With Everyone Having Fine Pixel Pitch LED, Marketing Shifting To Other Specs

April 16, 2024 by Dave Haynes

One of the interesting things that struck me as I wandered the endless corridors of the LED display part of ISE a couple of months back was how pixel pitch was not necessarily highlighted as the big selling point of manufacturers. I walked around one top 10 manufacturer’s stand and realized, they’re not even noting the pitches of displays.

When everyone has fine pitch, and pitches are about as fine as they need to get for most use-cases, it’s no longer and thing that will attract interest.

So we’re seeing other technical attributes emerge – most notably the type of manufacturing process, like Chip On Board. And we’re seeing somewhat esoteric things like frame and refresh rates – which can really matter, but often just for special applications.

Here’s a good example. The US manufacturer SiliconCore, known and respected for its engineering, is at the broadcast-focused NAB show in Las Vegas this week, showing off a 1.2mm display that has a 240Hz frame rate. That puts a big-ass LED display in line with the sorts of specs sought after by serious gamers for their monitors.

“This scalable and modular solution is the first at this pixel pitch to achieve a 240 Hz frame rate,” the company says in PR, “which is made possible by the manufacturer’s proprietary technologies and a novel clocking scheme that delivers the highest industry performance while maintaining low power consumption.”

The patented SiliconCore Common Cathode driver chip delivers frame rates of 240 Hz and a refresh rate of 7680Hz, which places the products at the peak  of performance for slow motion, multi-camera view and multiple point of view solutions in all XR environments.

It’s not the sort of spec that’s needed for more conventional video walls and DOOH ad displays, but as noted above, where it can matter is for broadcast, virtual production and extended reality simulation environments.

SiliconCore explains it this way:

A 240Hz refresh rate for LED panels offers a significant advantage when capturing slow-motion footage in virtual production. Slow-motion sequences require a higher frame rate to capture more details and create a smooth slow-motion effect. LED panels can synchronize with high-speed cameras shooting up to 240 frames per second without visible scan lines or artifacts.

The higher refresh rate also ensures that each frame of the slow-motion footage is accurately displayed on the LED panel, eliminating any potential visual discrepancies. This synchronization enables directors and cinematographers to capture stunning slow-motion sequences in real-time without needing post-production adjustments or compromises in visual quality.

By leveraging 240Hz, production teams can maintain consistency and continuity throughout the virtual production process, delivering flawless slow-motion footage that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the production.

It’s a great spec to have for those kinds of applications, but if we start seeing frame and refresh rates highlighted more broadly for general video wall applications, end-users and specifiers might want to ask if its needed or beneficial.

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