Two different schools of thought have emerged in the field of Retail in regard to Digital Signage. On one side there are the enthusiasts of maximum resolution, obtained with a video wall of seamless LCD screens with frames of a few millimetres, specially made to be assembled; on the other side we find the new adepts of LED technology, once relegated to outdoor use only, but now found also inside stores and in shop windows, in innumerable formats, and with fast improving viewing quality.
So, what criteria should guide one to make the best choice? The purchasing costs? The management ones? Obsolescence, the wear of the equipment? The quality of the image? The versatility of the various possible formats? As each project can have different drivers there will be different factors to consider.
RETINA-PROOF DISPLAY LED
LED walls – made to guarantee optimal viewing from a long distance – are now becoming common even inside stores and in shop windows thanks to better resolution, luminosity and improved viewing angle.
LED resolution is expressed in terms of distance between pixels measured in millimetres, known as pixel pitch.
At the moment on the market are available LED panels with pixel pitch that vary from 20mm, for viewing from at least 20m or more, to last generation LED with a 1.25mm pixel pitch that provide excellent luminosity and resolution, and retain a HD image up to a distance of 1m ( and the technology is ever improving).
At the same time, the resolution of LCD and liquid crystal screens is being greatly improved too, getting to 4K and more. This means excellent image resolution from any distance, with unbeatable detail definition even on very large screens.
In the last few years LED prices have dropped considerably, and can now start from about € 2,500 per sq.m. for LED of pixel pitch 4.8, going up to € 12,000 per sq.m. for high resolution LED of pixel pitch 1.9.
LCD digital signage screens have reached economies of scale, and remain competitive even for 4K high resolution (46” display 4K from € 2,500).
Having compared the main points of both technologies, let’s have a look at the advantages of LED walls and the reason for their increasing popularity.
The 3 main advantages of LED walls
1) Excellent viewing even with direct light and glare.
This is definitely one of the advantages of the LED panels large screens: the level of luminosity contrasts direct light and glare, thus maintaining a crisp image even outdoor, in full sunlight, in shopwindows, or indoors in areas where there is light reflection.
2) Can be used on non standard areas
LED panels afford great flexibility of use. By using different size panels it is possible to create giant screens even on walls and surfaces with non standard shapes ( e.g. columns, buildings façades, irregularly shaped walls).
3) Seamless images
LED panes are frameless so, when mounted one next to the other, they reproduce seamless images on any size.
What is the best choice?
The ultimate choice of technology depends on the use and the effect one is aiming for. LED walls are very versatile and perfect for sites with direct and reflected light – outdoors, in shopwindows, and indoors – with the advantage of showing seamless images with no bezel. Video walls (LCD) on the other hand display a clear image, without the typical “pixel effect”, even close up, and are suitable for artwall type compositions, where the bezel becomes a distinctive element.
Maria Elena Romanelli, M-Cube digital engagement
Art wall M-Cube
M-Cube digital engagement offers solutions that are especially designed to enhance the in store customer experience through a multi sensorial audio, visual and interactive experience. Our service range include the in-store radio service, digital signage and interactivity solutions, mobile and proximity marketing and in-store analytics.
Today we are serving over 100 Retail, Fashion & Luxury, Banking and Finance, Food & Grocery, QSR brands with over 15,000 audio-visual installations in 90 Countries.