InfoComm12: DisplaySearch Conference Notes

June 12, 2012 by Dave Haynes

No WiFi, sigh, at the Display Search conference that runs as part of the lead-up to InfoComm here in the blast furnace that is Las Vegas in June.

That’s about my only whine, however. Good event. Not clogged with people, but maybe 100 or so and similar to last year. But the speakers were generally better and the selling of pots and pans has not been too bad at all.

If there are recurring themes in what people are saying, it’s that despite what some companies may be feeling, the sector as a whole is doing very well on the display side. Organizer/host Chris Connery is forecasting growth on the order of 24%-25% the next few years.

The big drivers there are video walls and QSR menu boards. I knew Burger King was rolling out in a big way with digital menu boards but I did not know it was getting to 28,000 installed screens by this summer. Holy crap!

I will sum up some presentations later, but here are some things said that I found immediately interesting …

Mother glass production has pretty much stopped at the Generation 10 size, which means the manufacturing plant cranking out huge sheets of glass for LCDs are not going to go any huger. The market is shifting from BIG to multiple uses, i.e. all kinds of smaller screens for all kinds of devices.

Only 18 percent of the commercial display market uses LED backlit displays, though the percentage is way higher on the consumer side.

Super Narrow Bezel displays – ones with 5 or 6 mm borders – cost 3 to 3.5 times as much as standard bezels displays.

The whole thin bezel thing has its limits. They may get thinner still but won’t likely ever get to zero, because there are clamps that need to hold a panel together at its edges. “I don’t know how you get to zero,” says LG’s Dan Smith.

The outdoor industry now expects displays to crank 4,500 nits as the base brightness, aka tanning booths on sidewalks.

OLED is improving but there are degradation issues still with some of the technology, as it relates to red, green and blue colors over time.

Corning, which develops fiber optics, says the improvements in resolution and color depth mean bigger files, which won’t move well over networks that deliver media over copper wires. Use fiber, they say (of course, though they are right).

Corning’s latest version of Gorilla Glass, to protect a 70 inch panel, weighs 15 kilograms less than safety glass protecting the same panel. That’s 30 plus pounds for my American friends. Big diff.

Four Winds Interactive now has 225 people, most in Denver. Company is 7 years old and still growing like stink. David Levin says May was amazing. The company is now branching into airports (attention Omnivex).

NanoLumens now has 30 staff and sales in the first six months of 2012 have already tripled 2011 sales. They now have a 224-inch – yes you read that right – display.

My room – I got upgraded without asking (they probably felt sorry for my tired old self when I showed – has five flat panels and a big-ass projection system that turns the floor to ceiling window overlooking the south strip into a TV. $89/night. Love Vegas for that.

My new best friend at the bar I am considering as the 2013 Preset Mixer just gave me a Shocktop mixed with Guinness. Not bad.

Back to my “research.”




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