Struggling to know which video processor is suitable for your video walls?
We have outlined the pros and cons of the types to ensure you get the best video processor, which suits your needs perfectly!
What Is a Video Wall?
A video wall is a combination of multiple screens used to either display one large image, or multiple individual images.
This allows for the clear display of one large source of information, or multiple individual sources of information. You can even use a video wall to display the same piece of information multiple times in varying sizes or colours on each screen.
What Is a Video Processor?
Essentially, the video processor is the coordinator of your screen wall system. Video walls are unable to operate without it. It is an integral part of ensuring that your content arrives at each screen on time, in the right place and in the right size.
Without a video processor, you would not be able to have video effects as for example images move seamlessly from one source to another. You wouldn’t be able to have a single video or image displayed across multiple screens if you did not have a video processor.
To ensure that your screens are coordinated in the smoothest and most high-quality manner, you must evaluate which processor is the best. Luckily for you, we have provided the information you need to assess the types of processors and which one will best serve your function.
What Kinds of Video Processors Are There?
In order to assess the benefits and pitfalls of different video processors, we must first outline what kinds of video processors are available to you. There are two main types of video processors:
- Hardware-based processors – These video processors have been around the longest. They are built on video-processing chipsets and are designed only to carry out the function of video processing.
- Software-based processors – These video processors are newer than the original hardware processors. They use the software on a PC via Windows or Linux, using networking equipment to run displays.
How Do I Choose the Best Video Processor?
The features and functions you will need to be looking for in your search for a video processor depend on what your plans for your video wall are.
- Get an overview of what your display area’s limitations and requirements are, and what your network operations can support. For instance, if you are using a professional or security network, you will be able to support more features with your video processor.
- You will need to consider what display technology you are planning to use, for instance rear projected video cubes, TFT/LCD monitors, front projectors, or LED panels.
- Consider what kinds of content need to be supported by your video processor; for instance, if you need live video feeds, you will need a video processor that can support multiple live video feeds in real time.
- You will also need to look into which processor is best if you are using your video wall for operator monitoring screens, graphics pictures, transport information, IP camera pictures, and web browser pages.
- If you have any video handling or special visual effect needs, this will also need to be considered.
Some other things to consider are getting the highest definition you can, your budget and what you are willing to spend, and how you will go about setting up the system (you may wish to hire a professional consultant).
Which Is the Best Video Processor?
In order to determine which video processor is best, we must go over the features of both hardware and software-based processors and determine the benefits and disadvantages of both types.
Hardware-Based Processors: The Pros and Cons
Hardware processors are explicitly built for video processing. They are built using video processing chipsets and have no or embedded operating system.
They are made up of a modular design with a computer case or tower with dedicated slots and a cross-point motherboard. The tower includes input and output cards, a power supply, and control cards.
Hardware-based video processors can manage multiple inputs and outputs (HDMI, DVI, SDI, VGA, and more) in high definition or even ultra-high definition.
Pros: Hardware-based processors are reliable, and their single purpose makes them able to offer high performance, high-speed video processing, and low latency switching.
Cons: Hardware-based processors can be costly, and they lack flexibility when it comes to content management systems.
Software-Based Processors: The Pros and Cons
Software-based processors use both standard or industrial PCs, using the operating system in a PC or server equipped with graphic cards and video capture input cards.
The quality of the software-based processor depends on the quality of the graphic cards, the quality of the video capture input cards, the network throughput plus the management software.
The content is processed by the CPU, and the video wall controller software provides advanced configuration and content management tools.
Pros: The software-based processor is good for small-scale video walls.
Cons: The software-based processor can’t handle larger numbers of displays or high video input performance. You may face Windows virus risks, system breakdowns, and blue screen crashes. They also require a lot of attention with regards to programming and installation.
It would seem, in general, that you should opt for a hardware-based processor.
Having a single device designed to perform this function only means that you will be able to maximize the functionality and operational performance of your video processing. At DEXON, you can get a quote for the video processor that is right for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Video Wall?
A video wall is a series of monitors mounted together to produce one large screen. They can display one large image or a group of many images on each screen, which could consist of the same information in different sizes or colors.
What Is a Video Processor?
A video processor is either a software-based or hardware-based processor designed to display images on a mounted screen wall and manage the movement of images as they transition on the large coherent video wall surface. They require scaling and different video effects to accomplish this.
How Do You Select the Right Video Processor?
You must choose a video processor that suits what you wish to display on your video walls, such as graphics, live video information, and IP camera pictures for security supervision. You must also determine any visual handling and special effects’ needs and the display technology you will be using. You also need to factor in the display area’s requirements and limitations.