ISE 2017 marked the point at which Fine Pixel LED display technology migrated from the preserve of dedicated specialists, to a soon-to-be essential part of multi technology display vendor’s portfolio. Here, we take a look at what’s new from the specialists along, with the new offerings from the leading display brands.
Migration of Direct LED displays to commercial indoor applications has seen its adoption by leading LCD and projection brand portfolios. Outside of the Fine Pixel category, the ISE 2017 exhibition halls were well stocked with more-or-less familiar Far Eastern brands, with several appearing the Show for the first time.
Among the more familiar and established brands, SiliconCore has announced the launch of its new LISA (LED In Silicon Array) technology platform. SiliconCore says it is the first LED display creator to successfully implement Chip On Board (COB) manufacturing. LISA is the most disruptive technology in the LED display marketplace for decades, representing a departure from the usual SMD manufacturing process.
Individual Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are directly bonded to the PCBs, in contrast to traditional Surface Mount Diodes (SMDs) on the board, which makes the module mechanically more robust and rigid, increasing its durability. LISA will be the future of SiliconCore’s signature high resolution applications, including command and control, corporate, home theatre, and high end retail applications. LISA creates a new wave in immersive LED displays, with pixel pitches ranging up to 10 mm and 8000 nits.
The LISA innovation is said to open up new applications in OOH and outdoor through its robust design. For example, LISA is described as ideal for sports and other high risk environments public where there is a risk of damaging the pixels. It can also be used for touch applications. without the need to apply a glass overlay for protection.
SiliconCore shows its new LISA technology at ISE 2017.
Eric Penot, COO of SiliconCore explains: “The LISA manufacturing method allows our engineers to work in precise levels of detail by streamlining the manufacturing process and improving the structural integrity of the module, ensuring pixels cannot be damaged during installation and throughout product lifetime. This is the future of LED display creation and will, over time, replace the industry norm of Surface-Mounted-Device (SMD). As an integrated silicon based solution, economies in scale are expected to be reached opening even larger opportunities for high resolution LED displays in public spaces and high quality solutions for corporate, retail and rental clients.”
Rival manufacturer Absen showed its latest rental LED product, the M2.9. Set up in a 4 m x 2.5 m curved wall, the new Absen underlined why it is the most anticipated 2 mm pixel pitch display for the live events industry. With the highest contrast ratio currently on the market, the rich vibrant colours and deep blacks produced a stunning picture quality. Like other products in the Absen portfolio, the new display offers the installer savings on the time taken for installation.
The 500 x 500 panels also have a magnetic connection to ensure precision alignment when installing a video wall. Surprisingly, at just 7.6 Kg, the Absen panels are super lightweight. They offer the production designer the ability to swap between a flat and curved wall (2.9 mm pixel walls can create a concave (-5 degree) or convex (+5 degree)curve).
Absen’s M2.9: takes just 3 seconds to mount and lock each module.
Finer than fine
Also on the Absen booth, the race to the finest pixel pitch available continued. The new Absen HDV series, with its 1.6 mm pixel pitch, was demonstrated. The product was set up in a 2400 x 1350 HD display to demonstrate the image quality, high brightness and vibrant colours it can achieve in board room applications. The LED panel are only 65 mm thick and fully front install and service, meaning no rear access is required throughout the product lifecycle.
A contributing factor here is that the HDV range has an offboard power system, also lowering the power consumption and heat output, said to increase reliability for 24/7 usage. Described as ‘cable-free’ the product is said to meet the meets the needs of the corporate market perfectly, as well as those of command and control or mission critical applications.
Steve Halliday, Business Development Manager for Absen, said: “The show has been great for us this year! We had a great mix of products on show across all display verticals, from corporate and retail to rental and a new outdoor LED section. We wanted to make sure all display verticals were demonstrated, and we think we managed that.
Sub 1 mm
In 2016, distributor and rental specialist PSCo launched Leyard as the company’s third exclusive LED manufacturer. Leyard is said to be the first manufacturer to break the 1 mm pixel pitch barrier. Building on the first DirectLight series, Leyard launched its second generation, the 0.9, 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8 mm pixel pitch ranges.
Drawing on Planar’s expertise in off-board power for the video wall market, DirectLight has a unique offboard power system architecture for lower power consumption and heat output. The full range was cleverly set up on the Leyard stand at ISE, positioning each pixel pitch side-by-side allowing visitors to ,ae comparisons. The built in mounting system means that the product only requires 10 cm of depth.
The new TWA series was developed by Leyard to create the familiarity and versatility of an LCD video wall, with 54-inch panels, but with the improved image quality, uniformity and seamless image of LED. The 1.2 mm pixel pitch panels were used to create a stunning 4K 4.8 m X 2.7 m wall Also on show, the TWS series is a 27”, 16:9 ratio panel that is a quarter of the size of the TWA range. The smaller form factor can achieve full native HD, 4K and 8K resolutions, and offers more design flexibility as it can fit into existing spaces and offer a smooth surface for curved screen applications. The TWS range fills the gap in the sister TWA range, offering a 1.5 mm product which was used to produce a stunning 6 m x 1.69 m wall at ISE.
Marco Bruines, CEO of Leyard Europe, said of the company’s ISE presence “We are proud to showcase our high-quality LED and LCD portfolio of Leyard and Planar products to the European AV community. For Leyard and Planar, 2017 will be a year of expansion in the EMEA region with an increase in sales and marketing focus, together with our customer service organization.”
NEC offers a modular solution with interchangeable cards to enable the integrator to upgrade the resolution of the panel.
The rise of one-stop
Specialist competition aside, what will keep the sales and marketing teams of the dedicated LED suppliers busy is the rise-and-rise of the one-stop display vendors, with products in each sector of the product matrix – projection, LCD and LED. The latest launch from Samsung did not disappoint in this respect, with the massive 5.76 m x 3.24 m LED wall greeting visitors to the company’s hall.
The new IF series is a modular LED video wall 65 mm deep and requiring only 35 mm of ventilation space at the rear, taking the total install depth to 10 cm. The IF series is Samsung’s first front install and service product, with a unique design that has an easy-to-service magnetic LED module and fast-swap power and data electronics, all from the front of the display.
Arguably, the best thing about this product is the industry first, advanced dynamic peaking technology. By applying its local dimming experience expertise in LCD to driving direct lit LED pixels, this innovation enables Samsung to dynamically enhance the peak brightness of video content, while further enhancing black levels and image contrast. In simple terms, images are brighter with deeper blacks and more detail. The IF Series can take their 800 nit calibrated brightness display, and to deliver double this level to 1600 nits peak brightness.
The Samsung 1.5 mm pixel panel was used to create an eye-catching display to welcome visitors as they entered the Samsung hall. The new IF series is also available in 2 mm and 2.5 mm pixel pitches. Samsung also set up their new IS015F 1.5 mm LED, the updated edition of the IL series, in a boardroom application.
NEC was also demonstrating its one-stop capabilities at ISE 2017, with LED innovations including the new NEC LiFT (LED intelligent Front technology) series, available in both fine pitch indoor and outdoor variants, and in a wide range of interchangeable pixel pitches. The argument runs that not all LED installations are designed to be permanent or static in nature. Demand from advertisers or the need to keep the technology state of the art, may necessitate a more dynamic approach.
NEC has designed a range of standard sized modules that enable simple installation and service, with the ability to upgrade the LED module to a higher resolution without having to de-install the LED infrastructure. NEC LiFT is a tool-less, modular solutions in which magnetic pixel cards ensures quick installation and servicing. The laser cut modules ensure perfect alignment and calibration-free viewing out of the box.
With the indoor 16:9 aspect ratio modules screens with HD, full HD and Quad HD resolutions can be efficiently created to provide standard video content to be played back in their highest quality without the need to re-scale.
New one-stop players
Demonstrations of one-stop capabilities by Samsung, NEC, Planar and Christie were both interesting and convenient for systems integrators involved in projects requiring a mix of display technologies to be integrated into a homogenous solution. The one-stop approach has obvious advantages for vendors with the ability to deliver solutions across the board.
One such vendor, new to one-stop arena at ISE 2017 was Vivitek. Familiar to many for its comprehensive projector range, the Delta Electronics subsidiary announced its commitment to developing projection and visual solutions and displays that aid collaboration and boost productivity. At the same time, Vivitek reinforced its ambition to providing solutions for meeting rooms and venues of all sizes, including applications that demand fine pitch LED (currently marketed under the Delta brand, although part of the Vivitek portfolio).
Commenting on the company’s presence at ISE 2017, Vivitek General Manager Holger Graeff, said: “ISE 2017 is a fantastic showcase for our solutions. It also offers visitors an ideal opportunity to see all the AV market has to offer, and to see how our products compare. We are confident that the among all the competitor solutions present, ours will continue to stand apart for their advanced design and engineering, suitability for a variety of venues, excellent feature set and proven durability. All these qualities combine to ensure that Vivitek’s solutions are increasingly at the heart of collaborative working across multiple industries and companies of all sizes.”
The adoption of fine pitch LED will see increasingly close competition between the technology, LCD and laser projection for commercial AV budgets. At the present, the dividing line between the specialists seems to fall around the semi-outdoor space. Largescale outdoor LED installations in malls and stadia are often financed in a different way to corporate, education and hospitality projects, with sales and rentals following a different purchase route.
For indoor applications, there is still a clear role for the specialists but it is obvious that the big display brands are seeking market share as fine pixel pitch LED makes inroads into alternative display technologies. Early participants in the LED market have already found that the technology has particular installation, support and content requirements that are not always easy to meet without effective partnerships.