How To Set Up a Digital Signage Video Wall With Fugo

So, you want to make an BIG impact with your digital signage. Well, you can't go bigger than a digital signage video wall, right!?

From retail spaces to glitzy office receptions and executive suites, video walls have become a popular choice for brands and businesses that want their opinions, products, and messages to be seen and heard - loud and clear.

Traditionally, video wall systems have been on the expensive side, pricing out small businesses who would have to purchase expensive commercial grade hardware, software, and hire various middlemen to oversee installation, networking, and maintenance.

But big bucks don't have to be the answer anymore; in this article we'll show you how you can build an affordable video wall.

But first! A note on LCD vs LED: There are two ways you can build a video wall, using LCD screens or LED screens. Choosing between the two is ultimately comes down to a particular use case. But for our money, LCDs are the superior option for video wall configuration, so the remainder of this article will discuss LCD video walls.


We'll spend section 1 detailing some of the hardware & software requirements of video walls. If you're ready to set up your video wall, you can skip down to section 2: Video Wall Setup Guide

Getting Acquainted With Video Walls

What's a video wall?

You've probably noticed that most TV's you see have similar dimensions. That's because manufacturers have standardized TV sizes over the decades. If for some reason you find yourself nostalgic for the retro square TV, you'll have better luck at your local antique market than Best Buy.

Ahh, the good ol' days when you'd have to sit 12 inches from the TV...

If you're looking to install big or non-standard size digital signage, your best bet is to build a video wall configured to your desired dimensions. By connecting multiple LCD screens, you can pretty much build a custom display of any size.

With size & layout answered, the question becomes How do I make these screens work together?

There are two main ways you can display content on a video wall:

  1. You can use a combination of hardware & software to configure playback across all the screens as if they are one giant screen
  2. Each screen can function independently, playing its own content

All this can be wrapped up pretty easily:

  1. Video walls can be a very effective way to make a BIG impact and tell a story
  2. LCD video walls are much cheaper, as the same resolution in LED can be very expensive
  3. You can use video walls to create a custom-sized 'single' screen solution
  4. You can use each screen in your wall independently!

So now that you're convinced that screen walls are a good idea (we hope) - the good news is you don't need a big budget to build one with Fugo.

Why are video walls so expensive?


Hardware

Video walls are cool & trendy - but there's a lot going on behind the screens (forgive the pun) that needs to be considered.

Let's take a simple 2×2 video wall that consists of 4 screens. Each screen needs to be mounted and connected. The installation requires specialist skills, especially for large video walls, as the screens must be properly aligned with each other and   color-calibrated so that the display is uniform and consistent. For example, without color calibration, a blue dress on one screen will have a different shade of blue when compared to the dress on its neighboring screen.

Oops. This is what a non color-calibrated video wall looks like 😬

Furthermore, video walls require screens with thin bezels, otherwise you are going to end up thick black lines running through your wall often disrupting the content. Thin bezel screens are more expensive, fragile, and require special equipment when installing.

Media Players

Now let's talk about the brains behind a video wall.

The more screens you add to your video wall, the more powerful media player you will need. And when we talk about media player power, what we're really talking about is its Graphics card, aka GPU.

Essentially, you can use any computer or media player that allows you to set-up multiple display configurations to power you video wall. But we recommend looking for something with more oomph.

Usually, a PC running on windows is more suitable for video walls because they have very powerful graphics cards, but any computer with support for extended desktop mode or a similar feature is also fine.

Software

Fugo alone is usually sufficient for most video wall requirements, and is very easy to use, cost effective, and accessible. However, there are some use cases that will require more specialized video wall solutions. In those cases, you'll be looking for solutions like these:

Can I use an HDMI splitter for video walls?

Yes! But keep in mind that when using an external DisplayPort splitter, the maximum number of displays you can have is always four.

Video Wall Set-Up Guide


Video Walls Up To 4 Screens

Our favorite entry-level (and 'bang for your buck') video wall media player is the Windows-based Intel's NUC11PAKi5 (launch date: Q1'21). You can purchase that here.

Another popular Windows-based device is the Asus PN 50, available for purchase here.

They both support up to four displays, and roughly cost the same.

We often get asked about the Intel NUC8CCHKR. Since this device has reached its EOL, we do no recommend it anymore.

Rule of thumb - whatever you buy, make sure you check the number of screen support the device comes with in the specifications and make sure your video wall resolution does not go over the supported max resolution. For example: NUC11PAKi5 supports x4 screens and has max resolution of 3840x2160


For the purpose of our guide, we'll be walking you through the set up an Intel NUC.

1. Wire things up

Make sure your devices come with display port support and that you have the correct cables for it.

In order to set up a video wall you will need to use Intel NUC11PAKi5's display ports according to the directions found in this Multiple Display Configuration guide. Look for the section entitled Four displays,  Option 2:

Build a 4-screen digital signage video wall with NUC11PAKi5 display ports and daisy chaining

If you want to have a wall with more than two screens, your screens will have to be daisy chained using their output ports.

2. Set up Intel Graphics Commander Centre

Intel Graphics Commander Centre is a software that allows you to configure your connected screens as a video wall. Make sure you have it installed on your device.

Note: Do not use Graphics Control Panel as it has now been deprecated by Intel and replaced with Graphics Commander Centre.

3. Merge all displays into one desktop


Select the Display tab. Toggle on Merge all displays into one desktop.

Your displays will now be managed as one screen.

Intel Graphics Command Center interface example for enabling the Combined Desktop option
Note:  The Graphics Command Center look and feel may vary according to the version of the software you are running

4. Install Fugo

Once you have set up Intel Graphics Control and connected your screens you are ready to connect to Fugo software.

  1. Install the latest version of the Fugo Windows player app on your PC
  2. Launch the Fugo app and follow the pairing instructions
  3. Don't forget to set the Fugo app to Full Screen if it's not done so automatically

5. Creating content for your video wall in Fugo

One of the advantages of Fugo as a digital signage software is the freedom and flexibility it allows you in creating content, which is made possible by our content design studio (think of it like Canva or Google Slides, but for designing on-screen content.)

Our studio allows you to set the design canvas to the exact resolution and dimensions of your video wall, so that you're designing your display in preview-mode for what it will look like when it's deployed.

Here's how to create your content in Fugo:

1. Open the Design Studio: Click Create in the top left corner and choose Content in the menu.

This will take you to Fugo Design studio.

2. Set your Canvas size:

a. Choose the appropriate aspect ratio from the drop down menu at the top

Fugo Studio: set the canvas size that matches the video wall resolution

b.  Select Custom Resolution where you will be able to manually set the size of the canvas resolution


Note: You have to make sure that the canvas size exactly matches the video wall resolution. For example, if you connect four 1920 x 1080 resolution displays (using Intel NUC11PAKi5) the total combined resolution will be 3840x2160. The canvas size in Fugo Studio must be the same. Make sure you do not go over your player's max resolution limitation (the Intel NUC's limitation is 3840x2160.)


Limitations of Fugo

Fugo only allows building video walls with a symmetrical layout: the screens need to be either side-by-side or fully stacked on top of each other.

3. Add content to the canvas

You can do all sorts of cool stuff using the design studio. You can split up the screen into 4 separate zones and use each screen independently of each other:

Fugo design studio: splits up the screen into 4 separate zones

Or use the canvas to treat all 4 screens as one:

Fugo design studio: treats all 4 screens as one

The fun doesn't stop at images & videos. There's so much you can do inside Fugo Studio:

  • Add multiple slides to each piece of content
  • Create slides using our apps, your own media assets, & any of the design elements in the studio
  • Search and add stock images & videos via our Unsplash & Pexels integrations
  • Add gifs to your content
  • Add stickers to your content
  • Add animations to your content
  • Create flexible, custom zones for your screen
  • Create content carousels within your screen zones
  • Add animations to the objects in your content
  • Try out a customizable content template

The sky really is the limit with Fugo!

4. Publish your content to your video wall

f you’d like to find out how to build and publish playlists in Fugo you can check out our guide here (hint: it’s easy. Like, easy easy.)

Video walls with more than 4 screens

NUC11BTMi9 Beast Canyon

If you require support for more than 4 displays, we recommend purchasing either an Intel Gost or Beast player and adding a GPU  (you'd need to use a combo of the internal and external graphics cards to build a wall of more than 4 screens.) For this we can recommend either the AMD Fire Pro or NVDIA Quadro.

Video walls with up to 24 screens

Another media player option that's popular for video walls of up to 24 screens is the iBase Digital Signage Player.

iBase Player

We recommend getting in touch with iBase who will be able to advise you on procurement according to your hardware needs.

Video walls with more than 24 screens

If your project involves more than 24 connected screens you'll need very powerful graphics cards to support that many displays. The go-to options on the market are currently the NVIDIA and AMD multiple display graphics cards.

Left: NVidia Quadro GPU. Right:AMD FirePro

NVIDIA Mosaic multi-display technology allows you to build video walls with up to 32 displays using  NVIDIA Quadro and  NVS graphics cards. For more details on how to build video walls with NVIDIA Mosaic you can follow this guide.

Additionally, you can go for AMD Multi-Display Eyefinity Technology that allows you to build video walls with AMD FirePro Graphics Cards.  Depending on your video wall size, AMD has a wide range of GPUs you can choose from. More details on how to build digital signage video walls using AMD can be found in this guide.

Get started


If you’re ready to try Fugo out for yourself, you can start your free trial here. That’s 14 days on us, no credit card required!

You can also book a call with our sales team if you’d like someone on our team to show you around the software or discuss your video wall face-to-face.

Or, if you need technical support, you can reach out to support@fugo.ai.

Happy publishing!