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===Video Wall===
 
===Video Wall===
====Q: What is Video Wall?====
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====Q: What is a Video Wall?====
The Video Wall feature in Userful is to send synchronized high-resolution graphical content to an array of displays simultaneously. Typically this is achieved via the "Userful Control Center" or "Control Center". Video walls are commonly used in advertising, films, museums, broadcasting. With Userful, a single host PC or server is able to output one or more entire video walls over a network.
+
The [https://www.userful.com/videowall Video Wall component in Userful] software appliance is used to send synchronized high-resolution graphical content to an array of displays simultaneously. Typically this is achieved via the "[[Docs/Control Center |Control Center]]". Video walls are commonly used in advertising, films, museums, broadcasting. With this solution, a single Userful host is able to output one or more entire video walls over a network.
 +
 
 +
====Q: What is "Artistic" Video Wall?====
 +
Sometimes called a [https://www.userful.com/artistic-video-wall mosaic-style video wall], the Userful’s artistic layout available in the “[[Docs/Licensing#Ultimate |Ultimate]]” module enables you to intermix different sizes of displays and configure them at any angle to create a truly unique and eye-catching video wall canvas. Userful’s unique and powerful interactive pixel-perfect calibration tool enables you to set up these unique configurations in minutes. Please visit [[Docs/Configuring Video Wall | Configuring Video Wall]] page for more details.
  
 
====Q: How do I configure my video wall?====
 
====Q: How do I configure my video wall?====
 
<!--tech-->
 
<!--tech-->
 
Visit the [[Docs/Configuring_Video_Wall | Configuring Video Wall]] page for detailed instructions.
 
Visit the [[Docs/Configuring_Video_Wall | Configuring Video Wall]] page for detailed instructions.
 +
 +
====Q: Does Userful&trade; software appliance supports overlapping of video wall zones? What are the rules?====
 +
'''Yes'''. The rule for overlapping zones is that the most recently played zone will play on top and a zone will continue to play as long as at least one of the display is still available. Some care must be taken while assigning Control Display to the overlapped video wall zones (i.e., Control Displays for the overlapped video wall zones must be different).<br>
 +
This is helpful for control room environments and some advertising scenarios.
  
 
====Q: Is Userful’s integrated Color Calibration compatible with displays?====
 
====Q: Is Userful’s integrated Color Calibration compatible with displays?====
 
<!--tech-->
 
<!--tech-->
 
Color Calibration is achieved by adjusting color values directly at the zero-client chipset level (rather than adjusting settings within the display itself). This design ensures compatibility across a broad range of displays as well as having the further advantage of being able to calibrate color on video walls comprised of a heterogeneous mix of different displays. To learn more about color calibration, visit [[Docs/Configuring_Video_Wall | Configure Video Wall]].
 
Color Calibration is achieved by adjusting color values directly at the zero-client chipset level (rather than adjusting settings within the display itself). This design ensures compatibility across a broad range of displays as well as having the further advantage of being able to calibrate color on video walls comprised of a heterogeneous mix of different displays. To learn more about color calibration, visit [[Docs/Configuring_Video_Wall | Configure Video Wall]].
 +
 +
====Q: Is 6k playback possible with Userful solution?====
 +
'''Yes'''. For 6k content playback, Userful strongly recommends the Userful certified Mid-Range Appliance. Please visit the [[Docs/System_Hardware_Guide| Hardware Guide]] or contact Userful representative for more details.
  
 
====Q: How do I create content for an artistic video wall?====
 
====Q: How do I create content for an artistic video wall?====
 
Userful software appliance is designed to make video wall content creation simple and straightforward. No special steps are required to create content for your artistic video wall. The canvas is the bounding rectangle that encloses all the pixels of all the displays within the video wall.
 
Userful software appliance is designed to make video wall content creation simple and straightforward. No special steps are required to create content for your artistic video wall. The canvas is the bounding rectangle that encloses all the pixels of all the displays within the video wall.
 
For HTML5 content, the Userful host will launch a browser window of exactly the same height and width as the video wall. You can either create content optimized for this aspect ratio, design the layout of your artistic video wall to match a desired aspect ratio, or use responsive design techniques when building your HTML content so that it adapts cleanly to a variety of aspect ratios.
 
For HTML5 content, the Userful host will launch a browser window of exactly the same height and width as the video wall. You can either create content optimized for this aspect ratio, design the layout of your artistic video wall to match a desired aspect ratio, or use responsive design techniques when building your HTML content so that it adapts cleanly to a variety of aspect ratios.
If you are playing video content (e.g., using the [[Docs/Station_Mapping/Signage_Player |Signage Player]] container), it will play your video centered horizontally and vertically, depending on the scaling option selected (Scale to Fit, Zoom full-screen, or Stretch full-screen).
+
If you are playing video content (e.g., using the [[Docs/Mapping/Signage_Player |Signage Player]] source), it will play your video centered horizontally and vertically, depending on the scaling option selected (Scale to Fit, Zoom full-screen, or Stretch full-screen).
 +
 
 +
====Q: Can I choose the size of the canvas for my video wall?====
 +
Canvas size is dynamically optimized based on the screen resolution (net pixel size including bezels) for interactive sessions. You can also limit the canvas size while configuring [[Docs/Zone_Settings#Configuring_Zones |zones]] through Control Center.
 +
Our software automatically scales up and scales down the canvas size as required. You could simultaneously play 8k content on a 1080p wall and 1080p content on an 8k wall. You will get the best visual fidelity when your canvas matches your wall, or will be wasting performance when your canvas is bigger than your wall.
  
 
====Q: I don’t have any 4K content. Why is it still important to invest in a video wall solution that is capable of playing 4K and higher source content?====
 
====Q: I don’t have any 4K content. Why is it still important to invest in a video wall solution that is capable of playing 4K and higher source content?====
Installation of a video wall is a very large investment. Userful’s modular approach uses standard PC hardware for the server and standard zero client devices for each screen, ensuring your video wall investment can last for 5 or even 10 years or more. The zero client device lifespan typically exceeds that of your display, and the PC/server can be easily replaced every few years to keep current with the latest hardware advances for nominal cost. The amount of 4K content is growing exponentially and will increase dramatically in the months and years ahead. While you may not have 4K content today, in a few years, 4K (or higher) will be the expected resolution for newly created content.
+
Installation of a video wall is a very large investment. Userful’s modular approach uses standard PC hardware for the server and standard zero client devices for each screen, ensuring your video wall investment can last for 5 or even 10 years or more. The zero client device lifespan typically exceeds that of your display, and the Userful host can be easily replaced every few years to keep current with the latest hardware advances for a nominal cost. The amount of 4K content is growing exponentially and will increase dramatically in the months and years ahead. While you may not have 4K content today, in a few years, 4K (or higher) will be the expected resolution for newly created content.
  
 
====Q: When you split 4K content to multiple displays, what filtering and processing are you doing on the scaled image before you send it out? ====
 
====Q: When you split 4K content to multiple displays, what filtering and processing are you doing on the scaled image before you send it out? ====
 
Both the CPU and GPU are utilized to dynamically perform any scaling, rotation, or cropping required for each of the individual segments of the video wall.
 
Both the CPU and GPU are utilized to dynamically perform any scaling, rotation, or cropping required for each of the individual segments of the video wall.
 
====Q: Does Userful's Video Wall feature support content that is shot with multiple 4K cameras or offline content processed to 8K x 4K or even 12K/16K x 4K resolution?====
 
The theoretical maximum resolution of Userful is 16,000x16,000 pixels, however this only works for static "slide show" style images. It is possible to play videos at resolutions larger than 4096x4096, but once you get beyond this the framerate depends on the bitrate of the content and the power of the server, as well as the encoding methods used. Intel® 4th generation's built in GPU decoder supports a maximum canvas of 4096 x 4096, so decoding anything larger than this will utilize CPU power. Obviously, as next generation CPUs and GPUs come out, our architecture will automatically support larger resolutions afforded by the latest hardware, which is a major advantage versus competing technologies that have a fixed output resolution and are not easy to upgrade.
 
  
 
====Q: Can I arrange my displays in an overlapping configuration?====
 
====Q: Can I arrange my displays in an overlapping configuration?====
 
'''Yes''', in an artistic video wall you can overlap displays arbitrarily, simply drag the displays on top of each other to create the desired overlap, then fine-tune your alignment using keyboard arrows. In a grid video wall you are allowed uniform vertical or/and horizontal overlapping
 
'''Yes''', in an artistic video wall you can overlap displays arbitrarily, simply drag the displays on top of each other to create the desired overlap, then fine-tune your alignment using keyboard arrows. In a grid video wall you are allowed uniform vertical or/and horizontal overlapping
 
====Q: How should I optimize content for an ultra-wide video-wall (e.g., 1x7 or 1x10)?====
 
<!--tech-->
 
For optimal CPU utilization, it is best to encode content into h.264. Provided the maximum dimensions of the canvas (width or height) are kept below 4096 pixels, our system will leverage the built in hardware decoding of the Haswell GPU that will give you an additional significant performance advantage.
 
 
It is possible to exceed 4096 pixels, and if that is the case it is unlikely that a regular Haswell system (without the benefit of GPU decoding) could play back such a large native resolution (1920x7 = 13,440 x 1080p). For projects where there is a custom engineering budget, it is worth discussing the specifics of the needs with us as most projects can be solved with some special hardware and custom engineering time, but our stock product would not be able to handle a 1x7 aspect ratio at native resolution.
 
 
Another approach is to play multiple videos on an ultra-wide wall (e.g., two 1x3 videos on a 1x6 wall). Currently, we do not offer the option of frame synchronization between these different videos. If the videos do not require perfect synchronization you can certainly play two videos at once on the two halves of the wall.
 
 
====Q: Can I create a video wall using 4K displays with the Userful solution?====
 
'''Yes'''. Our zero client devices are fully compatible with 4K displays and many of our customers have deployed 4K displays with our zero client devices with great success. Our zero clients output a maximum of 1080p resolution which is then upscaled by the 4K display’s built-in scaler.
 
 
Obviously 4K displays cost more, but they do provide better visual results than the equivalent quality 1080p displays. Most customers find the limiting factor on their video wall resolution to be their source content, which for large video walls is typically much smaller than the total possible pixel output of their displays. For example a 2x2 video wall with 4k displays would require an 8k source (which today is feasible only for static images). Perhaps 1% of the video wall controllers in the market are powerful enough to actually drive full frame rate video at 8k or higher resolution.
 
  
 
====Q: What are the different audio output options for the video wall solution?====
 
====Q: What are the different audio output options for the video wall solution?====
 
<!--tech-->
 
<!--tech-->
 
There are 3 options:
 
There are 3 options:
# Pull sound from the sound output jacks on the Userful host. This typically provides the best quality sound output as you can get 5 or even 7 or more channels of sound from a Userful host, as opposed to just stereo sound at the zero client or display itself. This is recommended if sound will be via an overhead centrally controlled audio system which is located in the same room as the Userful host.     
+
# Pull sound from the sound output jacks on the Userful host. This typically provides the best quality sound output as compared to just stereo sound at the zero client or display itself.     
# Pull sound from the zero client device via the 3.5mm stereo audio output jack. One device will be designated as the control station for the video wall during creation of the session container and will provide audio output.
+
# Pull sound from the zero client device via the 3.5mm stereo audio output jack. One device will be designated as the "Control Display" for the video wall during creation of the source and will provide audio output.
 
# Connect the display with an HDMI cable. This has the same quality as option #2 (stereo) but lets you use speakers built directly into the TV or display.
 
# Connect the display with an HDMI cable. This has the same quality as option #2 (stereo) but lets you use speakers built directly into the TV or display.
  
====Q: Can I make multiple content sources accessible from my video wall?====
+
====Q: Can I use 1080p displays to play 6K or 8K content on my video wall? ====
'''Yes'''. Userful provides a unique feature called the “Welcome Screen” that lets you map multiple content containers to a single video wall. This is perfect for multi-purpose video walls where you can either map a single container to your video wall (in which case it appears in "kiosk" mode) or you can map multiple containers (which gives users a "Welcome Screen" at the start of each session). You can return to the Welcome Screen at any point by either ending the current session or pressing "Ctrl+Alt+Backspace" on a keyboard plugged into the zero client connected to any display of your video wall.
+
'''Yes'''. Video wall applications always upscale content. Unless you have unusually high-resolution source content (e.g., 8k), or are outputting to an unusually small video wall (e.g., less than 4 1080p displays), the Userful scaling optimizer ensures you won’t miss out on a single pixel of source resolution fidelity whilst balancing CPU and network demands. Userful scales all the way up to 6k and soon 8k source content,  with the more typical 4K resolution source files, unless your video wall is less than 4-screens you are also not going to miss out on any resolution.
 +
 
 +
Up-Scaling (increasing the resolution of the content for output on a high resolution video wall) is a natural part of every video wall technology. The only time you are losing resolution is when you are engaged in down-scaling (for example outputting 8k content to a 2x2 video wall).
 +
 
 +
====Q: How can I get live video from a digital video camera to output to the video wall?====
 +
Some webcams output RTSP streams and these can be connected via the [[Docs/Mapping/Network Streamer |Network Streamer]] source. Please note this approach would add some latency encoding and decoding will add visually detectable latency to your broadcast.
 +
 
 +
If you need to achieve imperceptible latency, you’ll need a direct connection between your camera and a capture card in the Userful host. We recommend cameras that outputs via HDMI or SDI streams combined with one of the certified [[Docs/Supported Capture Cards |capture cards]]. If configured correctly this should enable you to capture and relay live video to various screens or video walls connected via network to the Userful host.
  
 
====Q: Can the Zones feature display a video in the center of a 2x2 video wall, overlapping the other 4 screens, and have different content played in the unused areas around it? ====
 
====Q: Can the Zones feature display a video in the center of a 2x2 video wall, overlapping the other 4 screens, and have different content played in the unused areas around it? ====
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The zones feature allows user to have a video wall playing different content within one layout. To achieve the desired effect you could either setup a 3x3 video wall (with the single monitor in the middle playing different video than the outer ring of 8 displays surrounding it) or a 4x4 video wall (where you could have a 2x2 in the middle).
 
The zones feature allows user to have a video wall playing different content within one layout. To achieve the desired effect you could either setup a 3x3 video wall (with the single monitor in the middle playing different video than the outer ring of 8 displays surrounding it) or a 4x4 video wall (where you could have a 2x2 in the middle).
  
Alternatively, using one of the integrated content management systems you could achieve the desired effect by mapping a single session container to the entire wall (regardless of size) and control the "picture in picture" zone size within the content management system.
+
Alternatively, using one of the integrated content management systems you could achieve the desired effect by mapping a single source to the entire wall (regardless of size) and control the "picture in picture" zone size within the content management system.
  
 
====Q: Can you split / subdivide individual displays into smaller zones?====
 
====Q: Can you split / subdivide individual displays into smaller zones?====
Though not supported directly within Userful, you can achieve the desired result by using various 3rd party content management systems. The Userful "Zones" feature enables individual sources (content management system, live TV, etc.) to span one or more whole displays. Many of the content management solutions which Userful integrates allow you to create and independently address multiple content zones within a single display (e.g. to have tickers across the bottom, etc.). Together these create a literally limitless range of creative possibilities.
+
'''Yes'''. Userful's [[Docs/Licensing#Ultimate |Ultimate]] license provides users the flexibility to create subdivisions among displays or video walls to show multiple content running simultaneously, in a fixed layout through [[Docs/Mapping/Multi_Window| Multi-Window]] source.<br>
 +
You can also achieve the desired result by using various 3rd party content management systems. The Userful "[[Docs/Zone Settings#Configuring_Zones|Zones]]" feature enables individual sources (content management system, live TV, etc.) to span one or more whole displays. Many of the content management solutions which Userful integrates allow you to create and independently address multiple content zones within a single display (e.g. to have tickers across the bottom, etc.). Together these create a literally limitless range of creative possibilities.
  
 
====Q: How can I use input devices such as a keyboard and mouse with the video wall?====
 
====Q: How can I use input devices such as a keyboard and mouse with the video wall?====
 
<!--tech-->
 
<!--tech-->
A control station in the video wall configuration is the primary station designated for input and audio capabilities. Plug a keyboard or mouse into the control station's zero client device and make changes. Any action taken to this control station will have the same effect on the video wall as it would on an independent display. You can select the control station while [[Docs/Configuring_Video_Wall#Configuring_Zones | configuring zones]].
+
A control display in the video wall configuration is the primary display designated for input and audio capabilities. Plug a keyboard or mouse into the control display's zero client device and make changes. Any action taken to this control display will have the same effect on the video wall as it would on an independent display. You can select the control display while [[Docs/Zone_Settings#Configuring_Zones | configuring zones]].
  
 
====Q: If I have an existing display management system (RS232 or Ethernet) how will it interact with Userful?====
 
====Q: If I have an existing display management system (RS232 or Ethernet) how will it interact with Userful?====
 
The display connects to the zero client device via either the HDMI or VGA port of your display. You could still use an Ethernet or RS232 control function using an external control and monitoring system to display monitoring, settings, etc., and in the case of a smart display there is nothing that needs to be installed on the TV or display itself.
 
The display connects to the zero client device via either the HDMI or VGA port of your display. You could still use an Ethernet or RS232 control function using an external control and monitoring system to display monitoring, settings, etc., and in the case of a smart display there is nothing that needs to be installed on the TV or display itself.
  
===Displays===
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====Q: Can I output multiple content sources on a single video wall screen at the same time?====
====Q: How should I select my displays?====
+
'''Yes'''. However, currently this functionality is only available via the [[Docs/Mapping/Linux_Desktop |Linux Login]] and [[Docs/Mapping/Cloud_Desktop |Cloud Desktop]] sources. This enables access to a desktop environment and a full window manager where you can resize and move multiple windows around the screen. Alternatively, you can also use an external source (such as a Windows PC) and capture a real time video feed via the HDMI capture.
Displays can be purchased through Userful, however the solution should be compatible with the vast majority of displays on the market (both commercial and consumer grade). We strongly suggest that you purchase a single display and test, first to ensure full compatibility with the Userful system and that you are happy with the display in regards to mounting and visual appeal. Additional features to look for in a display are auto on/off and locked buttons to prevent the public from interfering with their function.
+
 
 +
====Q: Does your solution handle blending to send overlapping images to adjacent projectors?====
 +
We can adjust overlap via adjusting for a "negative bezel" creating an overlap region, but currently we don't support blending (as in reducing the intensity in the overlapping region to correct for the double or quadruple light).
 +
 
 +
====Q: What are the most efficient ways to get content onto the video wall?====
 +
The most efficient approach is to playback videos directly from the hard drive. Though video content can technically be up to 16,000 pixels in either direction, provided your video content does not exceed 4096 pixels in either direction; it enables the onboard GPU to perform the hardware video decoding, preserving CPU. For video, we recommend h264, MPEG2, or h265 as the codecs with MP4 or avi as the container.
 +
To maximize performance create and store your videos on the Userful host to play in a playlist loop. Note: When the same content will be played simultaneously on multiple video walls be sure to use the [[Docs/Mapping#Mirror_Group_Configuration |mirror group]] feature. This ensures the video is only being decoded/processed once.  
  
====Q: What kind of warranty comes with the displays?====
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The second most efficient method is via [[Docs/Supported Capture Cards |HDMI capture cards]], followed by [[Docs/Mapping/Network Streamer |network streaming]] (where the content must be both received over the network and decoded before it can be processed).
Userful provides a 30-day warranty on displays purchased through Userful. After the initial 30-days the warranty on displays and mounting solutions are provided entirely by the respective manufacturers.
+
<!--
+
====Q: Can I use different displays (sizes and aspect ratios) within the mosaic (artistic) video wall (e.g., creating a heterogenous video wall)?====
+
'''Yes'''. Userful's video wall solution can correctly calibrate for different bezels, different models and even different brands of display and can correctly calibrate everything into a single video wall. Userful’s built in color calibration can also help you correct any color discrepancies between displays, even across different makes and models. You should ensure all the selected displays use the same panel technology such as IPS or MVA.
+
  
IPS panels provide the best color uniformity and viewing angles. Other technologies can exhibit contrast and gamma shift when viewed at off angles.
+
The CPU is consumed most when your video wall is mapped to sources that render the content directly (for example a full-screen browser session or a content management system player). Here the Userful host needs to generate all the pixels in addition to performing all the typical tasks of a video wall controller (splitting and sending content to each display).
-->
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====Q: What kind of displays can I use to setup my Video Wall? Are professional displays (vs consumer TVs) worth the extra cost?====
+
Userful&trade; software appliance allows you to output to virtually any display, and even intermix and color calibrate different makes and sizes of displays within the same video wall. Although substantially more expensive, professional displays do have numerous advantages in terms of features, longevity and warranty. For unattended public displays in 24/7 operation, there is no question that professional displays are recommended. For less demanding setups (e.g., a video wall behind the reception that is under regular staff supervision and is in operation only 8h/day) the substantial cost savings offered through use of consumer TVs are justified.
+
  
====Q: Will buying 4K displays improve the visual impact and image quality of my video wall?====
+
====Q: What color variation issues can I encounter when viewing a heterogeneous mix of displays (different display models) within a single video wall?====
A high quality 4K display with a high quality upscaler will improve the picture quality a bit over the same content being displayed on an equivalent quality 1080p display. Displays often have built in hardware that uses a process called upscaling to convert incoming sources to fit their output display size (in this case, 4K). Done right, this upscaling combined with the higher pixel count on a 4K display can actually add to the perceived detail of the image, but you will have to look very closely to actually see the difference. Just because a display is 4K doesn't mean it necessarily has a good scaler built in.
+
Userful’s solution makes it possible to use a heterogeneous mix of displays in a single video wall. The built-in color calibration tool provides a quick way to correct color settings on individual displays. However, there will always be some situations (such as viewing the wall from different angles) where a slight but detectable color variations can be seen. If a heterogeneous video wall is being viewed from a single angle (e.g., a straight-on view) it is much easier to achieve a uniform color. However, if the video wall is set up such that people can walk past it, then viewing angle can change dramatically and pedestrians may notice additional color variations. User needs to determine whether flawless color uniformity from every angle is important than the unique look of having different sizes of panels within the same video wall canvas. If uniformity is important then we suggest using the same panel model (or at least same series).<noinclude>
<noinclude>
+
  
 
==Related Links==
 
==Related Links==
 
* [[Docs/FAQs |Frequently Asked Questions]]
 
* [[Docs/FAQs |Frequently Asked Questions]]
* [[Docs/Configuring Video Wall | Configuring Video Wal]]
+
* [[Docs/Configuring Video Wall | Configuring Video Wall]]
* [[Docs/Station Mapping | Station Mapping Guide]]
+
* [[Docs/Zone_Settings |Zone Settings ]]
 +
* [[Docs/Mapping | Mapping Guide]]
 
</noinclude>
 
</noinclude>

Latest revision as of 15:04, 14 May 2018


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Contents

Video Wall

Q: What is a Video Wall?

The Video Wall component in Userful software appliance is used to send synchronized high-resolution graphical content to an array of displays simultaneously. Typically this is achieved via the "Control Center". Video walls are commonly used in advertising, films, museums, broadcasting. With this solution, a single Userful host is able to output one or more entire video walls over a network.

Q: What is "Artistic" Video Wall?

Sometimes called a mosaic-style video wall, the Userful’s artistic layout available in the “Ultimate” module enables you to intermix different sizes of displays and configure them at any angle to create a truly unique and eye-catching video wall canvas. Userful’s unique and powerful interactive pixel-perfect calibration tool enables you to set up these unique configurations in minutes. Please visit Configuring Video Wall page for more details.

Q: How do I configure my video wall?

Visit the Configuring Video Wall page for detailed instructions.

Q: Does Userful™ software appliance supports overlapping of video wall zones? What are the rules?

Yes. The rule for overlapping zones is that the most recently played zone will play on top and a zone will continue to play as long as at least one of the display is still available. Some care must be taken while assigning Control Display to the overlapped video wall zones (i.e., Control Displays for the overlapped video wall zones must be different).
This is helpful for control room environments and some advertising scenarios.

Q: Is Userful’s integrated Color Calibration compatible with displays?

Color Calibration is achieved by adjusting color values directly at the zero-client chipset level (rather than adjusting settings within the display itself). This design ensures compatibility across a broad range of displays as well as having the further advantage of being able to calibrate color on video walls comprised of a heterogeneous mix of different displays. To learn more about color calibration, visit Configure Video Wall.

Q: Is 6k playback possible with Userful solution?

Yes. For 6k content playback, Userful strongly recommends the Userful certified Mid-Range Appliance. Please visit the Hardware Guide or contact Userful representative for more details.

Q: How do I create content for an artistic video wall?

Userful software appliance is designed to make video wall content creation simple and straightforward. No special steps are required to create content for your artistic video wall. The canvas is the bounding rectangle that encloses all the pixels of all the displays within the video wall. For HTML5 content, the Userful host will launch a browser window of exactly the same height and width as the video wall. You can either create content optimized for this aspect ratio, design the layout of your artistic video wall to match a desired aspect ratio, or use responsive design techniques when building your HTML content so that it adapts cleanly to a variety of aspect ratios. If you are playing video content (e.g., using the Signage Player source), it will play your video centered horizontally and vertically, depending on the scaling option selected (Scale to Fit, Zoom full-screen, or Stretch full-screen).

Q: Can I choose the size of the canvas for my video wall?

Canvas size is dynamically optimized based on the screen resolution (net pixel size including bezels) for interactive sessions. You can also limit the canvas size while configuring zones through Control Center. Our software automatically scales up and scales down the canvas size as required. You could simultaneously play 8k content on a 1080p wall and 1080p content on an 8k wall. You will get the best visual fidelity when your canvas matches your wall, or will be wasting performance when your canvas is bigger than your wall.

Q: I don’t have any 4K content. Why is it still important to invest in a video wall solution that is capable of playing 4K and higher source content?

Installation of a video wall is a very large investment. Userful’s modular approach uses standard PC hardware for the server and standard zero client devices for each screen, ensuring your video wall investment can last for 5 or even 10 years or more. The zero client device lifespan typically exceeds that of your display, and the Userful host can be easily replaced every few years to keep current with the latest hardware advances for a nominal cost. The amount of 4K content is growing exponentially and will increase dramatically in the months and years ahead. While you may not have 4K content today, in a few years, 4K (or higher) will be the expected resolution for newly created content.

Q: When you split 4K content to multiple displays, what filtering and processing are you doing on the scaled image before you send it out?

Both the CPU and GPU are utilized to dynamically perform any scaling, rotation, or cropping required for each of the individual segments of the video wall.

Q: Can I arrange my displays in an overlapping configuration?

Yes, in an artistic video wall you can overlap displays arbitrarily, simply drag the displays on top of each other to create the desired overlap, then fine-tune your alignment using keyboard arrows. In a grid video wall you are allowed uniform vertical or/and horizontal overlapping

Q: What are the different audio output options for the video wall solution?

There are 3 options:

  1. Pull sound from the sound output jacks on the Userful host. This typically provides the best quality sound output as compared to just stereo sound at the zero client or display itself.
  2. Pull sound from the zero client device via the 3.5mm stereo audio output jack. One device will be designated as the "Control Display" for the video wall during creation of the source and will provide audio output.
  3. Connect the display with an HDMI cable. This has the same quality as option #2 (stereo) but lets you use speakers built directly into the TV or display.

Q: Can I use 1080p displays to play 6K or 8K content on my video wall?

Yes. Video wall applications always upscale content. Unless you have unusually high-resolution source content (e.g., 8k), or are outputting to an unusually small video wall (e.g., less than 4 1080p displays), the Userful scaling optimizer ensures you won’t miss out on a single pixel of source resolution fidelity whilst balancing CPU and network demands. Userful scales all the way up to 6k and soon 8k source content, with the more typical 4K resolution source files, unless your video wall is less than 4-screens you are also not going to miss out on any resolution.

Up-Scaling (increasing the resolution of the content for output on a high resolution video wall) is a natural part of every video wall technology. The only time you are losing resolution is when you are engaged in down-scaling (for example outputting 8k content to a 2x2 video wall).

Q: How can I get live video from a digital video camera to output to the video wall?

Some webcams output RTSP streams and these can be connected via the Network Streamer source. Please note this approach would add some latency encoding and decoding will add visually detectable latency to your broadcast.

If you need to achieve imperceptible latency, you’ll need a direct connection between your camera and a capture card in the Userful host. We recommend cameras that outputs via HDMI or SDI streams combined with one of the certified capture cards. If configured correctly this should enable you to capture and relay live video to various screens or video walls connected via network to the Userful host.

Q: Can the Zones feature display a video in the center of a 2x2 video wall, overlapping the other 4 screens, and have different content played in the unused areas around it?

The zones feature allows user to have a video wall playing different content within one layout. To achieve the desired effect you could either setup a 3x3 video wall (with the single monitor in the middle playing different video than the outer ring of 8 displays surrounding it) or a 4x4 video wall (where you could have a 2x2 in the middle).

Alternatively, using one of the integrated content management systems you could achieve the desired effect by mapping a single source to the entire wall (regardless of size) and control the "picture in picture" zone size within the content management system.

Q: Can you split / subdivide individual displays into smaller zones?

Yes. Userful's Ultimate license provides users the flexibility to create subdivisions among displays or video walls to show multiple content running simultaneously, in a fixed layout through Multi-Window source.
You can also achieve the desired result by using various 3rd party content management systems. The Userful "Zones" feature enables individual sources (content management system, live TV, etc.) to span one or more whole displays. Many of the content management solutions which Userful integrates allow you to create and independently address multiple content zones within a single display (e.g. to have tickers across the bottom, etc.). Together these create a literally limitless range of creative possibilities.

Q: How can I use input devices such as a keyboard and mouse with the video wall?

A control display in the video wall configuration is the primary display designated for input and audio capabilities. Plug a keyboard or mouse into the control display's zero client device and make changes. Any action taken to this control display will have the same effect on the video wall as it would on an independent display. You can select the control display while configuring zones.

Q: If I have an existing display management system (RS232 or Ethernet) how will it interact with Userful?

The display connects to the zero client device via either the HDMI or VGA port of your display. You could still use an Ethernet or RS232 control function using an external control and monitoring system to display monitoring, settings, etc., and in the case of a smart display there is nothing that needs to be installed on the TV or display itself.

Q: Can I output multiple content sources on a single video wall screen at the same time?

Yes. However, currently this functionality is only available via the Linux Login and Cloud Desktop sources. This enables access to a desktop environment and a full window manager where you can resize and move multiple windows around the screen. Alternatively, you can also use an external source (such as a Windows PC) and capture a real time video feed via the HDMI capture.

Q: Does your solution handle blending to send overlapping images to adjacent projectors?

We can adjust overlap via adjusting for a "negative bezel" creating an overlap region, but currently we don't support blending (as in reducing the intensity in the overlapping region to correct for the double or quadruple light).

Q: What are the most efficient ways to get content onto the video wall?

The most efficient approach is to playback videos directly from the hard drive. Though video content can technically be up to 16,000 pixels in either direction, provided your video content does not exceed 4096 pixels in either direction; it enables the onboard GPU to perform the hardware video decoding, preserving CPU. For video, we recommend h264, MPEG2, or h265 as the codecs with MP4 or avi as the container. To maximize performance create and store your videos on the Userful host to play in a playlist loop. Note: When the same content will be played simultaneously on multiple video walls be sure to use the mirror group feature. This ensures the video is only being decoded/processed once.

The second most efficient method is via HDMI capture cards, followed by network streaming (where the content must be both received over the network and decoded before it can be processed).

The CPU is consumed most when your video wall is mapped to sources that render the content directly (for example a full-screen browser session or a content management system player). Here the Userful host needs to generate all the pixels in addition to performing all the typical tasks of a video wall controller (splitting and sending content to each display).

Q: What color variation issues can I encounter when viewing a heterogeneous mix of displays (different display models) within a single video wall?

Userful’s solution makes it possible to use a heterogeneous mix of displays in a single video wall. The built-in color calibration tool provides a quick way to correct color settings on individual displays. However, there will always be some situations (such as viewing the wall from different angles) where a slight but detectable color variations can be seen. If a heterogeneous video wall is being viewed from a single angle (e.g., a straight-on view) it is much easier to achieve a uniform color. However, if the video wall is set up such that people can walk past it, then viewing angle can change dramatically and pedestrians may notice additional color variations. User needs to determine whether flawless color uniformity from every angle is important than the unique look of having different sizes of panels within the same video wall canvas. If uniformity is important then we suggest using the same panel model (or at least same series).

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