Creating and Configuring Video Wall

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Copyright © 2016 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2016.02.19)



To return to the Userful Network Video Wall main documentation page, Click Here.



Creating and Configuring Video Wall


Userful's Video Wall solution enables customers to group multiple displays to form a single large display using a single host PC/server. The Userful Network Video Wall™ is designed to utilize both the CPU and GPU to maximize performance. Userful's Video Wall solution supports a variety of configurations (e.g. 2×2, 5×5, 1×10) and layouts (equidistant grid, or free-layout and artistic).


Please Note: The instructions provided here are sufficient for creating video wall. Refer to Optimal Video Wall Guidelines page for more information.


To create a video wall, click Control Center > Station Mapping > New Video Wall button. The video wall configuration window allows video wall integrators to adjust the video wall size, layout, bezel correction and color calibration. Please watch this demo video.
The content that you want to show on the displays depends on what session container the video wall is mapped to. This is discussed in a later step.


Grid Layout

Grid Layout allows video wall integrators to configure the video wall in an equidistant grid or in synchronized rotation. This layout allows to adjust the video wall size (how many rows and columns of displays are included), display assignment, padding between displays and color calibration.

    Layout

    Grid Layout.png

    The default video wall size is 4 displays with 2x2 configuration. To add/delete rows or columns, use the +/- buttons next to Rows/Columns.

    To define what displays make up the video wall, click the drop-down select-box in the center of the "display" and then select the ID# that will be in that position of the video wall. Use the “Show Station IDs” button to view the ID# on the physical displays.

    Note: The display ID will have a green color if it is unmapped, orange color if it is assigned and red color if it is already assigned to another video wall.

    Spacing

    Grid Spacing.png

    "Spacing" refers to the space between visible portions of the image; in the context of the video wall. This effectively implies the horizontal and vertical spacing taken up by the display's bezel. For best results, padding should be adjusted so that the complete content is visible. To assist with this fine-tuning process, Userful has provided Diamonds test pattern that is displayed on the video wall. To adjust spacing, use the vertical and horizontal padding sliders.
    You can click on the “Chain” icon to link the padding sliders and set the horizontal and vertical padding to the same value.


    Color Calibration

    Grid Color Calibration.png

    Color Calibration allows you to adjust the color characteristics (i.e. RGB color scheme, Brightness and Contrast) of a display. This effectively implies adjusting the color tolerance and intensity of displays in the video wall setup, thereby enhancing the visual illusion of a single large uniform display.

    For Color Calibration:

    • Click Color option
    • Enter values or use mouse wheel to select values for respective color scheme, brightness or contrast.

    You can also use Reset to Saved to undo recent changes or Reset to Zero to set color scheme to default values.

    Verify

    Grid Verify.png

    To preview all changes done, click Verify option. However, if you want to existing settings, you can navigate back and forth using arrows(< >) as needed. Once done, click "OK" button to save configuration.

    Artistic Layout

    Artistic Layout.png

    Artistic Layout allows you to configure video wall in a free layout (display size and rotation) and create more interesting and creative arrangements.

    Artistic Layout provides following features:

    • Ability to move and place multiple displays
    • Rotate the selected display along a common origin point
    • Calibrate the video wall to identify and assign physical display placements
    • Specify the Display Panel Size


    To configure Artistic Layout, click Control Center > Station Mapping > New Video Wall > Switch to Artistic. This video wall configuration window allows video wall integrators to define, adjust, and calibrate video walls.

    Layout

    Artistic Layout1.png

    The default video wall size is 4 displays with 2x2 configuration. To add display, click the “Add Display” button and to remove a display from the canvas, select the display and click “Trash” icon. Confirm your action by hitting "OK".

    To define what displays make up the video wall, click the drop-down select box in the center of the "display" and then select the ID of the display that will be in that position of the video wall.

    Note: The display ID will have a green color if it is unmapped, orange color if it is assigned to any session container and red color if it is assigned to another video wall.

    Spacing

    Artistic Spacing.png

    Through Spacing, you can calibrate your video wall. Calibration enables video wall integrators to adjust the padding, placement and spacing of video wall displays in real-time scenario.
    Open an existing Artistic Video Wall, or create a new Artistic Video Wall and assign at least two displays. To assist with fine-tuning/calibration, click on non-calibrated display and drag it left/right using mouse or use “arrows” keys of the keyboard. To rotate a display, select a display and click upwards or downwards arrow to rotate clock-wise or anti-clockwise(see image to the right). Repeat this step for every display.

    Note: You can also use "Ctrl"+ Mouse clicks to select multiple displays or "Ctrl+A" to select all.


    Color Calibration

    Artistic Color Calibration.png

    Color Calibration allows you to adjust the color characteristics (i.e. RGB color scheme, Brightness and Contrast) of a display. This effectively implies adjusting the color tolerance and intensity of displays in the video wall setup, thereby enhancing the visual illusion of a single large uniform display.
    For Color Calibration:

    • Under the Configuring Video Wall window, go to the Color option
    • Enter values or use mouse wheel to select values for respective color scheme, brightness or contrast.

    You can use Reset to Saved to undo recent changes or Reset to Zero to reset color scheme to default values.

    Verify

    Artistic Verify.png

    To preview all the changes done, click "Verify" option. However, if you want to edit existing settings, you can navigate back and forth using arrows(< >) as needed. Once done, click "OK" button to save the configuration.



    Configuring Zones

    With the release of Userful Network Video Wall™ 8.0, Userful introduced Zones feature under video wall configuration. Configuring zones in a video wall enables users to output multiple content sources on a single video wall at the same time. Each zone can display its own content or can be incorporated into multiple layouts. For more information on how to configure zones in an existing video wall, visit Zone Settings page.

    Map Video Wall to Session Container

    To map a configured video wall to a session container, simply drag-and-drop the video wall to the desired session type.

    Note: Session Containers that can be applied to a video wall are:

    Note: Changed will not take effect until the "Apply" button is clicked.

    Demo Content

    Userful has included demo contents to test the video wall. These files can be found in /content/media/ directory.

    Adding new video content

    Userful's Video Wall solution scans the /content/media directory or the local directory for playlist content. There are several ways to copy new video content to the system for playback:

    1. via a USB key
    2. via SSH/SCP

    USB Key

    Copy the files to a USB key, then insert the USB key into the host PC/server. Login to the desktop then mount the USB key clicking on the graphical icon on the Desktop.
    Navigate in the file system to the /content/media directory, then drag the files from your USB key to that directory.
    Wait for the progress to complete then unmount the USB key by right-clicking the icon and selecting the "eject" option. You can unplug your USB key.

    SSH and SCP

    It is possible to access and transfer files to a computer that is on the same network through the terminal with "Secure Shell (SSH)". SSH allows encrypted, authenticated communication between two networked computers so long as each computer is running SSH server/client programs. Userful comes with SSH server/client installed by default. Secure Copy (SCP) is a file transfer protocol based on SSH. To use SSH/SCP to transfer files to a Userful host machine:

    1. The files to be transferred must reside on a computer with SSH server/client applications installed. The IP address (or system hostname, if the local network has been set up to route hostnames) of the target system must also be known, as well as the root password for the target system.
    2. Open a terminal on the computer where the files are stored.
    3. Either navigate to the folder where the files are stored, or know the path to the file.
    4. In the terminal, type: scp [/path/to/file.avi] root@[machineIP-or-name]:/content/media/.
    5. Enter the root password for the target machine when prompted.
    Example: To transfer a file, movie.avi stored in /home/userful/Documents to a system with an IP of 123.456.789.00, enter:
    scp /home/userful/Documents/movie.avi root@123.456.789.00:/content/media/

    Wildcard asterisks ( * ) can be used to transfer several files at once:

    • if the file type is the same for several files.
      • Example: to transfer several .avi files, use /path/to/file/*.avi root@[hostname]:/content/media/
    • if the file names share an element.
      • Example: to transfer several files that all start with "Menu-" (e.g., Menu-1.mov, Menu-2.mov, etc), use /path/to/file/Menu-* root@[hostname]:/content/media/