Video walls are becoming a big part of integrators’ technology offerings across a variety of vertical markets. This means each part of the video wall installation, from hardware and presentation to software and content, deserves special consideration.
In light of our video wall spotlight this month, CI spoke to Samuel Recine, director of sales, Americas and Asia Pacific, at Matrox to learn a little bit more about content management, video wall sales strategy and how the customer base is changing.
A big part of what Matrox does is help organizations manage content. What have you noticed in the last few years in terms of how organizations are using content differently?
The last 10 years have seen a surge in video wall and AV-over-IP management software. Matrox alone has more than 200 OEMs building different software packages for use with our video wall controller boards. That’s in addition to our own video wall software.
Various trends in improved functionality are emerging:
- Video wall inputs are no longer just HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, VGA, SDI, etc. They are also IP streams. Video streaming into and out from video wall controllers is a top trend, with tablets and smartphones acting as potential wireless sources.
- “Live” content is the biggest digital signage video walls trend. A live, streaming region of interest (like sports or news) on a video wall with other dynamic content keeps eyes locked on. Recording and viewing content from anywhere on the network, including video wall sources, displays, regions of interest, or even entire installations is also becoming a valuable tool in control rooms, education, etc.
- Automated behavior on video walls is another. We are working with transportation, security, power generation, process control, digital signage, emergency services, and natural resources stakeholders. Different industries are seeing increases in productivity after configuring video walls to “behave” by displaying content triggered by sensors, applications, or different devices. This is one reason for our substantial investment into customization tools. Our smart video wall solutions can be personalized both comprehensively and easily.
How important is it for an integration firm to offer their clients expertise in content management?
It is important for integration firms to use the right vertically specialized solutions for different jobs. Some video walls are optimized to ‘render’ content and display animations or other visuals for applications like digital signage. Other video walls are intended to provide maximum flexibility to assemble as many sources as required for better control room decision-making.
The number of specialized video wall solutions continues to grow and integration firms are increasingly armed with optimized tools for different tasks. Almost all enquiries into our video wall products end up being shared with our solution OEMs in different industries—each able to offer consulting services and just the right product for the project at hand.
Video walls are more popular than ever and organizations that previously didn’t want or couldn’t afford video walls are now candidates. How has that changed Matrox’s video wall strategy?
Video walls are in deep double-digit growth. Along with improving cost optimizations, one of the bigger reasons is content is growing. With smartphones, everyone can share a live event feed. With video & PC content and different types of media, the amount of sources is almost infinite.
Streaming and collaboration is now a many-sources-to-many-destinations and any-source-type-to-any-viewing-point business for many government, enterprise, and industrial stakeholders. In many ways, video walls are becoming just nodes on networks and even sources themselves that can be viewed anywhere.
At InfoComm, for example, Matrox showcased the ability to stream an entire video wall onto monitors, tablet computers, etc., or even record it remotely. So, affordability isn’t the only reason behind greater demand for video walls. It is also the increasing need for visual information. Data and communications went IP years ago. Intelligent video was the final frontier. We are now there.
How can Matrox help integration firms and consultants improve their businesses in 2016?
Webinars, Matrox courses, trade fairs, site visits, training videos, and white papers are just a few tools. Put another way, Matrox can mix content from literally any video source using a video wall controller, apply video processing, and stream a region of interest or the video wall itself anywhere in the world.
Take applying transparency to live video; With proper sensors, drone flight paths can be mapped out with GIS applications. With the right positioning, scaling, and level of transparency, high-quality, low-bitrate multicast camera streams can be shared anywhere. What is the value of sending that kind of information to, say, troops?
Video walls as a “processing point” for many sources to different destinations are transforming everything from medical surgery to defense. We are privileged to work with leading video wall solution providers and always pleased to speak to integration firms, consultants, and solution builders looking to learn more.