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Multiple Monitors for display

By chris.hazeldine ·
Hello,
My boss has come to me with an interesting question. He wants to set up a display outside a church. He has been looking at the big screens that are beside the highway and outside sports arenas, you know, the giant LCD (i think they're liquid crystal) screens that flash ads and what not? Anyway, these are pretty pricey and he was wondering if there is a way to rig a PC and bunch of monitors together to acheive this effect. I know the PC will have to have multiple interfaces with lots of resources, but we can figure the logistics out later, I only need some ideas. Thanks Everybody!!

Chris

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There's a reason that things cost money....

by robo_dev In reply to Multiple Monitors for dis ...

By the time you weatherproofed everything, wrote the custom software and fabricated the custom interfaces, then it would cost as much as a commercial solution, and probably not be as reliable. And you probably could not get a permit to put it up, either.

How large, exactly, is he thinking about?

He's not in charge of your travel arrangements, is he?

"Why fly one of those fancy Boeing jets? We could get some aluminum sheets from home depot, a couple of turbofan engines off ebay, and some surplus avionics gear off craigslist...."

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Pareto Principle

by mark.runge In reply to Multiple Monitors for dis ...

I would suggest the Pareto principle should apply. The one monitor will be easier as suggested and simpler to implement.

Also, if they are worried about cost, why go for high resolution monitors? Depending on application, it would probably be better to go with an LED sign for simple messages.

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I know, I know

by chris.hazeldine In reply to Pareto Principle

Yeah, I have no idea where this guy was going with this, but I was told to do a little research. I have seen an in-store display that utilized four or six seperate large screens (about 36 inches each) with little or no border (so it's practically seamless). Just wondering what would be involved in something like that. Also, I mentioned the weather proofing, I think that will be a major problem. The reason for High res is that he wants to display pictures...I think it's a little crazy if you ask me. Do you know how the system I mentioned above works??? Is it a box that takes an image and breaks it up among monitors, or is it done on a video interface card. Sorry for the newbie questions, this is the first time I have encountered anything like this.

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Firstly dump the idea of Hi Res screens

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I know, I know

The original Displays like this used conventional CRT Displays mounted in a frame to the size required.

As they where not viewed up close the borders of the CRT Screens where not an issue. Now however a Multi Screen Display is a specialized option and reasonably expensive owing tot he hardware involved. It is no longer just old stuff patched together and used to do something that was not previously available. Displaying pictures across several different Screens should all be Low Res stuff with the viewer standing back to view the display. If JPEG images are used they pixilate and show a jagged edge around the outside of the object and between different colors so they can not be viewed up close. You need to stand back to view them so that they actually look part way decent in the display area.

Today the Multi Screen Displays use a box with as many outputs as you want to make the Display Grid but this is effectively a computer thats only job to to cut up the display and send it to the right Monitor, Display whatever. The Outputs of this are arranged in the same Grid as the Monitors are arranged so it's relatively easy to setup, the Top Right output goes to the top right monitor and so on till the grid is fully populated.

What is far more important is to use Low Power Devices in an application like this a Power usage or consumption is something that needs to be considered. y the time you mount everything in a weather proof enclosure you'll need some way to actually move it around and run power to it as well.

Easy answer is buy what is wanted it's cheaper, more portable and Power Efficient than anything you could actually make up as well as looking better.

About the only real advantage of building your own is that when it gets taken away by whoever is responsible for the adds and other visual pollution on the side of the roads if you supply your own bits and pieces the cost isn't as great. But if the Council or whoever removes it needs special equipment to drag it away they will charge the place where it was for the removal so whatever you may initially save in lost hardware it will be more than exceeded by the costs of having the Council remove it.

Maybe a better option is to mount a wide screen TV on a movable unit with a Media Center XP Computer locked away inside the enclosure and wheel it to where it is wanted for a temporary Display Unit. It would of course be necessary to move it inside in bad weather or at night but this would be the cheapest option available.

Col

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