Selecting a screen to form the focal point of your meeting room takes careful consideration. The size of your meeting room, the functionality of the space, who will be using the display and how and when … all these points and more will influence your purchase decision.
We have compiled an overview of some of the key questions you need to ask yourself and your team in order to assess your requirements and outlined some helpful information and solutions to help you to make your choice from the huge variety of options available on the display screen market.
When specifying a display, we like to take a 3-part approach to determining the right solution. This is Content, Context and Connectivity.
The type of content on display is what matters here so you need to ascertain whether teams are viewing visuals, slideshows, detailed product specifications, spreadsheets, copy or all of the above and more. If the screen will be used for multiple types of content, then cater to the most detailed, for example spreadsheet analysis, but document them all. This is where we consider, how important is resolution? This comes down to the type of information on display and whether or not the screen will be split for shared collaboration between more than one person at once.
How big is the meeting room in question? How far away are the participants in the meeting?
It isn’t practical to dominate a small huddle room with a huge screen, just as it won’t work to expect a full size meeting room for 20 or more people to function around a single 40-inch display. Find the right balance.
There are a lot of questions to answer here. Does your company operate a BYOD policy or will people only be able to connect from a PC in the room? How many people will be connecting at once and will they be using Macs, Windows PCs or mobile Android and iOS devices or all of the above? You need to check that the display can cater to all eventualities so work out what the different scenarios might be before you move forward with a purchase.
Nearly everyone’s first question when researching a new display for a meeting room is ‘do I really need that 90-inch display screen?’ Well, size is relative, obviously, so a 90-inch screen in a room designed to accommodate 25 directors around a huge table isn’t necessarily going to be that big and it is most likely a valid option for the space and viewing distance. But if you’re looking at a three to five-person, small huddle room then 90 inches of screen may be overkill and depending on the exact size of the space, quite possibly unusable.
We’ve explored the issue of screen size in more detail here but there is a basic rule to keep in mind: Depending on the nature of content on display, the greatest distance a viewer should be away from the screen is no more than four, six, or eight times the height of the image:
The Sony FWL-40W705C is a competitively priced solution for huddle rooms. With a 40-inch display screen and Full HD 1080 pixel resolution, this is a great option for viewing and analysing detailed information. The display offers some excellent connectivity options, with WiFi that’s easy to set-up providing the option to link to smartphones and tablets quickly; an important consideration in huddle rooms in particular where agility is the name of the game and there is little to no time for room preparation and setup.
The smaller size and the lack of 4K UHD might be a problem, however, for anyone looking to screenshare in which case it’s worth stepping up a level in size or resolution - depending on the size of the room in use. And of course, in a full size meeting room for 20-plus people, a 40-inch screen just isn’t going to cut it.
The NEC MultiSync X651UHD-2 is quite a step up, but with its 65-inch screen and 4K UHD resolution, it will offer all you need and more for a lot of larger meeting rooms. Size wise, if 65 inches still isn’t enough, you can connect more than one of these screens together to create a video wall display that will be bigger than the 90-inch plus singles screens and capable of maintaining a high resolution display, even if you’re screen sharing.
One idea, if you’re looking to work this out before you buy, is to tape the dimensions of the screen as if on the wall, then sit in the seat furthest away from the imaginary screen to get an idea of the size. How does it look? Smaller than you imagined? Bigger?
As we touched on above, linking multiple screens together is sometimes preferable to investing in one large screen. Firstly, there is a jump in price for the bigger displays due to the relative market volumes and production difficulties. But secondly, even if you take cost out of the equation, you might actually get a better quality picture if you go for multiple smaller screens linked together.
We’ve covered this issue in detail in our guide to screen resolution, but the basic issue with size is that a 90-inch screen displaying Full HD resolution will only display 24 pixels per inch; a 65-inch screen at 4k resolution, meanwhile, will display 67 pixels per inch, offering a 180 per cent increase on the 90-inch screen.
This improvement means a great deal if you’re looking at detailed work on your meeting room display, or if you want to share the screen space between multiple contributors, for example through the Barco ClickShare system.
If your team are screen sharing, especially with detailed data and figures, 4K resolution should be a priority for your meeting room display; substandard resolution can really hamper productivity and the last thing you want is for your new screen to fail to live up to expectations of use.
Sony’s FW-65XD8501 is a strong choice if 4K is on your list. This is a slim screen with excellent picture quality, a 65-inch screen and high brightness levels. Its external design is sleek and professional and at a mid-range budget, it’s an excellent choice for a meeting room that demands top quality visuals.
What are your team actually using the screen for? Is this about passive viewing of video or large visuals? Detailed collaborative work and analysis of data and product specifications? Or perhaps they’re looking at creative development and shared ideas?
If you’re catering for creativity and ideas development, you might want to consider a touchscreen display. Teams are often highly motivated when it comes to dealing with fast paced, demanding tasks such as processing client feedback or working with imaginative briefs in real-time collaboration. If your meeting room technology can’t keep up with people’s enthusiasm, you have a problem. But supply the tools to not only facilitate but accelerate these quickly evolving projects, and you’ll be on to a real boost in productivity.
Touchscreens are a great option here, enabling multiple team members to jump in and contribute with intuitive functionality. Available in sizes ranging from 55 inches to 84 inches, the Cleverproducts Clevertouch Plus 55 LUX is a popular option. With an integrated Android operating system and front-mounted USB connectivity for ease of use with your team’s personal devices, this touchscreen is as easy to use as a tablet. With its Android OS and focus, however, it’s not a good choice for Apple fans looking to connect and share work and information from their personal iPhones or iPads.
To summarise, there is no single ‘best’ meeting room display screen; essentially, if you want to choose the right display for your meeting room, you need to ask yourself and your teams the right questions. Identify the right requirements, size, quality of image and connectivity options that you need, and you’ll be looking at products that match up to your unique set of circumstances.