Planar Debuts New 1:1 Ratio “LCD Tiles”

February 8, 2012 by Dave Haynes

The marketing and packaging of a product can be a lot of the battle in trying to look different in a crowded marketplace, and I can only tip my hat to the folks at Planar who have been doing a good job of positioning their reasonably common gear in unique ways.

Stacking flat panels in different shapes is not all that new or mind-blowing, but Planar did a nice job of positioning their product release as something called Silhouette.

Now the company has announced a video wall system called Planar Mosaic, and somewhat concocted the handle of LCD tiles to tie the displays more to the specialty display tile products of Christie and Prysm than to commercial LCD panel displays. Unless I am missing something, they’re just thin-bezel, LED-backlit LCDs, but going this route add a specialty element that can probably also boost perceived value and therefore pricing and margins.

Two of the units are standard widescreen LCD shapes, but are artistically dubbed the Planar Vincent and the Planar Pablo. The interesting bit is the Salvador (Dali) version, which Planar describes as the first truly square LCD tile,  measuring 21.6 inches on the diagonal. “The Planar® Salvador™ is a trend-setting 1:1 aspect ratio tile measuring 15.6 inches / 39.5 cm on each side, that allows for creative installation and is akin to the shape of other building materials.”

Have not seen that before, though the German company EyeVis has six-sided tiles. The Prysm and Christies tiles are rectangles.

Part of the pitch here is that all three sizes can be mixed and matched to make pretty unique display walls and wild shapes. “Utilizing proprietary Mosaic Ensemble™ software and hardware, the tiles can be rotated at virtually any angle and mounted in any position, encouraging designers to experiment with negative space while extending project budgets.”

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The video on the company’s nicely packaged website shows some interesting ideas and is in line with the increasingly loud chatter about shape being the new big thing in displays. The company plans to show its new gear off at DSE in a month.

Planar also announced its latest financials, the numbers reflecting some struggles. Sales are growing but the company was $3 million in the red.


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