LG has started marketing its own microLED display across several key global markets, including the Americas, Europe, and Asia, under the brand name LG MAGNIT.
LG is touting what it calls a proprietary Black Coating display technology that seems to be a variation on the “potted” or “glue-on-board” display modules that have come out in recent years on more conventional fine pitch indoor LED product.
Applied to the front of the displays, the coating is intended to improve contrast and color accuracy levels while also protecting the micron-level LED pixels from damage from impact, moisture or dust. The coating is also said to be anti-glare and anti-fingerprint.
The glare/reflection thing is important, as I have seen a big name microLED display with some sort of coating that looked really bad in bright retail lighting because of the shiny, reflective surface.
The MAGNIT has a pixel pitch of 0.9, which is not even the finest pitch out there for more conventional SMD LEDs. But the distinction with microLED has as much to do with the super-teeny lights, which allow for more black surface in between each light, improving contrast. So with microLED, more pitch can kinda be good.
The one unit being marketed is 163 inches diagonal, which is enough micro pixels to add up to 4K resolution. The panels support LG’s webOS smart signage platform, and the panel has an AI-driven image processor. LG references SuperSign as a CMS for management. As with Samsung and its MagicINFO, LG seems to be raising the profile of its own digital signage software. SuperSign has been around for 10+ years, but is not all that known in the industry.
The MAGNIT display assembles in cabinets, just like most direct view LED product. The MAGNIT also seems to be using that NFC-based non-contact connector tech, which means cables are reduced to signal/control and power.
No price posted, but thinking more than $1,000. … Or quite probably, way more more than $200,000. There is a premium market for things like high-end real estate and demanding control room use cases that need premium imaging. The other market is friends of Putin, NFL quarterbacks and Premier League strikers.
The unit competes with Sony’s Crystal LED and Samsung’s The Wall, and there are lots of Chinese and Taiwanese companies at various states of R&D and prototypes of microLED.
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.