The ISE 2017, a joint venture of CEDIA and InfoComm, took place from 7-10 of February in Amsterdam RAI. The event drew nearly 74 thousand attendees who came to experience first-hand the cutting edge innovations from all sectors of AV industry. Growing bigger each year, ISE sets its own records and reflect dynamic and vibrant progress that the AV community undergoes these days.
Commenting on the show’s success Mike Blackman, ISE Managing Director, said: “We listen to the industry and we listen to our exhibitors. We invest in the show and, importantly, we have the people in place to produce the type of exhibition that they tell us they need. It’s a real collaborative effort and I’d like to thank everyone that’s been involved.”
The abundance of beautiful 4k and 8k LED screens on the show floor indicated the growing confidence and expertise that major players have developed in manufacturing ultrafine pitch solutions. Compared to last year the UHD screens on display featured bigger sizes and better image quality. However, now that the NPP display technology approaches LCD and projection in terms of resolution the question is do we need to make it higher?
Indeed we need, judging from this year 0.7mm showstopper from Leyard.
Having introduced the 0.9mm prototype at ISE 2016 it took Leyard less than one year to successfully implement the 0.9mm model into their line-up of fine pitch displays, including DirectLight, TWA, and the newly launched TWS series. The 0.7mm demo version presented this year is based on SMD technology and signifies the next step after 0.9mm, which the company is currently working on.
Unlike Leyard, SiliconCore departs from regular SMD and prioritizes the Chip-On-Board (COB) technology, which the company believes is the future of LED display creation. “We are very excited about this technology. We know it’s going to dramatically change the way LEDs are being used now” – commented Johanna Ocampo, the company’s Marketing Director. The 1.9mm LISA platform (the name stands for LED In Silicon Array) by SCT was recognized as Best of Show solution by Installation and AV Technology. According to SCT, LISA will become the company’s main product for close proximity viewing applications and will be available for shipment from June 2017.
However, not all manufacturers are so optimistic about COB. It has a difficult and time-consuming production and is related to a lot of failures, which is the reason some companies hold off from focusing on it full time.
“It’s a typical example of being the talk of the town”, – believes Paul Matthijs, SVP Retail and Advertising at Barco. “Certainly it has some good reason. But the technology is still years away from being available and of much interest over more conventional SMD technology.”
Steady demand for narrow pixel pitch technologies prompts the importance of high-quality processing. Meeting the market needs, major players tend to supply full video systems that consist of NPP LED video walls and in-house processing. In particular, it was video systems from Leyard, Barco, and Daktronics that stood apart from competitors with their high picture quality. Using seamless and well-calibrated video surfaces of 1.2 and 1.6mm the companies highlighted their visualization and processing capabilities by displaying detailed imagery and fast moving videos.
As for curved or faceted installations, their processing often poses challenges in terms of content displaying and tile connection. Among the creative solutions displayed on the show floor were EKTA crystal-shaped LED screens integrated with an LED floor and powered by the company’s proprietary ERMAC control system. Infiled showcased a tower-shaped, non-standard aspect ratio display of X series that highlighted the capabilities of their flexible technology.
The 1.2mm 8K LED display from AOTO deserves a special mention. Composed of the brand-new CLD panels the screen featured 12m diagonal and was managed by the company’s patented 8K control system.
“With the 24 bits processing depth, we have significantly improved the color performance and the image quality of our LED displays. We provide a complete product that effectively combines hardware and software in a single video solution tailored to the customers’ and market needs” – explained Kalin Lee, Sales Director at AOTO.
Having presented their CLEDIS Display System at InfoComm 2016 Sony once again took the public by storm with the product. The enormous, seamlessly aligned digital canvas featured strikingly realistic videos with 3D effect and enhanced with audio. According to Sony, CLEDIS is based on COB technology but uses ultrafine LEDs for deeper contrast and color grade. Featuring no pixel pitch itself the technology could correspond to 1.2mm pixel layout of a conventional LED display, the company said.
The 2017 event was the first ISE where Leyard and Planar exhibited together after their merger in 2015. The booth featured combined product line of fine-pitch LED displays and large format and tiled LCD video walls.
Among the brand-new products presented on the show were TWS series available in 0.9, 1.2, 1.4, and 1.8mm pixel pitch offering as well as the second generation of DirectLight LED video walls enhanced with added capabilities. Introduced for the first time were also the QE series of large format 4K LCDs with built-in media player and oriented to digital signage.
Having stolen the show with their leading-edge LISA platform SCT also presented the Quick Connect displays designed primarily for rental installations. The series is based on the company’s platforms of Peony 2.6mm, Lily 5.2mm, and Tulip 3.9mm, but is enhanced with a new framing system for quick assembling.
The flagship product for Daktronics this year was the upgraded lineup of UHD displays featuring 1.2, 1.5, 1.9, and 2.5mm pixel pitches. The series is enhanced with the company’s proprietary Precision Current Control system, which helps to reduce the number of resistors and capacitors in display thus resulting in lower heat generation and 50% less power consumption, explained Jason Melby, International Marketing at Daktronics.
Towering above Daktronics booth was the HDR capable video system displaying forced perspective content. Unlike in 2016, the video system was enhanced with a lower resolution horizontal plane stuck underneath main displays to make the content look more realistic.
Barco displayed a number of products related to collaboration, networking, and visualization, including LED video screens. In particular, on display were the highly acclaimed R-series of outdoor bendable LED tiles that were configured in a circular screen 4m in diameter. “When it comes to competition it is flexibility, light weight, and creativity that set R-series apart,” –believes Dries Vandelannoote, Senior Product Manager for LED screens at Barco. “What is more, it can be used outdoors. So far it is the only solution of that type that is outdoor compatible”. The content delivery was managed by the Infinipix processing platform.
In general, the ISE 2017 exhibit proved that higher resolution remains the main road map for both indoor and outdoor LED displays markets. However, ultra-thin, flexible display technology capable of HDR will grow in demand as well as indoor solutions with a higher level of brightness, which could be attributed to the rise of the premium retail sector.
With SCT expecting the first shipment of LISA displays in June 2017 we will see the further rise of COB technology and the growing interest to micro LED in the NPP displays market. Nevertheless, there is a lot of work to be done it terms of making it easier to produce. But that is what we can expect to see in the future.