How to design an ergonomic video wall

How to design an ergonomic video wall

If you have a CCTV system in your building or office block, then you will certainly need to have a video wall for controllers to operate and view on an hourly basis. This means that you will need to take their comfort into serious consideration.

An ergonomic design is the best solution, as not only will it make the controllers’ jobs easier but it will help them to use the video wall software more effectively. Below is some simple advice on how to design an ergonomic video wall for ideal safety and security in your building.

Consider viewing locations

It is vital that the intended video wall controllers can all easily view the video wall. When you considering vertical and horizontal angles, the following questions should be considered:

  • Where are the primary viewers situated in relation to the video wall?
  • Are there any secondary viewing positions that are not directly engaged with the video wall?
  • Are there any physical barriers that could obstruct the wall for some users?

In large areas, such as control rooms, the viewing locations will vary. You will need to evaluate both vertical and horizontal viewing positions. And if you discover any physical barriers, you may have to expand the video wall with additional displays.

Eye and head tilt are vital

In CCTV control rooms, a video wall controller will often manage tasks using one or more flat-panel displays while also using video wall software to monitor content on the video wall in front of them, positioned beyond their workstation.

The eye and head tilt between the workstation displays and the video wall should be configured to meet the recommended ergonomic standards of CCTV control rooms and should properly consider the eye and head tilt of humans. Your controllers should not make any unnatural movements that could cause them neck strain, as this will be detrimental to their health and will also cause them to miss something on the screens in front of them.

Bigger isn’t always better

You might think it is more effective to have a control room with a large video wall, but the truth of the matter is that bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to the ergonomics of your control room and the health of your staff.

The sight-line of your employees does not always benefit from a bigger display, which means that you should consider a smaller video wall to allow for more effective viewing. The size of the screens is also important, as a smaller screen might be difficult for your staff to see and a large screen could distort the images. Choose a wall that is medium sized and use screens that show clear images when using the video wall software.

Display brightness makes a difference

The images produced by video walls must be sufficiently bright, so they are clearly visible. The light in the room is also important, and many CCTV control room utilise lighting designs that produce the perfect amount of ambient light, as well as windows to bring in natural lighting.

You should allow your video wall controllers to choose their own preferred brightness for their flat-panel displays at their desks, but the main wall should be set to a brightness that everyone agrees upon. Try to have ambient, task and accent lighting in your control room so that your workers’ eyes are not too strained.  

Wall and room appearance

While you might think it is a good idea to paint your control room in bright, vibrant colours, you should leave the video wall neutral. This is better on the eye and will ensure that your employees are able to concentrate on the screens rather than the bright wall in front of them.

The walls should also have matte finishes, as a shiny wall will reflect the glare of the screen, making the other ergonomic elements of your room moot. Ceilings and floors should not be shiny, but these can be more colourful, as part of ergonomics is the atmosphere of a room. You should not have windows facing the screens directly, rather place them in areas that are facing the controllers so that they benefit from the fresh air and sunshine. You can look into tinted glass if windows in the control room are unavoidable.

Plan ahead for ultimate effectiveness

Before you install any monitors or video wall software, you should plan ahead and take the layout of the room into account. You will need to consider the viewing locations, take the eye and head tilt into account and you should opt for a medium to small display rather than a large one. Ergonomics is a vital aspect of any control room, and having happy staff means that you will have a productive and well-run office.

 

Photo by Savannah River Site

Authored by: mjones

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