Bruce Neff, LED3 President, along with our Lead LED tech, Brian Barry, went to network and make new connections with manufacturers at InfoComm this June. Many manufacturers had impressive displays and products in their booths that had the newest and most innovative technology to display at the show.
Bruce noticed that, “Three manufacturers showed panels in a new size, 496mm rather than the traditional 500mm panel that has long dominated our industry. Why 496? This permits a panel to fit exactly into an existing framing system that supports the panel configuration in every way. There were resolutions available from 2.5mm to 4.4 and more, for both indoor and outdoor applications. The framing system for this product can hold fabric, hard surfaces, light boxes and other alternatives to achieve many creative end results. The tool-free and quick set-up will be a driving force for adoption. There was also progress in improved curvability for displays. A panel often has the ability to curve in a faceted mode. These can be in the range of 5 to 15 degrees with each unit. Some panels even have modules that can allow the panel to bend into a smooth curve in a small, tight circle.
A removable control box is a great feature when thinking about the purchase of a LED display. It typically holds the receiving card, hub board and power supply. This allows fast swap in the field, as well as adding better front service capability. This makes it a lot easier on the technician. Sometimes, boxes that only hold the power supply, the receiving card or hub must be individually removed. For fixed displays, there have been ongoing improvements for mounting and configuration. Panels with new dimensions of 25x100cm with a shallow depth help installation options as well. A critical issue is Z axis adjustment to maintain an exact flatness for the entire wall – essential for all sizes of panels.”
Brian was pleased to see the more intricate models. “Various manufacturers are introducing a more sophisticated COB (Chip On Board) LED as opposed to a standard SMD (Surface Mount Diode) LED. This allows for a more protected LED panel as we get higher in resolution for rental LED panel applications. A few manufacturers like Aoto, released a 1.5mm COB rental LED panel. COB is a technology in which LED chips are directly packaged on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) to give a very smooth surface. COB LEDs are packed densely in each module to form a surface of light sources and hence a more uniform image without glare. Modules can be tiled together snugly to form a seamless image.”
InfoComm is an overall unique experience. Whether starting out on your audiovisual journey or a longtime integrator in the industry, it will give you the updated info that you need to know. “InfoComm gives you the opportunity to speak one on one with manufacturers in their booth to discuss all the latest products and trends. Also beyond the exhibit floor, there are many opportunities to take training classes, and hear various speakers related to the industry.”
At all trade shows, companies will do their best to make an eye catching feature to draw any future prospects into their booths and to acquire a little extra attention.
Brian noticed that, “Sony had a COB LED wall from their product line known as Crystal. The LED display was 8k pixels wide by 4k pixels tall. It was probably the most impressive thing I saw. According to their engineer in the booth, it took 4 and a half days to build, and would cost nearly $5 million for that particular display.”
It is also very important to stay in touch with existing clients at the show and not to only make new ones. “Most of our clients are familiar with InfoComm already and have attended many of the shows. As the show is so big it’s very difficult to meet up with all the clients unless you set up breakfast or dinner meetings, outside of exhibit hours, to discuss what they found and what they liked. We are currently reaching out to our clients post show to get their feedback.”
There were many new products that we are researching that were at the show that we want to offer our clients. “The newest products that seem to be catching most attention are the substrate epoxy LED products. What that means is the diode is fixed directly to a black PCB. An epoxy or resin is then poured onto the PCB board to cover the lamp. This creates a high contrast, looking almost glass like, surface that protects the lamp from damage. It almost gives an appearance of a television glass finish, but with the ability to produce brightness levels much higher than standard televisions. This technology also helps to protect the LED lamps for use in a rental application where lamps are subject to damage from the panels being removed from their cases.”
We were very excited to see some of the latest and greatest pixel pitch for rental LED, both indoor and outdoor. “RocketSign, a manufacturer that focuses on the best outdoor rental products, still seem to be the leaders in the highest resolution outdoor display with a 2.6mm LED rental panel in a 500 x 500mm size. As far as indoor, it seems most manufacturers are releasing the same looking products, in the same resolutions, from .9mm fixed install to a 1.5mm rental panel. What really separates them apart is when you get into discussions on subjects like, are you using copper or gold in your wiring, which brand lamp is being used, who is the manufacturer of the power supply in the panel. The key to the future with manufacturers is who will be able to make it lighter, brighter and faster on installation.”
LED3 continues to research the latest, greatest technologies in LED panels in order to offer our customers the right display at the right resolution for their budget. To learn more about our product lines, email [email protected], or give us a call – 866.930.6988.