Appspace and Video Walls

At a glance

  • Article purpose: This document describes Appspace’s new multi-player approach for video walls.
  • Business problem: It has been difficult to synchronize playback to the millisecond across multiple devices, thus requiring a specialized device to drive a video wall. 
  • Solution: Appspace uses a high accuracy clock synchronization technology that allows multiple devices to work cohesively. This allows multiple off-the-shelf devices to synchronously drive multiple screens, while preventing network latency issues.
  • Conclusion: Appspace’s multi-player approach offers a simple to deploy, simple to use, cost-effective, and flexible video wall solution.

Introduction

Video walls are used by many organizations to create a more significant presence for their workplace communications. With more cost-effective display technologies they have become a more common sight. Creative and architectural deployments are challenging video wall implementations and Appspace’s multi-player approach has many key benefits. 

Solution Overview

For over 15 years, we have offered a solution that utilizes a single high-performance media player with multiple video outputs. While a great solution, there is a physical limit to the total number of video wall displays that can be connected. Customer considerations with this approach range from potentially higher hardware costs, more complex configuration, and additional hardware to achieve larger video wall setups. Learning from these customer pain points, the Appspace App provides an alternative configuration method using multiple media players.

How it Works

As we said, this is a multi-player approach, so each display in the video wall has a media player connected to it. With this configuration, one of the media players acts as a master and timekeeper, while the other media players act as slave devices. Appspace splits the video wall channel into tiles, and each device plays the appropriate tile, forming a video wall. 

Via the network, slave devices check what content frame they should be showing, and adjust their playback to sync with the master. The slave also accounts for the network latency of making this call to the master. As there are no limitations on the number of slave devices, the size of the video wall can adapt to the deployment needs by simply adding more devices.

Comparing Video Wall Deployment Types

CostScalabilityDisplayVideo ProcessingDeployment
Appspace Multi-Player Video Wall Solution Broad support for media player devices can help drive cost down. Expanding a video wall is typically more cost-effective.Scalable to any video wall array size. Devices can simply be added one at a time to scale. Supports an unlimited number of displays at HD/4K resolution per display. Appspace automatically segments content (including video) and maps them to each display accordingly.Appspace automatically controls latency between devices over the network for perfect playback. Broad media player from several manufacturers.
Appspace Single Media Player Solution A single high-performance media player will typically cost more and have a limit to the total outputs and resolution. Expanding a video wall may require replacing the media player.Scalability is limited to the total number of physical outputs from the single media player. Expanding a video wall requires additional video signal hardware.The total number of displays is dependant on the number of media player outputs and video signal splitters that can be connected. Expanding a video wall lowers the resolution per display.The media player segments content through multiple outputs and signal splitters. Tile mapping splits the content to the appropriate displays. Cabling can get complicated between single media player, video signal splitters, and displays. Expanding a video wall potentially requires changing signal splitters and cable routes.
Other Multi-Player Video Wall Solutions Typically involves proprietary hardware that can be expensive. Typically attracts a higher operational cost (e.g. content post-production).Often scalable to large video wall array size. Devices can often be added one at a time to scale.Supports an unlimited number of displays at HD/4K resolution per display.Expertise needed for content post-production work to convert each content file to multiple files that act as tiles.Proprietary solutions can be plug-and-play, some are more complex to configure.

Conclusion

Appspace offers a simple to deploy, simple to use, cost-effective, and flexible video wall solution.


To get started, check out our article to Configure video walls.

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