Have a question? Commonly asked questions / answers can be found on this page. If you can’t find the information you need, please contact us!
Q. What is an LED Display / LED Video Wall / LED Video Screen?
A. An LED display is made up of a series of modular ‘tiles’ which can be assembled into virtually any size or shape. These panels can be flown from overhead structures, ground supported, or mounted on mobile trailers. There are also new flexible LED technologies that are now becoming very mature.
Q. How does it make a picture?
A. Each tile relies on thousands of tiny electronic dots, or pixels that light up dynamically. Seen at a distance, these points of light resolve into a usable image.
Q. I have an “LED TV” at home, and I’ve seen LED monitors for sale in the stores, is this the same thing?
A. NO, absolutely not! This is a very common misconception. Manufacturers, and retailers, often refer to TV’s or Monitors as LED displays. However, they are actually LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) with LED (Light Emitting Diode) back-light or edge-light. The actual image is still created by an LCD panel, just like a traditional LCD display, however, instead of a CFL (compact florescent) back-light, modern LCD displays use LED’s as their light source. The LED’s contained within these types of video display are used the light source only. (don’t believe us? check the technical specifications of your LED TV, you’ll probably see something like “Display Panel Type: LCD / Back light Type: LED” in the detail)
LCD displays, regardless of the type of back-light, do not function in direct sunlight, and perform poorly in daylight. (just take your TV or laptop outside to see for yourself) They are typically one-piece and their maximum practical size is limited to about 80-inches.
A large format modular LED display, such as we provide, uses thousands of tiny individual LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes), which individually light up to represent each pixel of the overall image. When viewed at a distance, this array of “pixels” or tiny-dots resolve into a bright, stunning image. These individual LED’s are mounted on modular “tiles” which can be seamlessly locked together to build a display of virtually unlimited size. Because the LED’s are a direct light source, LED video displays can be used in ambient light, even outdoors, in direct sunlight. The measure of brightness of an LED display is typically measured in “candela per square meter” (cd/m2) or nits. Our outdoor rated LED display modules are capable of producing a brightness of 7,000 nits! By comparison, a modern LCD TV or computer display will have a brightness of just a few hundred nits (200-400). Its also important to note that not all LED displays are bright enough for outdoor use. Some are rated for indoor use only, and thus reading and understanding the specifications is critical.
Q. Is it a “Jumbotron” or “Dimondvision”?
A. Not necessarily. Those names are both trademarks of different manufacturers. Just as people will often refer to a photo copy as a “Xerox” or a facial tissue as a “Kleenex”, those names represent specific brands of LED video walls. You’ll hear a lot of names applied to large format video displays, along with many different brands on the market.
Q. Where can an LED video wall be used? Will it work in direct sunlight? Is it weatherproof?
A. LED displays come in a wide variety of types, each suited for a specific application. In general, the modules can be classified as either “Indoor” and “Outdoor”. Indoor models are typically higher resolution (smaller pixel pitch), but lower brightness and they are not necessarily weather resistant. Outdoor modules are generally higher brightness, but lower resolution (larger pixel pitch) and can operate in virtually any weather condition: day / night / sun / rain / snow. Weather resistance is often measured as a two-digit IP number. IP is an abbreviation for Ingress Protection.
There is literally an LED Display suitable for every application.
Q. What is an LED?
A. LED is an abbreviation for Light Emitting Diode. A Light Emitting Diode is a semiconductor diode that emits light when a voltage is applied to it, and that is used especially in electronic devices. Colors are generated by using different materials in the semiconductor. LED’s don’t have filaments like conventional light bulbs. As a result, they typically last longer, use less power and are more reliable.
Q. What is a pixel?
A. Pixel is and acronym for “Picture Element”, and is the smallest controllable point, usually a square, in a digital image.
Q. What is pixel pitch, sometime called dot pitch or line pitch in an LED display?
A. Typically measured in millimeters, pixel pitch is the distance between two pixels in an LED display. A smaller number, means the pixels are closer together (and usually, but not always, smaller themselves) and therefore the overall resolution, and definition of the image is greater.
Q. What is the difference between SMD and DIP PTH LEDs?
A. SMD is an abbreviation for “Surface Mount Device”, DIP is an abbreviation for Dual Inline Package, and PTH is an abbreviation for “Pin Through Hole”. SMD components are soldered to the surface of the printed circuit board, while DIP PTH components are mounted using techniques where the leads of the LED pass through the board and are soldered from the opposing side.
Q. What is a 3-in-one SMD LED versus RGB DIP and why is it important?
A. Early LED displays (and even some current models) use a cluster of separate red, green, and blue LED’s. Combinations of 3, 4, or even 5 of these separate red, green, and blue LED’s would be grouped as close together as physically possible to create one square pixel. This technique relies on your eye and brain to “mix” those primary colors to create the indented color for that specific pixel. These types of displays are often very low resolution (high pixel pitch), and require the viewer to be at a greater distance from the display in order for the image to resolve, although traditionally RGB DIP displays could achieve a higher brightness. Unfortunately, having separate color LED’s separated by spaces greatly diminishes the quality of the image produced.
SMD technology has paved the way for miniaturization allowing the manufacture of 3-in-one LED packages where a red, green, and blue LED is integrated into a single, smaller package. Using this technology, one “3-in-one” SMD LED which can create any color represents a single pixel. Since the color output is already mixed within the LED lens, the display does not rely on the viewers brain and distance from the display to perform that color mixing. In addition, since all required colors are generated by one LED, the resolution of the display can be increased greatly, (smaller pixel pitch) resulting in a much higher quality image which can be viewed at a closer distance.
Q. What is “virtual pixel” pitch?
A. In a display that uses an RGB DIP pixel configuration, the pixel pitch is usually the physical distance between the “LED clusters” which make up a pixel. For example, in an RGB display with a pixel pitch of 20mm, the actual distance between each LED in the “cluster” would be 10mm. That “cluster” of red, green, and blue LED’s combine to make a single pixel, and as a result, their pixel pitch is refered to as 20mm. Some manufacturers use video processing technologies to make efficient use of all surrounding LED’s to create a pixel, using the closest adjacent LED’s of the correct color to combine and create the “cluster”. This helps to “smooth” the edges of hard lines in the video image and serves enhance the overall appearance of RGB DIP LED displays.
However, it should be noted that in spite of “virtual pixel” technology RGB DIP displays still have a physical space between the separate red, green, and blue LED’s and rely on the viewers distance distance from the display and their eyes and brain to “blend” those separate colors into a single pixel of the proper color. While effective in some outdoor applications, much higher quality video can be obtained using displays with SMD 3-in-one LED pixel technology.
Q. What is the Resolution of an LED display?
A. The resolution is defined as the total number of horizontal pixels and the total number of vertical pixels. For example if an LED panel has a resolution of 64 x 64 and you build a wall that is 20 tiles wide x 12 tiles high you would have a finished display with a resolution of 1280 x 768. An LED wall with a tighter pixel pitch will have a higher overall resolution in a smaller display size. At the same time, high resolution can also be achieved with larger walls built out of panels with a bigger pixel pitch. However, the minimum viewing distance would be greater.
It is also important to remember that when considering the resolution of a large format LED display, it is not the same as considering the resolution of a desktop monitor, television, or video projector. LED walls are primarily designed to work were traditional displays would not due to ambient light, weather, etc., and are typically designed to view at a distance. Modern processing, and LED technology used today enhance the perceived resolution at the viewers eye such that most content resolves with high quality.
Q. What are the minimum viewing distances for LED displays?
A. Many factors contribute to the recommended viewing distances. However, a general rule of thumb is to use the value of the pixel pitch of the display in meters. For example, a display with a 9mm pixel pitch would deliver a perfect picture picture at 9 meters.
Q. What are the maximum viewing distances for LED displays?
A. There is technically no maximum viewing distance, however, the overall display size and content needs to be considered relative the the audience size, distance, etc.