Leyard/Planar was showing its currently shipping TWA range of LED displays which were being shown in 1.2mm. Before the show, the company talked about a new film that could be applied to the surface of its LEDs to make them touchable. The film does not have any electrical properties (infrared around the edge of the display does the touch detection), but the surface is easier to use and there is less likelihood of damage when the film is on the surface. We tried the surface and it is usable, but is still, clearly, textured, so we’re not sure how long we’d want to use it. On the other hand, this kind of system is not likely to be in a class room!
Also on display was a 4×3 array of 0.7mm LED – said to be “the only 12 panels on earth” of that pitch. Supply of such fine pitched LEDs is very constrained and Leyard told us that this is the main reason that 0.9mm pitch is so expensive at the moment. The supply is so constrained that if you can buy the LEDs, you can sell the displays. (A number that we heard at the show was that the global supply of 0.9mm LEDs is as low as 30 million devices per month, which, if correct, would mean there is only capacity for 24 m²!)
Leyard was also showing the DirectLight 2 front serviceable LED displays in a 2 x 2 1.2mm array. One of the advantages of this series is the small depth – less than 4″. LEDs that are both front and rear serviceable are significantly more expensive than those that are rear-service only.
In the corner of the booth was a demonstration of LED displays being used to create a visual environment that allows a live background to be shown. Once the environment is captured on video, the fact that it is LED-based is not obvious. The system had a tracking device on the camera so that the workstation that was generating the image could create an image that is appropriate in perspective and changes as the camera moves.
Planar continues to successfully supply LCD video walls and the company claims a strong market position in the US. On display was a 3 x 3 array of 46″ units. We heard that one reason for maintaining the 46″ size is that if you don’t have that size, you are limited to a 2 x 2 display with 55″, because the 55″ units have too much height to be mounted on a standard wall in a 3 x 3 configuration. The company showed us how the panels are designed to have a simple and accurate alignment adjustment.
There is a move to UltraHD in the flat panel area and the company highlighted that it is still the only company to have the power supply, the part of the system most likely to fail, off-board allowing for redundancy and making PSU replacement simpler, especially if the displays are mounted high on a wall. The latest units have a combined bezel of 1.7mm
There was also a demonstration of a Creative LED display that Leyard can make and the units are triangular in form. Leyard is able to build the units following an acquisition. The tricky part of building these units is the edges where the planes meet. It is hard to make them very thin.