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Using Direct View LED Video Walls In The Boardroom

Why are direct view LED video walls ideal in the boardroom?

While many businesses are integrating direct view LED video walls in their boardrooms, for several reasons. LED video walls are visually powerful and give presenters plenty of room to communicate information and present media. LED video walls also require little maintenance and are easy enough for anyone to use right away. In the world of video walls, there are two primary technologies – LCD (sometimes referred to as LED-LCD) and direct view LED. Though they may appear similar at first glance, their differences begin at the engineering level. Here’s how the two differ in design:

1. LCD (or LED-LCD) displays – LCD, or liquid crystal display, has been around for years and is a common form of display technology. It is found in both consumer and commercial markets, and chances are good that you’re reading this article on an LCD screen now.

If you were to remove the casing around an LCD display, you would find a sandwich-like design inside. In this example, the two pieces of bread are panes of polarized glass. The filling in the middle is the liquid crystal. This liquid crystal is nematic, which means it responds to an electric current. When exposed to electricity, the liquid crystals align themselves to allow light to pass through. By altering the electrical current, the liquid crystal layer can be finely tuned to only allow certain amounts of light to pass through, and only in certain parts of the display. Using this technique, lighting color and intensity can be altered in many ways, allowing for a limitless combination of images.

LCD is also called LED-LCD because the light that is passed through the liquid crystal layer is provided by a bank of LED backlights.

2. Direct view LED displays – In a direct view LED display, there is no layer of liquid crystal present, nor is there any polarized glass to filter out light that isn’t aligned properly. Instead, the LEDs used in a direct view LED display create images themselves. They aren’t backlights in this case. A typical direct view LED display will feature thousands of LEDs, each capable of emitting a particular color when voltage is passed through it. To produce the full color spectrum, red, blue and green LEDs are placed together.

When deciding on a video wall, the choice will come down to one of the two above technologies. Some manufacturers produce an incredible variety of video wall products, but they all boil down to LCD or direct view LED technology.

LCD or LED? Which one is right for my application?

Both LCD and LED are powerful display technologies when they are used in the proper setting. As sophisticated and modern as they are, LCD and LED do not work with every display application. This may not be the case in the near future, as the weaknesses inherent to LCD and LED are further mitigated with every generation. Until then, though, which one is better for your boardroom?

1. LCD displays – LCD screens are reliable and inexpensive. LCD video walls also output impressive levels of brightness and are capable of excellent resolutions, so they can reproduce fine details to a precise degree. The only issue with LCD video walls is that they are built with bezels. The nature of LCD engineering means that bezels are necessary to the display’s stability.

Their high resolutions mean LCD displays are perfect for boardroom meetings, where the video wall would be used to show spreadsheets, graphs and other information. A bezel isn’t going to get in the way of this, and everyone will be able to see text and colors clearly.

The presence of bezels, though, means that an LCD video wall can’t quite produce a seamless image, and this may be a factor for some applications, like large form signage. However, manufacturers are reducing the size of these bezels all the time, and they are practically invisible in some applications. And there are plenty of settings where the slight aesthetic disadvantage doesn’t matter. For example, military and government institutions, as well as network operations centers, need maximum information-delivering capabilities, not a bezel-less design.

2. Direct view LED displays – Direct view LED displays can be engineered without bezels, so they produce a true seamless image. When snapped together, there is no visible border between the screens. This can make for some powerful imagery, so they are a popular option for digital signage and for large venues, like sports stadiums. LED displays are just as reliable as LCD displays, but LED technology is the most energy efficient lighting option around. Finally, LED displays provide superior color accuracy and refresh rates.

As impressive as LED displays are, though, there are still some challenges to overcome. One is cost, as LED technology hasn’t been optimized to the degree that LCD technology has. As such, an LED video wall is considerably more expensive than a similar LCD video wall. Also, though LED video walls can output at high resolutions, they can’t match LCD video walls in this area. This limitation is of particular significance in a boardroom or meeting room, because the video wall may not generate the kind of resolution needed to precisely output text and numbers, such as those found on spreadsheets.

LCD and direct view LED video walls have their uses, but they are optimized for certain applications and settings. Before settling on a particular video wall, make sure it fits your company’s needs. The best way to do this is to speak with an A/V integrator as they can assess the situation and provide the ideal solution.