• Eye Dialogue

Which is best? Projection, TV's, or Video Walls?

Updated: Feb 16, 2018

By: Matt Sakatos

Video displays have become a common element to include with any event, production, or venue design. Whether it be a powerpoint, video, or just motion graphics…video allows you to do so much more than just your typical light show or printed displays would.


So….what do I choose? If I want video what should I use to show it? A projector? TV? Video wall?!?!


When selecting a video display system their are a couple things you should consider when making your choice.


BUDGET

I know we all would love to have Times Square sized video displays, but unfortunatley most of us don’t have millions of dollars to spend. With this in mind, the first thing you should consider is your budget for your display.


Different displays have different price points and secondary cost to consider.


Projectors used to be the lowest price option, but televisions have become so affordable nowadays that it really depends on the situation/size of display requirements. Projectors range in price from $200 up to $100,000 depending on the size, lumen output (how bright it is), and functionality. Also with a projector you may have to by a screen and mounting hardware for your projector. For smaller events, a good 3K-5K projector (3K being the lumen amount not price) may run you around $1600 to buy or $250 to rent. This is a pretty good deal for a device that can potentially make a very big display if you position it correctly.

I would consider TVs to be right between your projectors and your video walls. TVs have become way more affordable in recent days starting around the $200 range and working way up into the 10K range. Though TVs are smaller in size compared to the potential size of projection, they are typically brighter and easier to set up!


Video walls are great due to their options are pretty limitless...but your price point is in the 5K+ range JUST TO RENT... But if you have the money... WORTH IT!


SIZE OF THE SPACE


Venue size is crucial when choosing the best choice. TVs are the most adaptable with their smaller size, minimal power requirement, and bright screens.


Projectors struggle in this department due to the fact the throw (distance between projector and screen) restricts your options for projector placement. Some spaces are too narrow or small to fit all the required projection pieces without eating up all the floor space. 


Video walls are pretty modular like TVs, but they are most used in bigger spaces. One big reason for this is the cost. With such a high sticker price...it makes sense to only use these for big budget shows.


Those are two of the biggest variables when considering which device best suits your needs, but their is many more things to consider...


Heres a couple quick thoughts to consider as well...


Content

  • What are you using this device to display? Visuals? Powerpoint? Depending on the content you may need something bigger with a high definition display to make sure everything can be read on screen.

Viewing Distance/Time of Day

  • Is this display going to be in an area that is bright? Will it be close to the viewer or far away? Placement in the room and how bright the room is naturally will also dictate which display to use. For brighter rooms you may want to go with a TV instead of a projector due to the brighter picture.

​Crowd Size

  • How many people will be in the space and need to see the screen? (Large crowds = Large Screens or Multiple Screens!)

Type of event/venue

  • Depending on what type of event or venue you are using your display for, some fixtures may not be appropriate. Though a projector could be used to display visuals at a nightclub...a video wall would probably be more visually appropriate in that space. 

Connections/Network/Power

  • How your video system is configured and your power limitations in a space can be a HUGE factor when deciding which display to choose. Video walls and large projectors can eat up a lot of power... so if you are in a space with limited power this can be an issue. When considering how you are sending signal to your displays you might be limited on what type of cabling your using or what operating system you are using. (When this gets really tricky is if you are sending to more than one type of device at the same time. Then you must consider what type of signal/frame rate will play nice with all your devices at the same time.)

Hopefully this has helped you grasp a better understanding of display selection. The basic idea is that their isn't one device that is better than all the rest...but maybe their is a device that is the best for you!

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