August 12, 2019 | Katie Rogina
Today’s potential and current college students – and their parents, alumni and donors – have high expectations of their colleges and universities. Students want the latest and greatest in education, accommodations, extracurricular activities, food, and more. Alumni and donors want to know that their college of choice offers the best education possible.
Many of these must-haves entail technology, particularly technologies that support student learning, while also keeping students informed and connected with classmates, professors, campus activities, and entertainment.
Video walls in your buildings can accomplish all of these must-haves.
People Want Highly Personalized Communication and Technological Experiences -- Adding a Wow Factor Never Hurts!
While we all love technology in and of itself, we also want it to be personalized as much as possible. The marketing research company Epsilon in 2018 found that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase something when a brand/company offers a personalized experience.
This personal experience includes technology and our expectations. Your college and university can take advantage of this expectation as soon as any prospective student, current student, alumni, vendor, potential or current donor walks into a building’s lobby by incorporating the following uses for a video wall:
- A searchable building, faculty and administration directory with an interactive campus map.
- Information about events happening in the building and on campus.
- Live-stream athletic events.
- A searchable database of available degrees and majors/minors.
- Information on upcoming alumni events off and on-campus.
- Donor and alumni walls with photos and biographies.
- Showcase particular majors and student interviews.
- Provide a high-resolution platform for students and faculty to present projects and lectures.
- And more.
Never Underestimate the Power of the Wow Factor
Video walls are incredibly eye-catching. They immediately focus a visitor’s attention, practically compelling him or her to approach it. Do not be surprised to see a first-time visitor to your campus stop in front of the video wall with a look of, “wow!”
These screen walls involve multiple display technologies, including – but not limited to – LED panels, curved screens, televisions, and more. They can always offer something different to engage a visitor. Screens can be made interactive so that visitors can search for information and find the information they specifically seek.
Video Walls Instantly Show that Your Institution Offers the Best in Technology
As you well know, competition for students and donations is fierce today. With many smaller liberal arts colleges expected to close in the next few years, we know that practically all colleges are concerned about making their freshman class enrollment yield, retaining students and encouraging alumni and other benefactors to donate.
Your institution needs to show prospective students, alumni and donors that you provide an exceptional experience. Providing them with a high-tech, high-touch experience with a video wall, signals that your college or university is one that goes above the “just ok,” or “the usual” -- And it does so instantly.
A Success Story Proving the Power of Video Walls
In partnership with Samsung, Spinitar worked with the University of Southern California, and their design partner, MCH to create a highly interactive and engaging student hub with advanced audiovisual solutions in Fertitta Hall at the USC Marshall School of Business.
We wrote a case study about our work and solutions for USC. We hope you will read it for more information on how video walls can be an important part of your institution’s technological offerings and why you should seriously consider placing them in your operations and procurement budget.
Technologies Involved in Video Walls
When it comes time to choose what type of technology you’ll use for your video wall, we’ll be upfront: we recommend using LED tiles because you can make them any size and shape you want. They offer a number of additional advantages in regards to their visual performance, not the least of which is their incredibly sharp resolution due to their high pixel density.
Considerations When Configuring Your Video Wall
The best and most striking video walls, in our opinion, are multiple screen systems because you can, for example, program two or more screens to display the same image (they can also work individually). Multi-screen walls could use a practically unlimited number of screens and are terrific for use in lobbies or atriums or as presentation tools in classrooms, as well as conference and seminar rooms.
We also highly recommend touch-screen capabilities, especially so if you want to provide a personalized experience for users and visitors. Touch screen displays also let you arrange media in real-time.
Finally, if you go with a tiled screen system, you can program it so that just one screen shows part of a photo or graphic, followed by another screen showing more of the photo/graphic, and so on, “tiling” through the screens until the media display is complete. Tiled screens and their jaw-dropping visuals are great for a main lobby such as in admissions, the president’s office suite, or a stadium.
A Video Wall’s Processing System Works “Behind the Screens”
You basically have three options to power your video wall.
1. Proprietary hardware provided by your video wall supplier.
This often is the most common video wall processor approach. A drawback to this is that you may be limited in options. This option’s major benefit is that your wall designer/provider pre-configures and pretests its hardware for your specific needs.
2. A PC chassis with video cards.
This processor option entails taking a PC chassis and inserting video cards which then output content directly to your display screens. Basically, you are turning a PC into a video wall processor, which is this option’s biggest benefit.
The largest drawback to this: your system integrators must match your PC’s motherboard to the number of video cards required. You also have to add on software to process your content.
3.Network-based video wall processor
This option uses a standard PC, software and network. It also offers more flexibility than the other two options and also can grow and change with your needs.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of this option? Even a standard PC can employ up to 60 screens and can work with a large amount of source content. Therefore this option can be as scalable as you require. It also lets you take advantage of new features as well as functionality quickly when they become available.
Your prospects (of all types) want personalization and they love using technology. Video walls are a terrific way to attract their attention while providing them an individual experience, one they will look upon positively. Once set up, a video wall effortlessly – with no additional cost – engages with your audience, helping them look upon and remember your college or university favorably.