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Fields of View

The digital signage industry is significantly about delivering dynamic content on monitors to generate customer engagement. Too often we fail to consider how we might better locate and focus displays to increase the chances of those displays being visible enough to quickly catch the eye of that customer we want to engage.

Placement and aiming of monitors in retail or other public spaces is a complex subject that could fuel neurological behavioral doctoral dissertations, but a basic understanding of a few parameters might significantly improve your monitor’s chances of being seen well enough to grab the viewer’s attention.

A walking pedestrian is actually a very poor target for digital signage, because we’re programmed with a self protecting nature that focuses while walking on identifying potential obstacles in a narrow forward band from O degrees( level) to approximately 10 degrees downward. As a result, unless we start embedding monitors in floors, it’s most likely that your monitor will first be seen in the peripheral vision of the target audience.

When an object enters the peripheral vision of a walking person we don’t actually think about it, rather it is quickly processed in our subconscious process and evaluated as to importance before we might turn our conscious focus towards it. First priority is danger then interest. It seems entirely logical that a monitor better aimed at the target will probably stand a much higher chance of interrupting the walk, while a monitor aimed poorly will generally just be ignored.

The better the aiming of the monitor at the eyes of the viewer, the more likely the message will be processed as relevant enough to grab the conscious attention of the viewer, ideally even stopping their walk and lifting their eyes.

The harsh reality of most public environments is that monitors must often be mounted in less than perfect locations, above the heads of walkers, or on the sides of typical walking patterns or attached to walls facing on perpendicular or parallel planes to your potential customer’s Field of View.

Stacked monitors starting near floor level and if possible aimed outward from the wall and towards the target are possibly better at getting attention than a single horizontal row of monitors at eye level or above heads.

Many have come to understand that Artistic or Mosaic arrays will also grab more attention. Perhaps some of the subtle magic of an artistic or mosaic array is that their irregular shape can’t simply be processed to be subconsciously ignored as just another rectangular screen.

Here’s a great example video worth watching from Userful of an Artistic Video Wall that’s really impossible to ignore.

Walking towards this complexly creative video wall from either direction will engage a downward looking view because the stacks of monitors rises from close to the floor, plus the 3 high portrait stacks are angled towards the viewer rather than being flat on the wall. The back sides of each zig-zag stack forms a second video wall that engages the reverse traffic with different content. This video wall is a real stop and stare opportunity that grabs attention.

A flexible mounting system is important, but most commercial monitor mounts have evolved slowly from the early era of mounting single monitors flat on a wall. Mounts that can quickly and rigidly mount digital signage monitors at different precisely designed angles aimed at a target are not common. If enough monitors are being mounted, sometimes a custom engineered and fabricated mount is a good option, but that’s likely expensive and long delivery.

Mounting monitors using precision modular assemblies is one of RPT Motion’s specialties. We have extended our proven modular Quick VESA industrial monitor mounting system to include modules that allow freely adjustable or fixed by design options for combinations of pan, tilt and roll angles for an installation may require something different for best visibility. RPT can now offer these options in quickly custom engineered mounts with precise angles that allow much better optimization of where your monitor is aimed.

RPT’s Quick VESA Targeted Focus or QVTF range of products is modular, allowing RPT to quickly propose, quote, build and deliver from one to thousands of ready to install mounts precision built to the best angles for your installation. The QVTF range is especially capable when working with small to medium (24-42”) monitors with VESA 100×100 thru VESA 200×200 mounting patterns. We also have excellent options for larger monitors, so we can offer you angled and multi-sided solutions targeted at all monitor sizes and layouts.

Here’s a standard very simple straight RPT Double sided wall mount which puts the aim of the monitor parallel to the walls and walking path. The “arm” can extend the monitors as far as you wish away from the wall, but they still don’t really ever face most viewers walking towards them.

 

 

In the same setting here’s another type of double sided RPT Wall Mount with the monitors angled. The angled monitor faces more easily engage directly with more eyes. These monitors protrude less from the wall, but are more visible.

Our point today is that to maximize your investment you should go beyond generic catalog mounting and properly explore the best options for mounting and aiming your monitors.  RPT Motion’s DigitalSignMount.com group has a comprehensive range of monitor mounting engineered modules and 25+ years of quickly building precision modular assemblies with t-slotted extrusions. We combine those assets into custom built for your application monitor mounting systems for just one or thousands of monitors. Mount it properly and it will generate better interest and better returns.

Send us a note about how you want to mount your monitors. We’ll quickly offer you reliable, proven options that are quickly and cost effectively custom tailored to your monitors and location.

 

 

 

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QVWM-UA6 Mount Ultra Aligned Arrays

What do badly aligned arrays say about your brand’s attention to detail and quality?

The DigitalSignMount.com group at RPT are a highly critical bunch when it comes to Digital Monitor mounting. We have spent 36+ years designing, machining and assembling precision assemblies accurate to tiny tolerances for all types of ultra precision industries.

We bristle and cringe when we see misaligned expensive arrays in high end locations, and frankly we see very few that we give the thumbs up to. Don’t just blame the installers, especially on arrays of smaller monitors, there have been no outstanding mounting systems for those arrays, so they take time, patience, a stack of washers and rarely end up perfectly aligned, even after many hours of tinkering and tweaking.

Most of our own RPT Motion precision mounts are three axes of adjustment, but we have the extra benefit of having our own exceptionally accurate frames to build on with those mounts when they are freestanding or overlays.

Our experience is that a quality monitor out of the box is truly a high precision part, but that inherent flatness and accuracy degrades a bit every time you handle or mount the monitor. Small corrections and twisting alignment tweaks carefully applied by brave and skilled installers generate good but rarely perfect results by re-bending the frame of the monitor slightly.

Until today, there were simply no solid, accurate and fully adjustable (Six Axes) mounts for arrays of 24-39″ monitors.

Today RPT changed that as we proudly released our QVWM -UA6 from development to production.

A few words on RPT nomenclature,

QV is for Quick VESA which is a series of engineered modules serving VESA 75 x 75 thru VESA 200 x 200.

WM is for Wall Mount (many of our mounts are free-standing structures without a wall)

UA6 is for Ultimate Alignment 6 Axes

For the adjustability it offers, the thickness from Wall Surface to VESA Mounting Surface is a very slim 2-5/8″ at the mid range of the planar adjustments. Plus it’s small enough to hide behind a typical 24″ monitor rolled to any artistic angle.

The six axes the QVWM-UA6 mount can adjust are:

  1. X or Horizontal Axis MicroAdjustment
  2. Y or Vertical Axis MicroAdjustment
  3. Roll Axis with full 360 degree monitor rotation with lock and drop-on monitor system
  4. Z Axis front to back MicroAdjustment
  5. Tilt (Top to Bottom) MicroAdjustment
  6. Pan (Side to Side) MicroAdjustment

Here’s an image of an intentional misalignment on one of our testing rigs to demonstrate the range of the tilt adjustment using 24″ NEC EX-241UN Ultra Thin Bezel Monitors:

Here’s the aligned flat and level result a minute later:

RPT has pioneered the use of a 360 degree roll axis with rotation lock for mounting both Artistic arrays and rectangular arrays. We find it a faster and more effective way to get perfect final adjustments than the more common roll adjust by differential heights on each side. Plus, because our roll axis provides 360 degrees of rotation the exact same mount works for artistic, rectangular, and mixed portrait-landscape arrays. We’ve built our roll axis and rotation lock right onto the drop on monitor adapter.

Here’s the wall mount portion of the final prototype version in RPT’s testing area showing the other five axes of adjustment:

The X and Y axes are precision machined aluminum screw driven micro-adjustable linear slides. The central hex head drive is the Y Axis adjuster, the black hand knob on the right adjusts the X axis position.

The X-Y slide system is mounted on RPT’s three point planar adjustment system. In this case, the pan is adjusted pointing quite far left of center. The three point wall mounting with hex head plane micro adjusters allows pan, tilt and Z axis micro-adjustments while making it impossible to stress or twist the monitor frame.

If you’re installing arrays of smaller monitors, either rectangular or Artistic/Mosaic please contact us to discuss how we can make that installation fully adjustable the final results  can be as perfectly aligned as your brand.

If you’ve got a monitor model and layout sketch (even Pencil sketch), when you purchase RPT QVWM-UA6 mounts RPT will generate a CAD drawing showing the mount centers dimensions so your installer can quickly mark the monitor centers on your wall and use our mounting template to locate and drill the mounting holes.

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In-Line Array Ideas

We’re tossing some array ideas out to get you thinking outside of a rectangular box.

Sometimes video walls are simpler, single dimensional in-line arrays.

Here’s a nine monitor alternating landscape portrait array.

Here’s the same nine monitors slanted 20 degrees which adds interest:

RPT manufactures a line of modules that form ultra simple precision mounting for in-line smaller monitor arrays like this.

We use an industry standard precision t-slotted aluminum extrusion as a horizontal bar of any desired length up to 20 feet in a single bar.

Then we add one RPT drop-on receiver, and one RPT 360 Degree Rotating Drop On VESA 100 x 100 Adapter per monitor. If no monitor rotation is required we can use the even simpler RPT FM VESA mounts which we developed for Industrial Shop Floor Monitors. The receiver positions adjust as required along the length of the extrusion and simple angle brackets slide along the slots to bolt into supports as required.

Linear arrays don’t always need a wall, they might be bar mounted across reasonable distance open spaces  or hung on a post off a wall and those arrays can be double sided. Here’s a view down the middle of a wall mounted sign post showing the simplicity of our RPT FM-VESA Mounts. Each monitor adapter connects to the extruded bar with a single bolt and alignment precision is machined into the parts.

 

A wall mounted signpost structure that can be expanded with more monitors.

Ends of aisle, or along walls:

Because our mounting systems are modular, RPT Motion Inc. can quickly design and deliver a single monitor or array of monitors mounting system configured to your needs.

Tell us what you need, we’ll get back to you quickly with a custom proposal delivered quickly with standard RPT Modules.

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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.

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RPT Artistic Video Wall Mounts

Artistic Video Wall layout example:

 

Video walls are evolving to be much more than a giant rectangular wall mounted screen. Artistic or Mosaic video walls draw more attention and are simpler than ever to implement and control. A great article on artistic video layout by Userful:  https://www.userful.com/blog/integrate-digital-displays-into-your-space-balance-aesthetics-and-functionality

A key player in enabling artistic video walls is Userful. Userful’s Software Video Wall Server can drive up to 100 monitors from one PC hardware based appliance, and easily allows unlimited design freedom. Layouts with mixed monitor sizes and orientations (portrait and landscape) as well as complete freedom of rotation are simple to set up. Monitors positioning can be edge to edge, or purposely designed with layout gaps or overlays of any size in any direction. Static images, video and any digital input or content can be output to any layout of up to 100 monitors in one or many video walls.

Artistic video walls are often built with smaller (24″-40″) monitors, and monitor manufacturers have responded with ranges of smaller high quality narrow bezel monitors, often with close color matching and many other digital signage features. Two great small 1080P monitors for video walls are the NEC EX241UN and the Viewsonic VP2468.

The Viewsonic VP2468  is even available in a two-monitor pack without desk stand or extra parts, so it’s clearly been tagged for the multi-monitor market of video walls. The ultra thin bezels and high quality color matching monitor to monitor are other great features.

I’ll make no secret that my favorite small video wall monitor is the NEC EX241UN . It’s marketed as a high quality desktop 24″ monitor but it’s available in a wall mount pack that skips the desktop base. NEC delivered serious digital signage control option, including a super simple daisy chain for monitor adjustments, Serial and Ethernet control options and the ability to daisy chain up to 25 monitors rectangular grid layout. Of course daisy chained arrays lose resolution as they can only expand the input resolution of the display port. Connected to Userful, every pixel is addressable and full resolution 8k video can be presented.

See RPT’s CDS 8K Cart for more on large high resolution 8K video. 

Monitors are easy, and Userful makes configuration and presentation of high resolution content easy, so that leaves properly mounting and wiring an artistic video wall as the major remaining challenge.

Monitor mounts, in their most common form, are generally designed to hold monitors straight and level.  While some manufacturers have introduced add-ons allowing rotation, most of the solutions for artistic rotations of smaller monitors are in one way or another quite compromised.

RPT Motion has 36+ years of experience delivering precision mechanical motion sub-systems to industrial applications including flight simulation and other manufacturing. We have our own CNC machine shop using state of the art CAD/CAM and manufacturing. We build modular video wall structures, mostly free-standing and portable. We specialize in modular, quick assembly systems. It was natural that we decided to build a system of precision monitor mounts perfect for both rectangular and artistic video walls.

The key features we included are:

  • Compact enough to hide behind rotated 24″ monitors
  • Adjustable in horizontal and vertical axes
  • 360 degree monitor rotation with rotation lock at final adjustment
  • Lift off and replace the monitor without losing any adjustments
  • Thin to minimize projection from wall
  • Solid, precise and reliable for 24″-40″ monitors with VESA 75 x 75, 100 x 100, 100 x 200, up to 200 x 200 as well as custom.

We’ll admit that it probably doesn’t look like any other mount on the market.  It can’t look like any other mount because there’s no other mount that does all those things, period.

RPT started with a clean sheet of digital and distilled it down to include every required function and feature.

RPT QVT-WD100 Artistic Video Wall Mount

 

 

How the monitor adapter drops on:

  • Precision CNC machined from Aviation quality aluminum.
  • Four 1/4″ mounting holes to wall with large surface to spread load.
  • Thin 2.500″ depth wall surface to Monitor VESA pattern surface
  • 2.5″ Horizontal adjustment via a simple slide and lock based on t-slotted extrusion.
  • 2.5″ Vertical adjustment via a screw driven micro-adjustment
  • 360 degree Rotation axis and rotation lock is nested into the drop-on slide and VESA interface
  • VESA 75×75, 100×100, and 200×200 versions available, all at same depth
  • The t-slotted horizontal slide is field re-configured in a few minutes using simple hand tools for left or right extension to allow best mount hide at any desired angle of rotation.

This unique combination of features allow you to design, quickly mount and perfectly align any simple or complex array of small and medium sized monitors that you can conceive.

Send RPT Motion Inc. your array ideas, either CAD layout or even a pencil sketch including monitor models, spacing or screen center locations and rotation angles and we will quote you with a mount rendering of the best RPT QVT-WD series mounts and locations.

When you purchase the RPT’s QVT-WD mounts, we’ll pre-configure them into the proper combination of left and right and send you a dimensioned CAD layout of monitor center points to use with our drilling template for super quick installation.  Then mount the adapters and quickly adjust your video wall.

If you’re considering insatlling an artistic video wall, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to go deeper into some of the reasons we’re so enamored with Userful, which we consider to be the best video wall controller on the market. It happens to be a software video wall controller, so it evolves and advances continuously.

Once your RPT QVT-WD mounts are on the wall and the array is adjusted and aligned, pull off all the monitors. No fear you won’t lose any adjustment.

Userful uses a small Zero-Net Client for each monitor and they can be powered from a USB port, wall transformer or POE.  You can mount the Zero Clients to the back of the monitors and connect to the monitor  USB port and a short HDMI cable for 1080p video. Then as you drop each monitor back in place you need only connect an AC power cord and an Ethernet cable.

Userful’s Software Video Wall Server can be easily configured via Userful’s UCC app, via a browser connection the UCC allows you to define one or many simple, complex, or complex artistic video walls quickly. Userful features include alignment patterns to perfect adjust the image and compensate for bezels and distances between monitors. Userful allows you to easily define as many input sources as you need to display, and simply drag and drop the configured video wall icon onto the source  you wish to view.

Finally, here’s a rear view of that first layout mounted with RPT’s QVT-WD Double mounts, 18 monitors mounted on nine mounts with full adjustment for each monitor and lift off and drop on monitors:

Please contact RPT for more information on RPT’s Artistic Video Wall Mounts or Userful

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