One of my favorite things to design has always been video walls. I love the flexibility they offer. I’ve “worked” on a variety of projects: A basic 2×2 with a single input source, a multi-sized display wall that was shaped to mimic the LA skyline, to a 90+ unit monstrosity with hundreds of input sources. (Notice that “worked” is in quotes) Working for a distributor, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with various integrators, but have rarely had the opportunity to get my hands dirty. Coming from a background in construction, I always loved the feeling of building something and felt a bit jealous of the installers who got to see the end result first-hand. Sure, living vicariously through shared images is marginally enjoyable, but it’s tough to fully appreciate the work or satisfaction that comes from creating something on your own.
Recently that changed. During Almo’s booth setup at Infocomm, I was finally able to get a little more of the installation experience, and I was in for a rude awakening. The design was put together by Brian Rhatigan, another BDM with Almo, but it was up to me to bring it to life. I was actually excited. In the past, I’d helped on a few basic walls for trade shows, but they’ve always been relatively straight forward, with few or no surprises. Not this one. This one was in the shape of a pinwheel, and I really had no idea where to start. We had sketched out a basic design, with a few measurements based on the mount we were using (Peerless DS-VWM770). The measurements were based on a spec sheet, since the mount was recently released, and I had never even seen it before. I was still excited….but now with a hint of trepidation. I didn’t think it would be too big of a problem with all the adjustment knobs, etc. that come on the mount. I figured I’d knock it out in a couple of hours, tops. WRONG! Even with all of the adjustability, the entire project took the better part of a day to complete…for 4 measly displays.
It goes to show that no matter how good products are (this mount was awesome for this project), there is no replacement for experience. The good thing is, I came away with a better appreciation of what an installer can go through…and more than ready to get back behind my desk where I belong.