This article will instruct you on how to set up a 2 or 3 display video wall with ScreenCloud by using the help of Windows powered Intel NUC Mini PCs.
We’ll then continue further with our recommendations for devices you can use for Video Wall setups of 2, to 4, and up to 24 screens or more.
Hardware in video: Intel NUC8CCHKR
Table of Contents:
Section I: Introduction
Now let's first answer the question of why you might want to set up your digital signage in a video wall configuration. And these are the two main reasons;
First, perhaps you just want a bigger screen real estate. Sometimes one display is just not big enough and we can understand that. This might be to garner more attention, to allow a bigger audience to interact with the screen, or to allow more room for content displays such as text, presentations or diagrams.
Secondly, you might want to show more than one instance of an app on different displays powered by the same media player. Even though multiple screens make up the display, content can still be used either separately across each monitor, allowing you create different layouts and constantly diversify your content.
1. Compatibility and limitations
Before we continue, we’d like to first explain ScreenCloud's compatibility with multiple displays;
1.1. Currently, ScreenCloud's multiple display functionalities are only available on Windows-based media players that support multiple display outputs in collage mode, or in other words, extended desktop mode. The displays also must be in symmetrical layouts, meaning you can only use your screens properly if they are either all side by side or fully stacked on top of each other. For example, with a setup of 3 screens, unfortunately, you will not be able to have a pyramid-like setup with 2 displays on the top and 1 on the bottom, as ScreenCloud will not be able to make that custom layout of available space usable. However, what you can do is place all the 3 displays side by side.
1.2. Another factor to consider is that the available space for content, changes based on the player being used, for example if you connect two 1920 x 1080 resolution displays side by side with a device that supports dual displays, you'll get an available space with a resolution of 3840 x 1080 for that combined screen in your ScreenCloud account.
1.3. Another key thing here, to understand, is that ScreenCloud only supports symmetrical layouts. What this means is that you can only use your screens properly if they are either all side by side or stacked on top of each other. For example, with a setup of 5 screens, you will not be able to have 3 displays on top and 2 on the bottom, as ScreenCloud wouldn't be able to make that custom layout of available space usable.
2. Device recommendation for this setup guide
Now depending on what type of hardware you use, you should be able to connect to as many displays as your specific device allows, provided that it meets the requirements above. For this guide, we've focused on the basics of getting started on setting up your first video wall with an Intel NUC8CCHKR for the two display video setup (above), and an Intel NUC8v5PN for the 3 display setup (below). We don't recommend purchasing the Intel NUC8v5PN, as there are newer models out which are better, but we would still recommend the Intel NUC8CCHKR, as we've found this to be the best options for the described setups, both in terms of price point and digital signage capability. Other Windows-based media players, equipped with at least an Intel Celeron, two video outputs, and that can support Extended Desktop mode or have similar functionality, should also work just fine for the instructions we provide here.
For our hardware suggestions for video walls of more than 3 screens or that are not from Intel, which we list in Section III, we would recommend that you procure video wall setup guides for these computers from the manufacturer's support and guide documentation.
Section II: How to set up ScreenCloud for a 3 screen video wall
1. Setting up your Intel Graphics Control Panel
2.1.1. To begin setting up your video wall, the first thing you should do is find out which display ports you have available on your Intel computer, and make sure that you have the correct wires for this setup. Your best resources for instructions would be to look over the device manufacturers' page.
For our example, where we've chosen an Intel NUC8v5PN, we navigated to Intel's page Multiple Display Configuration Options for Intel® NUC Kits NUC8v7PN, NUC8v5PN, and NUC8i3PN and we discovered that a Three Display setup was possible for our mini-computer. As pictured below, one of the HDMI ports could be used for a single screen using a standard HDMI cable, and then 2 screens could be connected through the single USB-C port, where a USB C to DisplayPort cable is used to connect to the first of the double screens, and then a standard DisplayPort cable to connect to the 2 screens.
Image source: Intel.com
2.1.2. Next, if you do not already have the Intel Graphics Control Panel, click here on Intels How to Install the Intel® Graphics Control Panel guide to begin downloading the Intel Graphics Control Panel. Your graphics control panel will vary according to your device.
2.1.3. After you have completed the graphics software installation, right-click any empty space on your desktop to open a small menu, and select the "Intel Graphics Settings".
2.1.4. In the Multiple Displays Setting, your displays should be automatically recognized. If not select "Detect".
2.1.5. Next, in the "Select Displays" section, select the "Collage" option and select "enabled". Ensure that your displays are detecting and in the correct order. Next select "apply" and confirm the settings so that both displays will act as one continuous display.
2. Installing the ScreenCloud player on your video wall
After you have finished downloading the Intel Graphics Control panel and setting the appropriate configurations, the next step is to download the latest version of the ScreenCloud app.
2.2.1. Now that your single desktop screen has been spread across your group of video wall monitors, go to our ScreenCloud Software page and download the latest version of the Windows app.
2.2.2. Once you have finished downloading the ScreenCloud player app, your screen should look like this:
2.2.3. If the Player opens in windowed mode, please right-click on the app and select "Toggle Fullscreen" to make the application cover every pixel of your video wall screen.
You should then have a window that looks like the image below. Make sure to enable the "Launch on startup" and "Always fullscreen" options. Don’t worry about the sizing of the pairing code in the image, as your content will adjust to your screen.
3. Setting up the screen in your Studio account
2.3.1. Once you have used the pairing code to add the screen to your account, you should get a view of a screen preview that has the exact ratio of your video wall. Here, with the screen specifications on the right, we can see that the dimensions are 5760x1080 px.
2.3.2 You could go ahead and set a single app or piece of media on your video wall screen, but in case you are planning to add more than just a single piece of content, and wish to take advantage of Zone Layouts, we recommend that you set up a "Channel" with the same dimensions as the screen as well.
You can do this by selecting the ⚙ icon of your Channel to change the Channel’s dimensions. Select "Custom Size", and input the dimensions of your video wall and click "Confirm". For help with setting up custom Zone Layouts in your Channel, please refer to ScreenCloud CSS & Zone Layout Guide.
2.3.3 When everything is ready, set your Channel on your screen, and let that massive screen collage beautifully display your content!
Section III: Video wall device recommendations
1. Video wall of 2 to 6 screens
3.1.1 For a video wall setup of 2 to 6 displays, we recommend Intel NUCs, as they are easily purchasable and Intel supplies good video wall set up documentation for them. You can see Intel's list of NUCs that support multiple displays here. For 2 displays, just as in the video at the beginning of this guide, we recommend an Intel NUC8CCHKR. For 6 displays, Intel recommends the Intel NUC8i7HNKQC, which we also recommend. You can get it from our partner Simply NUC here.
3.1.2 Following are 3 steps to get an Intel NUC powering 2 to 6 displays to work properly with ScreenCloud. This is the method we used to set up the 3 screen video wall in the above instructions.
- Check here and make sure the Intel NUC you want to use supports your desired number of displays.
- Install the Intel Graphics Control Panel app here, as you will need to use this to configure your multiple displays.
- Once you have connected your displays they will show in the Intel Graphic Control Panel app and you will be able to use the controls in the Display > Multiple Displays section to arrange them and also set your desktop to Extended Desktop so that the ScreenCloud Player app extends across all the displays, filling the available space.
3.1.3 For information on how to acquire an Intel NUC mini-computer, please see How to Buy Intel Media Players for Digital Signage.
2. Video wall of 4 to 24 screens
Image: iBASE SI-60E
3.2.1 For something more industrial, and for support for 4 to 24 displays, we recommend an iBase PC, or iBase Digital Signage Player, which you can find here. With iBase, we recommend getting support from their sales and support teams more directly. For help with purchasing an iBase PC, please see How to Buy an iBase Digital Signage Player.
3. Video wall for a custom amount of screens
Image: AMD FirePro™ W600 (left) and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 (right)
3.3.1 For a video wall of even more displays than 24, or those who wish to have a more customized setup, we would recommend a custom-built Windows PC with AMD or Nvidia multiple display graphics cards.
3.3.2 From AMD there is their Multi-Display Eyefinity Technology with their AMD FirePro™ Graphics Cards. The AMD FirePro™ W600, for example, contains 6 display ports, which can combine with a clone of itself to support 12 or more displays. If you build a custom Windows PC setup with AMD graphics cards, you'll need to look over and find help from Setting Up and Configuring Multiple Displays to Run in AMD Eyefinity Mode to set up your video wall. There is quite a range of FirePro cards starting at around 200 dollars, and we here at ScreenCloud have tested a 6 (3x2) video wall setup using the W4100 card.
3.3.3 NVIDIA's multi-display technology NVIDIA Mosaic™ gives you the ability to easily span your content across up to 16 high-resolution displays from a single system with the help of NVIDIA Quadro (which include NVIDIA Quadro Sync) and NVIDIA NVS™ graphics cards. You'll find 8 display outputs on, for example, the NVS 810, and 4 display outputs on the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000, where, if paired with identical graphics cards, can create a video wall of up up to 32 screens. Setup help can be found through the NVIDIA Mosaic Technology User's Guide.
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If you have any additional questions on how to set up a video wall, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.