Direct LED modular solutions

Over the last 12 months, direct fine pitch LED displays have come to prominence in a wide range of AV applications. AV News looks at the latest innovations with Stuart Holmes.

What is the state-of-the-art in terms of pixel pitch - both in terms of development models and commercially available models?

When LED first entered the market there was a real excitement every time a new product was launched with a smaller pixel pitch than the last. Now that the market has developed, for us the most exciting introductions into LED technologies have been manufacturers bringing to market pioneering features, whilst keeping the quality display performance consistent. These new features include reductions in weight, low power and front serviceability. We ensure that with our multi-vendor strategy we can provide all of these features from within our portfolio.

The pace at which new brands are coming to market seems to have slowed – is the market stabilising?

Is there now less risk associated with buying decisions? The LED market has been consolidating and maturing for some time, due to a number of acquisitions and the need for increased volume. There are now five public companies producing LED out of China, with two clearly leading the way. The focus has shifted to not just bringing the newest product to market first, but bringing the best product to market. A great performing product builds confidence in the brand, so the industry is now familiar with the best manufacturers available. Whilst the risk is reduced now that there are established manufacturers, a risk we do still see is how the product is going to be maintained and serviced after purchase for the following 3-5 years.

What is the rate of change in pricing for indoor models in relation to other flat screen display technologies?

I think that the pricing of indoor LED is levelling off following a period of a steady decline.

Is there an optimum pixel pitch for indoor applications or is it the case ‘the smaller the better’?

It’s not always the case of the smaller the better; it all depends on the application the LED is being used in, the viewing distance, resolution required and content being showcased. With a finer pixel pitch you can end up over specifying, and potentially paying for something you won’t be using. The main decision should be based on how the product can perform visually in the final application.

What are the other factors to consider when choosing a supplier and a solution? For example, available mounting solutions, installation times etc?

Initial considerations are going to be around the application; whether you have rear access, if not it needs to be front installation; does it need to have low power performance; how is it going to be installed and handled; and is there a servicing and maintenance after-care package post-install? A price performance conversation should be had to make sure you get the performance you are looking for within the right budget.

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