The newest feature added to the signageOS arsenal is universal video wall synchronization.
View the full press release here.
The signageOS solution is not your traditional video wall synchronization. So, before we dive in, we should mention the other possible routes to creating a video wall installation. If you already know how most video walls operate then scroll down to get to the good stuff.
Difficulties with Traditional Solutions:
Video walls usually require many external equipment that allow for more and more points of failure. There are many ways to create a video wall but listed below are some of the more traditional routes.
Video Wall Processor
A PC with the processing capabilities or additional video cards to meet the scale of your project is the oldest way of creating video walls. Usually, proprietary software is required to manage your content and displays. For real-time content capture, some installments may require the use of HDMI/SDI capture cards. Each display in the video wall can connect to a zero client receiver via HDMI. Then they are connected to the computer/network via Ethernet switch. Everything can be managed by the connected PC or over the cloud if there is an internet connection.
Media players are an alternative route to using a PC with multiple zero client receivers.The media players are time synchronized for content playback and split the video wall up into sections in advance. So timing may become an issue for larger scale installations. Another factor to consider when using media players for video walls is that each display requires its own media player for optimal content resolution. This can be very costly for video wall installations. Also, the routing of media player to ethernet allows for additional points of failure.
SoC with daisy chain cabling.
Another common method of creating a video wall installation is through the use of daisy chain cables with a SoC devices or a PC. Although, if the project requires a large number of displays, the daisy chain cables may need to be separated by tile groups to achieve the desired image resolution which increases the number of points of failure again. Daisy chain cables still require some type of PC or player in order to manage the content.
The signageOS Solution
The signageOS video wall synchronization is unique in that no external hardware is needed. Our developers designed a server-side application that uses websockets to uniformly synchronize playback on the displays. This application can run on the display’s local network or in the cloud. The application can also run on the displays as a Node.js server where one display is the master that directs the other displays. Using Node.js provides a technological advantage in that you can infinitely scale your video wall. Also, in order to maintain synchronization, using node.js allows for the passing of data into the sync loop and distribution of that information to the other displays in order to keep all screens in sync. Also, Node.js is asynchronous and event-driven, so web applications running on Node.js are extremely fast. This method of synchronization has also provided the ability for more efficient passing of arbitrary information for use cases that require synchronization but do not fit this model of synchronization. For example, feeding a value to a display where all other displays get the same value and synchronize accordingly but, not in the form of a video wall.
Another advantage of the signageOS video wall is that it is also compatible with 3rd party players like Brightsign, different software, and external synchronizations.
The video wall synchronization from signageOS has the potential to revolutionize the video wall market. Companies can now easily create video wall installations using nothing but the displays and a wifi connection or local area network. Or pair any hardware or software type with signageOS and instantly create a unique video wall installation that is sure to attract attention. Eliminate the weak links in your video wall synchronization through signageOS.