The major LCD display companies have pretty much all introduced fine pitch LED products to deal with a shift away from flat panels to LED modules for video walls, and now pure-play projector companies appear to be on the same path.
UK-based Optoma is known very much as a projectional technology company, but at ISE next week, they’ll be showing a new range of 4K UHD, Full HD and custom LED displays.
The displays are all designed to fit 16:9 native aspect ratios for 4K UHD and Full HD, and are aimed at the corporate, higher education, hospitality and general digital signage markets.
Barco has for many years had LED as a mainstream product, along with its cinema projectors, and rival Christie started marketing its Velvet LED displays three or four years ago. But this is the first time I think I’ve seen a company that has a broad range of projectors for the home and gaming markets get into LED.
They may be trying to get a jump on the market for big LED walls in man-caves/media rooms in the residential market, which is an early-stage thing for people with more money than they know what to do with – ie hedge fund guys, rappers and the starting 11s for Manchester United and Manchester City.
The projector guys face a slightly different from LED than that faced by the LCD guys. LED is starting supplant LCD for video walls because there are no seams. Projectors don’t have as issue with seams, but are challenged by brightness (watching an LED screen doesn’t require lights to be dimmed and drapes closed) and operating lives (LEDs last way longer than bulbs).
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.