusion, users now exhibit increased productivity and comfort with multi-tasking. Operating systems have advanced to a point in which they instantly recognize multiple monitors, allowing for easy setup and configuration for even a novice user. A great 26” dual monitor system can be established for under $800. It is easy to see the increased capability of productivity when experimenting with these systems. Hopefully, this information gives you enough information to consider the process of buying, configuring, and working with a dual monitor setup. If you have not already, I highly recommend a “test drive” of one of these systems. You will wonder how you ever got anything accomplished before without it!