4K ultra high definition (UHD) resolution offers considerable value in control room and remote monitoring environments. In general, 4K refers to an input, display panel or projector that has four times the resolution of high definition (HD) video. Delivering 3840×2160 (8.3 million) pixels per display, it significantly enhances an operator’s ability to monitor finely detailed imagery.
The new breed of 4K monitors and projectors are being hailed as the next generation television standard. However, the limitations imposed by human vision raise some interesting questions about 4K deployment. What applications can benefit most from higher pixel density? In which situations is the incorporation of 4K UHD processing technology most effective?
Below are simple tips to ensure the benefits of a 4K deployment.
Viewing Distance vs. Resolution
Human vision is confined to a narrow spectrum of wavelengths and resolutions. The eye is capable of resolving various densities and sizes of pixels, but this ability is greatly affected by the distance between the operator and display, i.e., the “viewing distance.”
Display devices are available in a wide range of sizes.
The smaller the screen or monitor, the more densely packed its pixels will be and the closer the end user would need to be to discern a visible difference between lower and higher resolution imagery. Display size and viewing distance are critical criteria to determine the situations in which 4K UHD resolution adds value to an application.
How to Minimize Bezels
When constructing a multi-monitor video wall, another consideration is the total amount of continuous display space between monitor bezels. Bezels provide a rigid support structure for the panels (glass) in a display. However, on a video wall, bezels also break up the continuous appearance of images scaled across multiple monitors.
With a 4K UHD video wall, integrators can use larger format displays to substitute for an array of lower resolution devices, or use a smaller array to achieve the same resolution, while reducing dead spaces. If continuous imagery is important to an application, then 4K UHD resolution monitors offer this added benefit.
Plan for Video Wall Placement
If you need to construct a video wall with the fewest bezels possible and your wall will be viewed from a maximum distance of 10-15 feet, then a large 4K UHD display (84″-104″) may be the best fit for the installation. In contrast, if the user requires smaller size monitors, and/or plans to view the wall from farther away, then 1080p displays may be a more cost-effective choice.
The general rules don’t always apply.
Some video wall applications are exceptions to the guidelines above because they require close-up inspection of ultra high-resolution imagery. These include medical imaging, simulation modeling such as for oil and gas exploration, manufacturing inspection systems, aerial reconnaissance and megapixel surveillance.
In these cases, users requiring more visibility are likely to walk right up to a video wall, shortening their viewing distance so much that it makes sense to choose the highest resolution displays. 4K UHD processing equipment and video wall monitors are a logical choice in applications where minute details matter and video wall imagery may be subjected to close-up inspection.
Author Bob Ehlers is Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at RGB Spectrum.