NEC had its annual showcase event last week in New York, a tw0-day micro-show that lets integrators and end-users have a focused look at its own latest pots and plans, as well as complementary products used by partners.
I saw stuff I’m not allowed to write about yet, but Wow.
And I saw stuff that is ready for public consumption. The most interesting was the move by the Japanese company into both indoor and outdoor LED, adding to what NEC already does with projection and LCD displays.
Through an exclusive partnership with a German company, S [Quadrat], NEC now has fine pixel pitch indoor LED displays that start at 1.5 mm pixel pitch, which if that doesn’t mean much is an LED display that looks crisp even for 5 feet away. There also 1.9, 2.3, and 3.8 mm versions.
What was interesting to me is that the displays take a page from the MicroTiles and NanoLumens playbook, in that the modules are all front-serviceable – which means easy to repair and replace. The LEDs are all 608 by 342 mm rectangles that snap into place using magnets. So taking one out and replacing it with another takes a matter of seconds, with no wires or calibration.
The indoor units have a brightness rating of 1200 candelas. No prices yet, but suffice to say these are not going to be price-competitive with LCDs. They’re much more for big architectural or specialty jobs that have particular requirements around brightness, shape and set-up.
What was also interesting is that there is an upgrade path with these things. So … the rear framework that holds the electronics could all stay in place and be used if the end-user decided to switch from 3.8 mm modules to 1.5 mm. Just snap in the finer pixel pitch units and you would be good to go.
There are no limits to the the number of modules (so walls can be very big) and shapes are not limited to rectangles, so like MicroTiles and other tech they could have a stair-step or jagged design, or through some framing, do things like circles.
NEC also outdoor versions that start at 6 mm and go up past 20 mm.
The display company also showed a new ultra-narrow bezel display that has just a 1 mm seam between panels in a cluster of displays.