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Mounts for Mosaic Video Wall of Smaller Monitors

Example 9 Monitor Mosaic Video Wall layout

Eye grabbing Artistic or Mosaic Video walls are often built with smaller 24-32″ monitors. Smaller monitors are especially interesting where wall space is limited, the viewer will be relatively close to the video wall, or perhaps higher overall resolutions are desired. Common examples would be a wall behind a reception desk in a corporate entry, or a shallow retail storefront window.

The pixel density per square inch is higher with an array of small monitors than with larger monitors. The nine monitor layout above, designed with NEC’s exceptional EX241-UN 24″ Ultra Thin Bezel 1080P Monitor is 58.5″ High and 83.5″ wide at the points and has 18.6 Million individually displayable pixels. For reference it takes up the wall space of an approximately 102″ diagonal single monitor, which if 4K resolution would display only 8.3 million pixels.

Displaying high resolution content on multiple displays is no longer a challenging software or hardware problem. Video Wall Controllers, like Userful’s Software Video Wall Controller, simplify the display and content management of a wide variety of high resolution source content output to multi-monitor arrays of rectangular, or  rotated and randomly placed monitors. Userful can output full resolution 8K video which has over 33 million displayable pixels and even higher resolutions for static images like fashion photos.

Typically 24″ ultra thin bezel monitors like the NEC EX241-UN or the the Viewsonic VP2468 will have a VESA 100mm x 100mm mount.  Smaller VESA wall mounts were designed for mounting single monitors at the lowest possible cost, they have minimal or no adjust-ability and are therefore very poor choices for mounting arrays, especially artistic or mosaic arrays where rotation is required. If you don’t have the required adjust-ability in the mounting your array will rely on a lot of installer skill and a lot of time to properly align, if it’s even possible to get a good alignment.

With the introduction of RPT Motions’ QVWM-DM3 wall mount, mounting and aligning complex arrays of small monitors is no longer an obstacle.

RPT Motion Inc. identifies the key adjust-ability requirements for mounting rectangular or artistic arrays as:

  • X axis (horizontal) Micro Adjustable
  • Y Axis (vertical) Micro Adustable
  • Rotation Axis adjustable through 360 degrees and lockable
  • Drop on- Lift off monitor interface
  • As thin as possible to minimize projection from wall

With a mount that allows these adjustments, you can simply locate the design center of your monitors on the wall, secure the mounts to the the wall within about half an inch of the design locations, drop the monitors on in sequence, “float and rotate” the monitors into perfect alignment finishing with a small even gap between bezels in a minute or less. Once aligned, the monitors lift off and replace with precision.

Adjustments to monitor plane (Tilt, Pan and Z axis) are less critical for small 24″ monitors than giant 60″ monitors. A precision built mount on a flat wall can usually provide very good to excellent array flatness without the complexity and physical size of those adjustments.

When mounting small monitors in arrays, what we at RPT Motion  call the wall-print or the face view X-Y size of the mount is critical as it must be small enough to hide behind a small monitor rotated to any angle the array designers decide upon.

RPT has released their QVWM-DM3 Mount that’s perfect for arrays, simple or complex, rectangular or artistic of small monitors.

Here’s that same layout of NEC EX241-UN 24″ monitors as above, with the central monitor hidden so you can see the small wall-print of the ultra compact RPT QVWM-DM3 mount:

For 36+ years, RPT Motion has built high precision industrial automation components and systems for manufacturing and aerospace industries. We hold CNC machined tolerances of < 0.001″ every day, and we design tightly integrated mechanisms using state of the art CAD/CAM.

The basis of the RPT QVWM-DM3 is a precision CNC machined  aluminum ultra compact micro-adjustable X-Y translator that provides an easy to mount stable wall plate with 2.00″ (+/- 1.0″)  of X via hand knob and 2.00″ (+/- 1.0″) of  Y via  7/16″ hex micro-adjustment and an integrated receiver slide for the drop on system.

 

The QVWM-DM3 monitor interface provides an integrated handle for easy lift off, full 360 degree rotation with locking, and can be delivered with 75 x 75 or 100 x 100 VESA Mounting patterns. Other sizes (100 x 200, 150 x 150,  etc.) are possible, and an upcoming big brother will handle VESA 200 x 200. The precision drop on slide engages easily and repeats location very precisely.

Here’s how the drop-on works:

The QVWM-DM3 is very thin for a mount with these features and this much adjust-ability, just 2.5″ from wall surface to VESA mount surface:

And here’s a rear view of that 9 monitor array using QVWM-DM3 mounts.

The capabilities, rigidity, adjust-ability and precision of the RPT QVWM-DM3 mount are unique in our industry and finally make quick accurate mounting of complex arrays of small monitors simple.

Please contact us for more information:

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Mount Basics

How much adjustment is enough?

We at RPT just can’t walk past a video wall without looking at and most likely critiquing the installation and alignment.  Most video walls are not well aligned and we wonder why. Recently, at InfoComm 2017, the AV industry showcase convention, I walked the floor and estimate that fully 75% of the video walls could have been improved significantly with proper alignment and 25% of them were just plain awful. Our own industry should be showing perfectly aligned video walls, if not something is wrong with either the mounts or the installers.

Let’s face it; mounts are usually the final afterthought in any video wall project, the last thing to worry about and buy before slapping those expensive monitors onto the wall. Mounts are simple, aren’t they?

If mounts are so simple, then why are there so many badly aligned video walls? Perhaps installers aren’t as skilled as they should be?  The wall was more crooked than we expected? We ran out of time, money or both?

A poorly aligned, badly installed video wall is a poor reflection on your brand and your attention to detail, so you should understand how to avoid installation problems. It begins with understanding what a mount needs to do and buying a mount that can be adjusted in your application.

RPT has researched monitor mounting and developed our own mounts where we couldn’t find acceptable alternatives in the industry. We’ve proven, in our testing, that quality Monitors are very accurate and a rigid precision assembled structure can deliver acceptable alignment without any adjustments. In the real world, walls aren’t precision structures, and installers don’t have the tools to measure and mount to less than a hundredth of an inch. SO adjustment will always be required.

There are six axes of possible monitor adjustment:

  • Lateral (X axis)
  • Height (Y Axis)
  • Tilt (Top to bottom relative to wall)
  • Pan (Side to side relative to wall)
  • Roll (Rotation about center of Face, clockwise or counterclockwise)
  • Depth (Z Axis)

Mounts you choose may offer all of these axes of adjustment, or only a few. Some axes may be achieved by combination, example Roll is most commonly adjusted by differential adjustable heights left and right and that works well. Buy onyly what you need, but choose too little adjustability and even the best installer won’t be able to deliver a perfectly aligned video wall.

The Minimum number of adjustable axes to easily achieve good alignment really depends on the flatness of your mounting surface, the skill of your installer and the time allowed to align the array.

Three axis Mounting

A well built flat wall can align an array with three axes: X, Y and Roll only. The bezel to bezel spaces can be near perfect but the planar alignment may not be 100% perfect if the array face is viewed from the side at a steep angle.

RPT’s MVW-GHB L3 Modular Portable video walls are precision assemblies. We build them with RPT GHB 3 axis precision machined mounts of our own design with excellent results. Our customers move these video walls many times per year, and set-up and alignment must be fast and accurate each time. One big advantage is that we don’t need or use a wall; we mount onto a precision modular free-standing structure that assembles flatter than most walls,

Six Axis Mounting

A badly out of true wall will generally need all six axes of adjustment and if the mount chosen has the range of adjustments, and the installer is well equipped, skilled and allowed enough time, the array can be adjusted absolutely flat and perfectly aligned. A badly aligned array with excellent mounts is the installer’s fault.

RPT’s MVW ConnexSys L6+ single or double sided freestanding video wall structures are a great six axis example. We integrate them with the Chief ConnexSys mount that provides wide range full six axis stress free adjustment system with a pull-out for installation and service.

Pull out or drop on?

Monitors should be easily loaded onto the mount. Small monitors drop on easily to some mounts. Large arrays of large monitors should have a pull-out feature to allow center monitors to be removed and replaced without removing a bunch of other monitors. Pull outs also allow easier connections after that heavy monitor is supported. There’s more engineering with pull-outs. You must confirm that the mounting wall’s structure can safely accommodate the overhung loads of your monitor’s weight pulled out to the maximum the mount allows, and one shouldn’t presume that only one monitor at a time will be pulled out at a time. You’ll need to manage a strategy for releasing the monitors or ensuring that they can’t be released by just anyone.

Stress-Free

Hard for me to believe and I won’t name names, but some big name six axis pull-out mounts for large monitors can be adjusted in combinations that twist and stress the frame of that expensive thin bezel monitor. Thin bezel monitors are expensive, and fragile.  At RPT we insist that mounts never impart extra stress to the monitor no matter how they are adjusted.

Arrays of small monitors

Small monitors (VESA 100×100 and 200×200) present special challenges because there are few fully adjustable options for those smaller monitors. As a result, RPT has developed the RPT Wall Mount 3 Axis Artistic Drop on that handles rectangular and artistic layouts of small and medium monitors. We will soon release a full six axis version of the same mount, making perfect alignment of small monitor arrays easy.

Goals

Arrays of monitors should have tiny spaces between bezels. Commonly described as the thickness of a business card, approximately 0.025 Inches or 0.6mm is perfect. Not all monitor bezels are perfectly straight, so we set the design gap at 0.040 or 1 mm and ensure that there is a small gap everywhere along each edge. Gaps are essential to ensure that the weight whole stack of monitors isn’t pushing down on the top edge of the bottom monitor. A business car should slide down the gap without binding. Easy to adjust mounts make that perfect gap easy to set while harder to adjust mounts get the “good enough” in frustration and the result rarely is good enough.

Arrays should present as flat a face as possible. If the array is set back some distance and only viewed from relatively narrow front angles, this is far less important than other adjustments. If a person can walk past parallel to the face of the array, planar misalignment becomes much more obvious and just looks sloppy.

Summary

The cost differential between great mounts with enough adjustment and terrible mounts that can’t be aligned is a tiny fraction of what your video wall will cost. Don’t blame your installer if you choose the wrong mounts and they can’t install a perfect video wall, usually for cost reasons, and the results are less than optimal. On the other hand some installers don’t have the skills or attention to detail even with the best available mounts.

If you want more information on RPT Video Wall Mounting Systems or wish to discuss challenging video wall installations please contact us.

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Single Monitor Video Walls

When we hear “Video Wall”, we usually think many big monitors and lots of money to spend. It doesn’t cost a huge amount of money to try digital signage or video walls. If you’ve got or can create content that can pass messages to your customers and drive some sales improvement a small investment can pay back quickly even in very simple implementations. A simple web page of daily or weekly specials isn’t that hard to generate as a start.

Video Walls can start as simple as one small monitor each, and expand to as many locations as you need. Most facilities with successful digital signage grow to many digital signs, each either single monitors or arrays of monitors.

It’s good practice to plan early for success and required future growth, because you don’t want to lock into hard to expand or manage structures for video wall hardware and software from the beginning.

Here’s a simple start: a standard RPT Motion simple rugged signpost mount, designed for wall mounting of one, two or more monitors back to back. Commonly used on ends of aisles or along sides of aisles to highlight and inform.

We’ll use an hypothetical small grocery store as an example, and start with a simple, attractive, rugged and affordable RPT  Digital Signpost Mount with two 24″-39″  1080P monitors of your choice, one on each side in either portrait or landscape. Place it somewhere with traffic, just above a tall head walking past.

There are many ways to drive two monitors at low cost. Example One would be a low end signage player, a Mini Windows 10 PC like an Intel NUC which can drive two monitors, connects to the Internet via WiFi. To keep it low cost, you can then use a free content management system like Rise Vision to prepare, schedule and manage what’s being displayed when and where. There is usually a fan and perhaps other moving parts if you use a hardrive instead of an SSD.

Additionally, there will be inevitable Windows updates and other  PC management of the NUC Player, but really not a big deal as you’ve only got one tiny simple PC to add to your thinking. Any updates or maintenance will require a keyboard and a mouse to work, so you’ll need a ladder to connect and update as required.

Windows base players just can’t deal with separate screens, so to stay cheap you’d have to be a bit creative and accept some inconvenience with Rise Vision or other content managers to set up the back to back screens as one Windows desktop and then build your presentations accordingly. Probably just easier to bite the bullet and manage with one Intel NUC player per screen, they’re really not that expensive, just double the number of NUCs and power supplies and put one on each monitor.

The above solution works, is quick, simple, low cost, relatively reliable and also short sighted. It’s hard to manage and hard to grow.

Very few locations have just one aisle or location calling for digital signage, so now let’s deal with the future scenario of ten double sided end of aisle units highlighting specials in each aisle.

Now, you’ve got twenty monitors requiring a different content source for each, in effect twenty small single monitor video walls.

Suddenly you’ve got twenty mini PC’s with power supplies and fans to manage and maintain, hanging up in the air accessing your WiFi with twenty passwords that need changing if you change your router WiFi password. No WiFi connection, no content.

Twenty is a realistic number of screens for a small to medium grocery store with active marketing plans and content, a larger store could eventually swallow a hundred screens with each screen adding sales opportunities every minute of every day. A chain of stores, local, regional or national could have thousand of screens to manage.

You need a simple, reliable and fully scalable solution with a low cost of entry. The good news is that it’s ready for you.

Here’s an affordable reliable starting strategy with unlimited growth potential:

If your content is basically static images or web pages, a single low end Userful Software Video Wall Server, based on standard PC hardware that can cost less than an Intel NUC costs,  and can easily feed content to nine 1080P screens via a single Gigabit Ethernet Switch. Two standard Gigabit Ethernet ports wired to each signpost is easy to do, not expensive, easy to manage and very reliable compared to WiFi.

Probably better to spend just a little more and start with the mid-range Userful Software Video Wall Server for better performance, growth potential to forty 1080P monitors and 4K input cards, guarantees the ability to smoothly add more input sources, and smooth video wherever needed for more active and creative promotions.

The Userful Video Wall Server can be located anywhere on the network in your building, so it can be securely locked in an office. The almost unlimited content sources and configurations can be managed by the browser based Userful UCC from any PC,  tablet or smartphone on the network, so when those avocados on sale in aisle 7 sell out, it’s easy for the produce manager to bring up the next special sale for aisle 7. Userful’s API allows much more complex scheduling and control, if needed.

Each monitor would have a “no moving parts, and no maintenance” Zero Net Client, which is included in the cost of the USerful license,  mounted to the rear of the monitor,  drawing just a few watts of power from a monitor USB port or via POE. The Userful Server uses the Zero Client to decode from Ethernet to full 1080P HDMI at the monitor.

You can use your choice of Content Management systems or devise many local only or web strategies to schedule and manage your content and sources, including HDMi inputs if you want to distribute broadcast TV to some signs.

In the future, you might decide to add a few multi-monitor video walls around your store, and that’s no problem because Userful can handle up to 100 monitors per Userful Software Video Wall Server. Just install the monitors, connect Ethernet and add licenses.

Start small, but be smart early and success will come easier and at much lower cost.

Think ahead and plan for success by building unlimited video wall potential with RPT’s Video Wall mounting systems and Userful’s Software Video Wall Server from your first screen.

Contact us by this form to talk about one or many RPT Digital Signpost systems with Userful Server starter package that fits your needs now and can grow with you.