LCD Video Wall Market Demand Up Despite Perceived Migration To Direct View LED: Research

March 31, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Here’s a case of perception not being reality, with research data suggesting the LCD video wall market is seeing very solid growth at the moment, even though it might seem like the large format display business has shifted heavily from flat panels to direct view LED. However, it looks like a lot of the video wall growth is in control rooms, not public displays.

The research firm Omdia‘s Public Display Market Tracker data for Q4 of 2021 says the LCD video wall market (factoring out China) saw 36.2% Year on Year growth in the final quarter of last year, led by business in Asia, Oceania and Western Europe. In China, growth was slowed because of the country’s zero-COVID policy, says Omdia.

Of course, the last two years have been seriously weird and numbers that suggest boom times may be more about recovery from periods when sales and shipments all but stopped.

For all of 2021, the worldwide market recovered by 9.0% in 2021, led by Hikvision, Samsung, Dahua, and LGE. During the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 and 2021, the market share of top four brands (which have bigger than 10% of M/S each) was increased from their market share in 2019 (61.3% in ’19, 68.7% in ’20, and 74.8% in ’21) with strength in supply chain and sales channel management.

“Most brands’ manufacturing and sales returned to normal,” says a summary of the latest data, “and many countries continued to allocate their budget in surveillance and safe city to strengthen their social stability and economy, following the US and Western Europe.”

The research adds:

Amid the impacts of the Omicron variant, brand companies gradually overcame the shortage of integrated circuits (ICs) and panels by partnering with material suppliers and sales channels to ensure local stocks are available for sale. Reducing customized specifications and standardizing video wall products are inevitable for the future expansion of overseas markets.

The global LCD video wall market slid by 0.5% YoY and 1.6% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) in 4Q21 mainly because China’s market contracted when several cities in China were locked down to contain the Omicron spread. The overall market recovered by 9.0% in 2021, led by Hikvision, Samsung, and Dahua. During the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 and 2021, the top three brands’ market share was higher than their market share in 2019. Dahua’s shipment market share significantly grew from 10.6% in 2019 to 16.9% in 2021.

Interestingly, the market share percentages for the Chinese firms Hikvision and Dahua are growing, while LG is flat and both Samsung and NEC (Sharp NEC now) are both dropping. I had only the vaguest familiarity with Hikvision and zero awareness of Dahua. Turns out Hikvision is the biggest video surveillance products supplier on the planet, which suggests much of what it sells is for command and control environments, and Dahua is also a major player in that business. Go on their sites and you see cameras, not screens.

So perhaps the digital signage market for big video walls is indeed shifting to LED, but surveillance operations that need as much resolution as possible are sticking with LCD. Quick explainer: Users can get 4K and even 8K resolution off single LCD flat panels, while the light emitters on LEDs are individual pixels, and it could take the full wall of a control room to add up the LEDs, modules and cabinets to get to 4K.

The data also suggests increased demand for video wall LCD product with particularly narrow bezels, the frames around displays. There is even a term new to me – razor narrow bezel (RNB) video walls, defined as 0.88mm bezel-to-bezel (B-B) panels. Razor does sound better than super, extreme and some of the other terms that have come up for these units. The demand would, of course, owe to end-users wanting all the great visual properties of LCDs without the seams – one of the big reasons why fine pitch LED has grown so popular and prevalent in the last five years.

Says Omdia:

Several set companies, including LG Electronics, Samsung, Hikvision, Dahua, and NEC, are expanding shipment area of 55-inch razor narrow bezel (RNB) video walls with 0.88mm bezel-to-bezel (B-B) panels. As BOE increases shipments of 46-, 49-, and 55-inch ultra-narrow bezel (UNB) video walls with 3.5mm B-B panels and plans to mass-produce larger-sized 65- and 75-inch UNB video walls, the UNB share in the 3mm-and-above video wall segment increases. Chinese panel makers are focusing on their product lineup expansion and reducing prices at the same time. However, as the price gap between LCD and LED video walls narrows, resolution, durability, and ease of installation remain the differentiators of LCD video walls.

Figure 1: Quarterly video wall shipments share by bezel width Figure 1: Quarterly video wall shipments share by bezel width 

Source: Public Display Market Tracker: Pivot – History + Forecast – 4Q21, Omdia

The full summary is available via Omdia. It’s a free download but you have to register.

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