AOTO Electronics Co., Ltd. is a diversified holding company registered in Shenzhen, China. Founded in 1993 AOTO combines four business lines under one brand, namely LED display manufacturing, banking electronics, lighting engineering and sports operation. The company offers a complete line of indoor and outdoor direct view LED display products as well as control systems of its own making. In 2015 AOTO was the first to introduce the smallest pixel pitch on the market, which is 0.75mm.
Back at ISE 2017, we had an appointment with Kalin Lee, Sales Director at AOTO, for a brief Q&A session.
What kind of new technologies did AOTO present at ISE?
Kalin Lee: This year we introduced a new product, CLD, which stands for commercial LED display. It’s a really innovative product designed for the needs of the corporate market, presentation and TV broadcasting. We presented the technology within the 500 inches (12.7m) and 136 inches (3.4m) diagonal displays with 1.5mm pixel pitch. CLD displays come with an integrated 24-bit processing and HDR technology, and are also 3D ready. The 60mm depth allows for the displays to be installed in space-restricted environments. With front-maintenance and the backside clear of additional cables, the displays could be installed directly against the wall.
Do you think there is some point beyond which the further decreasing of LED pixel pitch is unnecessary?
Kalin Lee: Currently, we make a lot of investigations in the field of high-resolution displays. Evidently, high resolution displays become more and more popular both for indoor and outdoor applications. At the moment we do the smallest pixel pitch for the outdoor market, which is 2.8mm, and we already have successful cases. For indoor we also lead the competition with the 0.75mm. The line-up also includes 0.9mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm and so on. Currently, we see an increasing demand for the 1.2mm displays. As for the 0.9mm and 0.75mm, I think these are mostly trend products.
What kind of video technologies could possibly replace LED video displays in 5-10 years?
Kalin Lee: Comparing with other displays technologies LED video displays are especially good for large size installations that exceed 110 inches in diagonal, as well as projector and laser projector technologies. As for the LCD or OLED displays, I think we are in the different markets. So I don’t think that some other technology could replace LED displays in five-ten years.
What is the flagship product for the company?
Kalin Lee: AOTO focuses on different vertical markets. For example, our small pitch LED displays are deployed for conference rooms, broadcasting, media studios, presentation, etc. Advertising, sports, events and staging are also our main markets. So it’s hard to define the main product in the company. But I can say that for each vertical market AOTO has its own products that meet certain requirements.
AOTO has delivered a number of projects for TV studios. What are the main requirements for a TV studio display?
Kalin Lee: Our LED displays are installed in a number of leading TV studios around the globe, both overseas and in China. The main requirements are narrow pixel pitch and capability of low brightness operation without compromising image quality. Customers also focus on the stability of the products and that’s the reason our redundancy system is very important. On the other hand, there is also a moiré effect. We at AOTO have a patent technology to reduce moiré effect on LED displays when shooting the screens in the camera. Also, when choosing a TV studio display, customers consider non-reflective surface, very low power consumption, and fanless design.
Defining success as a combination of factors which one would you primarily attribute to AOTO success?
Kalin Lee: We have been on the LED display market for 24 years and it’s not easy, I think. The technology is changing very quickly. Here in AOTO we always focus on technology innovation, this is the first thing we provide to a customer. It is important that our customers and partners rely on AOTO when we reveal technology innovations. Second, AOTO always focuses on the quality of the product. As you know now the competition is very aggressive. We understand that for long-term development and for the long-term growth of the company we should have the quality to deliver the right solution for the customer and also to keep our reputation. So I think our success also lies in the service and support that we provide to our customers. Now we have an established global network that spans Europe, America, South America, Middle East, Asia, and China.
How would you estimate the company’s progress in the market of LED video processors?
Kalin Lee: High-quality processing is an important part of a sound display operation. We started developing our own control and processing systems very early. Nowadays, with our 24 bits processing depth, we have significantly improved the color performance and the image quality of our LED displays. However, having a control system for the product is not enough, I think. What is more important is to provide a complete product that is designed with due regard for customer and market needs. And then we need to have a good integration and combination of hardware and software in a single product. Finally, we get a complete and not assembled product. I think a lot of companies opt for this way and start to improve their products. I do believe that in the next few years the processing quality will rise and we will see some companies developing their own control systems same as we have right now.
What kind of requirements on LED video processors is increasing these days?
Kalin Lee: As I have said processing depth is the main requirement. The HDR technology also becomes more and more important. Besides, customers also care for the different input format, for example, 8 bit, 10 bit, 12 bit inputs are also important to integrate into the product. So, the simple and user-friendly is a trend these days. The interactivity of a control system would also be an additional advantage, I think.