Using stable, reliable systems for mission-critical video walls
Ken Lin, Advantech
2/6/2013 12:45 PM EST
The advancements in video wall technology are opening up more windows on the world, conveying new thoughts and messages of the latest developments in many areas. From digital signage in sports, entertainment, shopping and other public venues to mission-critical control rooms for military operations, power and energy, factory automation, transportation management, security and surveillance, video wall controller technologies are bringing us to a whole new world of immediate visualization, extensive collaboration and more responsive and effective decision making based on access to accurate and timely information.
Take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) control room as example. Benefiting from a new generation of video wall controllers loaded with multiple Matrox Mura MPX output/input graphic cards, display systems used in the control room can create large-scale and highly functional video walls to display any incoming video or data, such as VGA or DVI feeds from any of a range of sources: operator workstations running maps, Automatic Train Supervision (ATS), Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Operation (ATO) programs or Passenger Information System (PIS), platform live video CCTV feeds, set-top BOX HDMI feeds, etc. Broad video walls composed of multiple monitors provide the viewers with a large virtual desktop that can be easily manipulated in response to rapidly changing conditions. This helps to enhance situational awareness, which can be a crucial factor in executing safe and efficient transportation management.
At the core of a video wall application is one or more output/input graphic cards plugged into a computer system–the video wall controller. The function of the video wall controller is to capture all the video sources to be viewed, convert them to a common format, then scale and spread them across the video wall matrix.
As mentioned, many video walls are in mission-critical environments, such as military command centers, or nuclear power plant control rooms; computer systems used for video wall controller platforms are not ordinary commercial computers, but highly ruggedized, stable, reliable industrial computers designed with special considerations for video wall applications.
That is to say, successful and outstanding video wall performance relies on the marriage of powerful video card(s) and reliable industrial computer(s). This is the nexus of the partnership between the display solutions provider, Matrox Graphics, and global IPC manufacturer, Advantech.