Ask the Board – May 18, 2020 | RALPH SCHORBACH


“What is your opinion on using traditional video wall panels vs. tight-pitch LEDs?”

There has always been a discussion revolving around the when, where and how-to on video walls and LED solutions, and this month’s topic is exactly about that…traditional thin-bezel video wall vs. tight-dot- pitch LEDs. Over the years, LED modules have been considered the preferred outdoor method of display due to the durability against the elements, brightness and customizable sizes. TV-type displays are typically in-door with higher resolution, lower cost and access to larger single display models than LED wall modules. Those times are changing with affordable sub-4-millimeter pitch LED walls and 4K display panels with bezel thickness around 0.1 to 0.16 inches.  Screens have higher resolution, but if you are standing more than 15 feet away, the decision to stick with one technology or the other becomes a blur. 

Now you have to take into consideration the need for brightness, “wall-flexing,” sizing of the wall, weight, maintenance, support, reliability and finally, pricing.  The technology is much less critical, but the remaining facts are that a video wall is not just a video wall. You are now dipping your toes into the physical construction costs. Is the need better to have access to the front (or back or both) of the display’s devices, and contemplating power requirements and sources. Generally speaking, the sub 9-foot by 16-foot display setup takes a lot less consideration than hundreds of feet of video wall. What size are you dreaming of?  If you can get away with a display source under 100 inches diagonal in a protected environment with in a standard 16×9 format, then a single 4K screen will do the job to meet the best price point and solution, but if you are outside or need a custom sign size to match a physical marquee, LED modules are much more customizable to match those needs.  Even today, there is no right or wrong answer. You have to work through the pros and cons for ALL factors and decide what is best for your solution. 

Lastly, think long term. That first display will be a success so another system will be requested. Consider similar hardware and control systems to manage the back-end of the system as your environment continues to grow. Keep a similar look and feel across the display boards, even as subtle as it seems, because consistency is what helps build your brand even if they are a LED or wall display.

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IT Manager

End User Council

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