Day Two Impressions From SID Display Week

Random insights, so far, from SID Display Week in San Jose, CA:

  • The display industry is slowing down, with compounded annual growth expected to sit at around 4% for next eight or nine years: Touch Display Report forecast;
  • LCD sales will be flat-ish, over that time, but OLED sales will grow steadily: also from Touch Display Report forecast;
  • It’s chilly here, which is a bit of a WTF? Glad I brought my down vest. SF can be nippy at any time, but mid-60s is weird for Silicon Valley;
  • Quantum Dots is by no means just a Samsung thing, with its QLED. There is a lot of activity with the display tech, and the benefits are things like energy efficiency and the ability to make premium displays atop existing manufacturing facilities, as opposed to building new ones (aka fabs);
  • An OLED plant costs about $7 billion to build and spin up, so there’s that;
  • Even the display nerd crowd has varying opinions about the dividing line between miniLED and microLED;
  • LED analyst Eric Virey described LED lights being so small they’re the size of bacteria, like 3 to 15 microns, ie specks;
  • Manufacturing yields is a big deal when it comes to LED and LCD;
  • If you do normal work in the digital signage space, you probably take displays for granted and think the big things are brightness, resolution, contrast and bezel width. Go to a display nerd show, and you learn quickly there is so much going on in the architecture and build of screens;
  • I kinda sorta barely knew that it was possible to manufacture OLED displays using a printing process, but based on my time at SID, I now know it is done with vapor jet and/or inkjet processes – so an OLED display, and I am simplifying this because I am simple, can spit out of a machine in much the same way as large format graphics. Crazy;
  • Samsung does QLED, whereas LG does OLED – but Samsung is working on quantum dots OLED, or QDLED, which is different from QLED, which is a quantum dots enhancement film added to LCDs. So add QDLED and WOLED, which is White OLED (what LG does) to your vocabulary. It will drive your loved one wild … OK, maybe not;

  • The research firm IHS Markit says signage has a CAGR forecast of 7% annual growth, which is good. But the supply chain research firm DSCC suggests the signage industry’s CAGR is 11% through 2023, which is by a big margin the best outlook amongst the sectors/use-cases it watches and tracks. So yay!;
  • Most display companies – except the big Chinese ones – had a crappy Q1;
  • BOE, which has rapidly become the biggest LCD manufacturer on any known planet, has run up huge, huge debt, and DSCC suggests it would be out of business anywhere but China. But the government is supporting it, and right now it is all about market share, not profitability;
  • MicroLED is expected to be good enough to take away the TV market from LCD and OLED, over time;
  • The trade show hall at SID Display Week opened today. There is a lot of display eye candy, but many of the stands are booked by companies that sell hardware that does things like measurement and calibrations and adhesives and glass bonding and so on. An end-user walking this show – if she or he had minimal technical acumen – would be quickly dazed and confused;

  • Sitting through some technical presentations was a stark reminder that I was outside smoking cigarettes and generally being obnoxious when Math Club met in high school. Presenters show “simple formulas” on slides, I check my emails;
  • The conference sessions are excellent, but if you are not an engineer and decide to take a deep dive on this stuff, you’ll probably drown (like me);
  • Concerned about my Canadian passport being revoked after passing on the free cocktails being served, even as we speak, on the exhibit hall floor. SID does its trade show floor from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, which will seem like what should really happen in “stumble in at 4:30 AM” Las Vegas;
  • Finally, you know all those stunning, gorgeous screens you see at other, more normal trade shows. The next ones are here as prototypes that you might see in early 2020 at CES and ISE.



Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 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.
Dave Haynes


13-year-old blog & podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by consultant, analyst & BS filter Dave Haynes. DNA test - 90% Celt/10% Viking. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿบ
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