Considering upgrading your LCD panels?
If you are currently using LCD displays in your larger collaboration spaces or control rooms and are considering upgrading, you might have considered a seamless image option. One relevant alternative could be LED and this article could help you decide on which technology will offer a better experience. You may also wonder just how easy the switch from LCD to LED might be, which we will address later on. Display technology is rapidly evolving and seamless LED video walls are becoming increasingly common across industries and applications (the LED video wall industry is today worth $1.7 billion, based on a number from market research firm FutureSource) and in addition, it is becoming more affordable. Manufacturers such as the likes of Leyard, LG and Unilumin are delivering new and forward-thinking products regularly, and as a consequence, we are witnessing customers upgrading LCD video walls to the newly introduced LED options. In this article, we will discuss the most cost-efficient way of upgrading your LCD-based solution to a seamless canvas where you can model content and data as desired, without taking bezels into consideration. We will also cover the fact that you need to consider the full circle project, from design to installation, to ensure a satisfactory end result and a premium user experience.
Start with asking yourself these 6 questions about your environments and potential upgrade projects:
- What does the room layout look like? (Where is the audience placed in the room and what is the distance from the display and at what angle for example? Is there ambient light?)
- Are there many different content sources in use and will the configuration of content change from time to time? How frequently is this happening?
- Will many people have to engage with the display content simultaneously? Are all those people in the room?
- Does the content require exceptional resolution and/or colors to be interpreted correctly?
- Can I afford to have critical data and information potentially obstructed by bezels?
If your response is yes to any of these questions, this could be the time to upgrade your LCD solution to a seamless LED video wall.
The basic definitions and the main differences between LCD and LED
LCD (liquid crystal display) and LED (light emitting diodes) displays technically both work on liquid crystal technology. They each have two layers of polarized glass through which the liquid crystals both block and pass light. Where LCD displays use fluorescent lights at the back of the screen, LED use light emitting diodes. Classic LCD video walls consist of panels tiled together to create a large canvas, where bezels are visible between individual panels. On the other hand, LED do not have bezels and can create complete seamless video walls. LCD solutions have been around for a long time, and it is a cost-effective option in many ways, while the LED display market share is growing rapidly and offering new options.
The value of a true seamless canvas
Hearing our customers share their experiences, we know that bezels cannot be accepted in some cases. Also, operators are required to work more dynamically to adapt rapidly to new scenarios, demanding interactions and changing content configuration, thus impacting the content to be displayed on a wall. A seamless canvas will be an important asset when you move between scenarios, and is eliminating the risk of impairing the users’ view with bezels. As a matter a fact, it can be the difference between life and death in a crisis management situation. Imagine real-life scenarios such as Command & Control, or Security and surveillance operations centers, where supreme situational awareness is necessary. Decision makers have to trust the information and be sure that there is nothing distorting their visuals or data. For instance, an air traffic agent must be able to see airplane positions on the tarmac without a bezel obstructing the view. Similarly, a network operator will need to visualize all details of complex drawings without visual interruption and analysts interpreting spreadsheets without values ever being hidden.
The additional benefits of LED video walls
In addition to providing a completely seamless and uniform canvas, LED provides sharper and more realistic colors as it works with a color wheel or distinct RGB-colored lights (red, green, blue). Similarly, with LED, true black can be achieved by darkening the lights and blocking more light from passing through the panel. LED also provide better brightness and higher viewing angles than traditional LCD alternatives. Even so, LED video walls are still more expensive than LCD alternatives, though offer a longer lifespan with less burn in issues. Furthermore, LED solutions typically have low maintenance costs and are relatively energy efficient. Beyond that, they have the advantage of being easy to access and service as panels are light. A caveat being that LED is a less desirable option for 24/7 environments than LCDs panels to deliver 24/7 operation over extended periods of time.
Switching from LCD to LED
Now, having reviewed the advantages of LED seamless video walls over LCD, you might want to move forward in your upgrade project. A perfect swap would require your new LED video wall to be the exact same size as your current LCD, so that the mounting structure remains unchanged. However, in most of the cases, upgrade projects often mean larger video wall solutions with changes of brackets and room structure. Independent of the size of the video wall, variations in room temperature, and power sockets numbers, might also impact your project. The right team of experts will be able to advise and prepare for these changes from the start. This is why partnering with experts who have in-depth experience from LCD and LED technologies and upgrade projects is vital. Cyviz takes a unique approach to designing collaboration and meeting spaces. We take responsibility from A to Z. Our 20+ years’ experience in testing, proofing and selecting the components, ultimately sets the scene for the user experience.
For more information on how to choose your display solutions, you can read our ultimate checklist to help you find the right display solution for your needs.