So, what’s better? Coffee or tea? Cats or dogs? Android or iOS? Projectors or video walls?
For the sake of family harmony, we’re sidestepping any debate on the first three, but think we should weigh in on the industry fray over projectors versus video walls.
Depending on who you talk to, they will roll out the various strengths of their favorite technology and point out the weaknesses of the other. For us, there is no debate. It’s like arguing over what’s better – a hammer or screwdriver?
The best technology completely depends on the problem being solved. Each technology has its advantages and disadvantages. When we align a client’s priorities with the environment in which they want to implement an audiovisual solution – the right technology is obvious. While we could forever debate the level of companionship afforded by a cat or dog…there is no question on which tool we’re reaching for when we’re dealing with a nail.
Some recent examples of that:
A client had a 9’ x 12’ space in their office where they wanted a visually seamless display of imagery representing their business. Being a lobby area (where a person could walk right up to the display), people would continually interfere with a typical projector image. At 180 inches diagonal, the space was way too large for a single monitor. It was a great size for an impressive floor-to-ceiling video wall using thin-bezel monitors, but bezels, nonetheless – not seamless. Given the client’s priorities, there was only one solution: a laser video projector using an ultra-short throw lens projecting on translucent glass (see it for yourself here)
A new-build flex-use auditorium facility for a school needed a very large visual display area. But, being a flex-use facility, one that would be unobtrusive when not in use. One could argue projector technology would be a good fit for this application. However, three of the facility’s four walls were all glass exposed to the outdoors. They nicknamed the facility the “Lightbox” for a reason – LOTS of ambient light that could not be controlled. The only solution – a brilliant video wall (see if for yourself here)
EVERY project is like that.
That’s why everyone’s lists of pluses and minuses associated with projectors and video walls are meaningless. What counts is your list of what you would like to achieve, and the list of attributes associated with the environment where you would like to achieve them.
To the untrained eye, it may look like a matter of personal preference. However to a true systems integrator, the choice is always as clear as a nail in the wall.