Planar/Leyard shows Whopping 8K LED Video Wall at NAB

The most impressive display at NAB was undoubtedly the giant 8K LED video wall in the Planar/Leyard booth. It was 30’x 18’ (9.1m x 5.5m) and built using cabinets with 1.2mm pitch LEDs. It was stunning and even looked good from quite close up. Of course it is a little pricey – about $2M for this set up.

Planar at NAB

Planar/Leyard told us that they have now migrated to the “next generation” LED module, called TWA. The power consumption on these is down 35% from the previous design and now on par with a major competitor. This is SiliconCore, which has its own special driver design. Planar/Leyard did not disclose details of how they redesigned the driver, but the reduction was clearly needed to remain competitive.

The TWA series with the 1.2mm pixel pitch is shipping now. It is claimed to achieve about 97% of the NTSC color gamut, an expanded viewing angle spec of 160-degrees vertically and horizontally, 97% brightness uniformity, 5000:1 contrast, color temperature range of 3200 to 9300K and a 3200-9300 Hz refresh rate.

For pixel pitches of less than 1.6 mm, the company has also eliminated the microshaders, which reduced the vertical viewing angle but did increase contrast. Lifetime is specified at 100K hours to 50% of initial brightness.

Planar is seeing a strong adoption of the TW series in broadcast studios. Moire continues to be an issue in some cases and a 0.9mm pitch will be available late in 2016 that will help with this. The company also showed a 3×3 wall made from 0.9mm LEDs as a prototype.

The TW series is packaged in a 55” diagonal 16:9 aspect ratio cabinet that obviously conforms to a popular TV size as well. These cabinets can be assembled to produce video walls of very large size. With 1.2mm pitch LED, each cabinet has a resolution of 1920×1080 so the 8K wall was built with a 4×4 array of these. (for more on the cabinet see our ISE report (Leyard Starts to Integrate Planar)

In terms of trends, each year seems to move the pixel pitch smaller and small. In 2014, it was 1.9mm LEDs. In 2015, it was 1.6mm and 2016 will see 1.2mm become the mainstream product in broadcasting.

Planar also showed very nice looking transparent displays. – CC