Video Walls – The Right and Wrong

PJ Clarke’s Sports Bar in Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops – Las Vegas NV

Video Walls or Matrix screens are most often used in digital signage but can also be found in sports bars and retail stores.  When viewing a properly installed gigantic video wall one can’t help but be WOWED! by the spectacle, at least for the initial moment.  The problem with video walls or matrix screens is that while they are initial attention getters, they are not the best screens to watch sporting events due to the horizontal and vertical lines separating the adjoining screens.  The masking effect caused by adjoining video screens is called the “Tiling Effect” because it resembles the grout lines on tiles and breaks up the picture from one continuous frame into several frames which make up the matrix screen.  While flat panel screen technology has come a long way over the years even so called zero bezel matrix screens still have some type of tiling effect.

This spring while walking the Forum Shops mall at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas I was attracted by the 8 x 8 matrix screen behind the bar at PJ Clarke’s sports bar.  The screen looked awesome from outside the bar and certainly attracted the attention from those passing by.  Interestingly enough once inside the bar the game was difficult to watch as annoying and distracting lines on the matrix screens broke up the picture and the bartenders working in front of the screen were constantly in the way.  I spoke to several patrons in the bar who were tourists and agreed the matrix screen was an attention getter but they would prefer to watch the game on a large projection screen or flat panel TV.

Across the street from Caesar’s Palace and a couple blocks over I found another bar in the Planet Hollywood Hotel, Casino shopping mall with  four (4),  4×3 Matrix Video Wall screens.

Unlike the matrix screen at PJ Clarke’s the Planet Hollywood matrix screen flat panels had thick bezels and the bar was much smaller which meant you were watching the TVs closer.  The tiling effect was terrible and very annoying.  From a distance across the mall, say 150 feet away the screens were remotely watchable but from a distance of 5-50 feet the tiling effect of the screen bezels completely broke up the picture on the screen to making the screens virtually  un-watchable

It’s amazing that the bar in this hotel mall spent a small fortune on matrix screens to attract attention and generate walk in traffic only to discover that nobody …  and I mean nobody wants to watch the awful screens.  The bill for the screens was in excess of $100,000 plus dollars and they looked terrible… what a waste of money.

Overall Video Walls and Matrix Screens are best suited for advertising, marketing, special events and promotions.  Video Walls are great as backdrops and are often used in place of  a green screen for broadcast TV.  Video Walls and Matrix Screens are not great as a primary screen for watching sporting events or television and for that reason in addition to the high cost to purchase and maintain – restaurants, lounges, sports bars and night clubs should carefully consider the purchase of video walls and matrix screens.  Before purchasing a Video wall or Matrix Screen weigh your options with other technologies such as large format 70-80″ LCD and LED TV’s and high output, high resolution projection screen TVs.

Sports Bar Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino Mall – Las Vegas NV

If you are building a new restaurant, lounge, sports bar or are planning to renovate contact Doyle at Ion Security and Integration at 780-489-5522 or for a Free No Obligation Consultation.

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