Video wall with web-based wall management software put into operation at “Junges Angebot von ARD und ZDF”
Are you between 14 and 29 years old? Then you are part of the target audience of the newly created online media presence of Germany’s public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, which will be officially launched in October 2016. In the meantime, the project is known under the working title “Junges Angebot von ARD und ZDF“ (translated ‘Offer for youngsters from ARD and ZDF’). There is not much certain yet, but it’s clear that as a start-up project in the public broadcast market, the new channel will break with many conventions of the two parent broadcast companies. An open space office concept where employees can freely choose their workplace, equipped with a video wall for evaluating the programmes and for presentations during meetings, well fits the “revolutionary” concept of the new channel. The “Young Offer” aims to deal intensively with its users. One part of this plan is a sophisticated analysis tool that provides a permanent overview of the offered content and the users’ behaviour. These data will also be presented on the video wall in the newly established office in Mainz. The video wall uses a 4×4 matrix of eyevis 46-inch super narrow bezel displays. Apart from other unique features, it is the first installation that uses eyevis’ open source video wall management software eyeUNIFY to manage the content.
eyeUNIFY Offers Numerous Advantages
eyevis’ eyeUNIFY software was first presented in February 2016, just when the “Young Offer”-project began to take on shape. The web-based architecture of the software ideally fit into the plans of the new online offer. “The SWR, the regional public broadcasting corporation in charge of the launch of the “Young Offer”, immediately opted for eyeUNIFY instead of our standard wall management solution eyeCON”, explains André Dewitz, the responsible Project Manager at eyevis. “Their plan was to run a web-based operation of the video wall which can be realized a lot easier with eyeUNIFY than with other solutions.” With eyeUNIFY it is now possible to control the video wall and the connected sources through wire-less mobile devices.
Furthermore, eyeUNIFY provides an open and modular structure, platform-independent operation and support of various operating systems. All of these were important factors during the project, just like the open-source concept the software is based on.
Perfectly Tailored to the Customer’s Needs
As an open-source project, eyeUNIFY is freely available to the user. Customers can adapt the software by themselves to their individual requirements, or they can ask for programming services from eyevis or third-party software agencies. For the “Young Offer”-project, SWR ordered customisation services from eyevis to implement new functionalities to the software. Part of this was an integration of a special audio control feature that enables the choice between different audio signals, coming for example from YouTube videos, to play them on the connected speakers and to adjust the volume accordingly. The image content displayed on the video wall is often loaded from the internet. Apart from YouTube also other (social) media channels, like Facebook and Instagram, are frequently used resources of the channel’s editors.
Video Wall Control with Raspberry Pi
The video wall comprises 16 super narrow bezel Full-HD LCD screens of the new EYE-LCD-4600-XSN-FX type from eyevis. A netPIX controller generates an overall desktop surface on the modules and provides a signal in native resolution to each screen. Hence, the editorial team can make use of a huge screen with an ultra-high definition where they can freely place and scale a diversity of program windows. The netPIX controller provides another 20 input connectors for external signal sources. The “Young Offer” uses sixteen of these inputs to connect Raspberry Pi computers that provide a specifically developed dashboard to the staff for monitoring the broadcasted programmes.
The inputs can further be used to connect external presentation systems for meetings or video conferences, as well as an Xbox or PlayStation during breaks. The eyeUNIFY-controlled video wall was already put into operation in May 2016. Since then it has proven its reliability and user-friendliness in the quite uncommon editorial office. “We are going to have the staff trained on the system, but the customer decided to explore the functionalities in a more playful way first”, notes Dewitz. With the open source software eyeUNIFY, this exploration is not a problem, especially not for the computer-savvy crew of “Young Offer”. So already the first installation of the new wall management software gives a perfect example of its non-conform flexibility and for an extraordinary and – this needs to be proved in future – successful online media offer.
For more information about eyeUNIFY please visit