As LED technology improves and the lifespan of installations grows to practically a decade or more in length, architects are becoming more incentive to implement LEDs into their ideas and building designs.

This crossroad between AV technology and architecture, coined perfectly as AVitecture, has allowed for more creativity among building spaces, from commercial to residential. Joining us is Will Dickey from PixelFLEX to discuss this trend, as well as talk the benefits and challenges of working with LED display technology.

For the latest news, videos, and podcasts in the Pro AV Industry, be sure to subscribe to our industry publication.

When talking about LEDs for digital signage, pixel pitch is one of the most important criteria to consider. Pixel pitch describes the distance between two pixels in millimeters. That distance defines a lot about the appearance and performance of LED screens. It’s also closely related to resolution.

Pixel pitch isn’t as well-known as resolution, and often they are believed to be the same. This is a big misconception. They are connected but not the same. Typically, the smaller the number the higher the resolution.

Pixel pitch, however, is not related to the size of a screen. Because two screens are the same size doesn’t mean they have the same pixel pitch.

Small vs. Large Pixel Pitch

Pixel pitch is essentially the measurement of density. A small pixel pitch indicates a greater density and less space between each pixel. This correlates to improved resolution. The larger the pixel pitch, the less dense. Large pixel pitch displays pale in comparison to their counterparts, but they come at a lower cost.

Why Pixel Pitch Matters in Digital Signage

Digital signage, when executed well, should be driven by vivid imagery with the most optimal viewing distance. The lower the pixel pitch, the more defined the imagery. This is essential if the signage is something a viewer would stand close to; the resolution doesn’t degrade the closer the viewer gets. You wouldn’t want a screen where a viewer can see the black space between pixels, so you’ll want a very small pixel pitch.

Application Should Determine Pixel Pitch

When choosing an LED screen for your project, application should drive what kind of pixel pitch you select. Smaller pixel pitch is best for up-close interaction. Whereas, if the screens will be further away or higher up on a wall, a larger pixel pitch will suffice. Higher pixel pitch delivers improved visuals from a further distance. In these situations, increasing the density of pixels will have no effect, so it’s best to save on budget here.

Determining Acceptable Viewing Distances

If you aren’t sure exactly what the viewing distance will be in your project, there are some practical guidelines you can follow. Not an exact science but considered an industry standard is that 1mm in pitch equals 8 feet of viewing distance.

The 10x rule is a way to estimate visual acuity distance. Divide the approximate distance in feet that a viewer would be standing from the video wall or single display by 10. This should give you a rough number to work from. Take this as a general recommendation as many other factors may be influencing the decision, like budget and type of content.

Pixel pitch should be a top of the list consideration when designing your LED display solutions. The crux of the decision is based on where it will live and how close viewers will be. PixelFLEX manufactures LED screens in a variety of pixel pitch measurements, ranging from 1.2mm to 16mm, covering the gamut of possible applications.

Browse all of the PixelFLEX LED display solutions here.

Digital signage plays a significant role in how audiences receive information. It can inform, engage, and persuade. That’s especially true at the airport. Digital signage in airports isn’t new, but it has evolved from being ill-designed lists of arrivals and departures. Now, LED displays are everywhere. Let’s look at how airports are using LED digital signage to improve the passenger experience:

Wayfinding

Getting lost in an airport is rather easy and usually increases in large airports. Many flyers won’t have intimate knowledge of that airport’s layout. So, they’ll need some help. Navigating with LEDs over paper has several advantages.

Not only can wayfinding help passengers get from gate to gate, it can also be changed at any time to correlate with any closings of areas or the need to re-route. This keeps passengers moving in the right direction.

Emergency Information

Should an event occur, weather-related or any other emergency situation, you need to disperse information quickly and accurately. Directing passengers to where they need to go with the help of LED displays. This can keep crowds calm while informing them of what to do next. Because your signs can be updated at any time and across all screens in a network, you have a flexible, adaptable channel.

Entertainment

LED digital signage also offers entertainment for passengers. It can include news headlines, sports scores, entertainment news, and more. You may see these live feeds in certain sections of the screen rather than the whole screen. Because digital signage design has become very adaptable, the top half of the LED display could be playing promotions, while real-time content flows at the bottom.

Advertising: Internal and External

One of the most often used capabilities of LED digital signage in airports is to advertise, which could include internal or external clients.

For internal advertising, groups of digital signage in the terminal may communicate what the dining options are throughout the airport as well as retailers. This can work on the passenger’s impulse purchasing decisions. In fact, according to Digital Signage Today, 42 percent of passengers were more likely to make an impulse purchase when businesses promoted duty-free items.

Externally, it makes sense to offer screen time to local businesses, especially restaurants, hotels, transportation, and attractions. This type of signage is most likely found in the path of arrivals and sits prominently at the baggage claim. Offering this ad space is the same thing airports have done for years with banners and static signage.

LED Digital Signage as Art

One emerging trend is the use of digital signage as art. These have been made even more alluring with LED video walls that can bend and wrap. Airports can deliver a more upscale experience. Plus, the “art” can change out regularly based on season or events. It could also be tied into advertisements with internal and local businesses.

Use Unique Screens for Unique Experiences

There is a lot of waiting at the airport with a large audience, which pays attention to LED screens now more than ever. Much of this is due to the new applications and dynamic content. To create these experiences, a new breed of display is necessary, which is exactly what PixelFLEX delivers. The FLEXUltra is a cutting-edge curve-able display that can fit any spot, and the FLEXMod can flex, bend and blend in with any space seamlessly.

Explore all the PixelFLEX solutions for airports by checking out products. Those in the industry can also see solutions at the ACI-NA (Airports Council International-North America) annual conference in Nashville this fall, where PixelFLEX will present its options for airport LED digital signage.

David Venus, Chief Marketing Officer at PixelFLEX, joined us to talk about how companies can inspire creativity and innovation just by upgrading their physical work space. We also talked about some emerging trends in his industry and how LED can truly enhance an aesthetic.

For the latest news, videos, and podcasts in the Pro AV Industry, be sure to subscribe to our industry publication.

No matter what industry your company is in, you know that competition is more intense than it’s ever been. That’s why it’s essential to find creative ways to stand out and make a statement in order to differentiate your brand. Using LED video display technology in your corporate headquarters is an innovative and cutting-edge way to stand out. Let’s take a look.

Make a Statement

Eye-catching LED video display tech is a tool that literally provides a new way of looking at things. LED video displays make a statement to your company’s guests, potential clients, and employees, helping to brand you as a creative, innovative company that is on the cutting edge of technology. They are a cost-effective way to give your corporate headquarters a rich, modern look. Best of all, you can use these displays to broadcast product videos, messages from your executive team, social media feeds, news items, and so much more.

Get Creative

If you think LED video means a small screen you hang on the wall, you need to begin thinking outside the box. Today’s LED video display tech gives you the opportunity to create a custom video display that is unique and artistic. LED video displays are available in a huge number of sizes and configurations, so they can be placed in spaces such as corridors, elevators, lobbies, meeting rooms, and sales centers. Literally any open surface can be used to help create an unforgettable experience for your visitors and staff. And the technology has advanced to the point where curved surfaces, strips, columns, floor to ceiling displays – even floor displays and ceiling displays – are all possible. Packing the dynamic punch you desire with an LED display is truly limited only by your imagination.

 

Success Stories

Here are four examples to get your creativity flowing:

  • Equifax turned to Velocity Productions and PixelFLEX® to create a unique display for the lobby of their world headquarters. The display uses a custom TrueFLEX™ LED flexible video panel formed in a shape that mimics the Atlanta skyline with a 16:9 format screen in the center to play promotional content.
  • Reflect, a full-service provider of digital brand media solutions, created two visually dynamic LED displays using FLEXLite™ NXG technology from PixelFLEX®. The displays were not only designed to make an impact on visiting clients and guests, but to showcase some of Reflect’s creative ideas and solutions as well.
  • ASG, a national integration company, turned to PixelFLEX to help create one of the most unique and dynamic LED video wall solutions for Fortune 500 company, NetApp. The displays are not only trapezoidal, but curved 360 degrees around the center of its Data Visionary Center which is used to show off its capabilities to potential clients.
  • Looking to create an unforgettable space for their executive waiting area in the World Headquarters, Target turned to PixelFLEX. Working closely with their in house integration team throughout the process to complete installation of their first step into digital LED signage with a dynamic wall in its executive visitors lounge.

PixelFLEX® Can Help Transform Your Corporate HQ

PixelFLEX® helps bring creativity to your corporate headquarters. An American-based LED manufacturer, PixelFLEX® offers creative solutions, reliable products, and dependable service to help realize your unique vision. Working with architects, designers, engineers, and consultants, PixelFLEX® is proud to develop custom solutions for each and every customer, while also providing top-tier support throughout the entire experience.

PixelFLEX® offers industry-leading LED display technology and solutions that can help transform your space into a digital world. Take a look at https://pixelflexled.com/portfolio/.

Did you know that LED video walls are an integral part of TV broadcasts and film? It’s true! The vibrant imagery provided by this advanced technology offers the perfect backdrop on any set. Instead of using old-school projectors or printed backdrops, LED screens make it appear as though cars are actually driving along roads, or can display a realistic snowy winter land that can be seen through a window of a fictional house on a production set.

Another popular way in which LED video walls have made their debut in the television world is as a backdrop for news programs. Today’s newscasting is typically filmed on sophisticated sets, incorporating many video elements. Thus, LED video walls used in these spaces require unique design specifications that are somewhat different from regular LED video walls. Fortunately, LED screens provide design options aplenty.

LED Walls for TV and Film: Special Specifications 

  • Pixel pitch is one area that is different for these on-air or on-film scenarios. The closer the camera shot, the closer the pixels need to be for optimal results.
  • Refresh rate is another aspect to consider. It must be fast so that content looks natural and transmits seamlessly.
  • Dual powered displays are a must. Having two power sources prevents content loss due to power issues during broadcast.
  • In a newsroom floor scenario, opt for a non-bezeled display. Bezels break up the connected screens, providing poor aesthetic appeal, making bezel-free LED screens the ideal solution.
  • Cable-free designs that contain wires within an enclosed cabinet not only provide a neat appearance, but are less of a tripping hazard for employees, guests, or on set talent.

 LED Video Floors
In addition to video walls, LED displays can also be integrated as part of the floor in news broadcast or other production settings. Recently, a major new station’s floor was revamped with an LED screen, making it a centerpiece for aerial and push and pull shots in front and above the main news desk. Made possible with a 6mm floor and surface screen, this application is just one unique LED video innovation being implemented in the TV and film realm.

Curved Screens Now Possible
When outfitting a broadcast set or a movie scene, sometimes straight against the wall doesn’t work—the anatomy of the set may make traditional flat or flexible panels an implausible option. Highly adaptable, lightweight curved LED displays can curl, bend, fold and attach to a concave or convex wall, melding seamlessly into a set’s background, making just about any backdrop possible.

LED Video Walls: The New Movie Screen?
Not only are LED screens facilitating better, more believable cinematography and more dynamic news sets, they have also become the cutting-edge go-to medium for theater screens. Part of the movie-going experience since cinema’s early beginnings, LED theater screens remove the antiquated and often erratic projector operation from the equation. The first LED screen debuted at Pacific Theatres in California in April. Industry experts view this as a well-timed move that could attract movie watchers back into the theater. The overall vibrancy and blacker blacks of LED cinema screens are certain to become the preferred source of movie viewing, and may be the enticement necessary to keep fans from waiting until they can watch a movie at home on their own LED televisions.

PixelFLEX Takes Innovation to the Set
As a trend leader of industry leading LED displays, the PixelFLEX team has developed LED screens specifically with TV and film industry applications in mind. The FLEXMod is a lightweight screen that bends and curves, while the LumiFLEX has an LED surface that turns floor space into an amazing visual experience. Learn more about all of PixelFLEX ‘s products and the many spaces LED screens can inspire.

 

The average person is bombarded with over 1000 advertisements a day, and in the retail space, the go-to ad has been static signage. But as the years have gone by, there’s a new need for something that can maintain the open, inviting design of a window-front shop while still draw in new customers.

David Venus of PixelFLEX LED sat down on the podcast to tell us how transparent LED display screens are bringing exciting and reusable advertisements to the retail industry, and how the technology is making its mark in other industries through human-centered design.

In most industries, there are norms and standards applied across all manufacturers. Plumbers all use the same size pipes. Car manufacturers must abide by the same standards for fuel mileage, safety, and more. However, that is unfortunately not the case in the world of digital signage. Each respective manufacturer has the freedom to build LED displays to their own desired specifications. The “standards”, therefore, don’t really exist—size and pixel counts are determined by the manufacturer. So, how can digital signage users make a clear comparison? It’s never going to be apples to apples, but it requires looking further than just cabinet size. Instead, the focus should be on the features that matter the most: pixel pitch, matrix, and viewable area.

Pixel Pitch: Defining Resolution

A pixel is a grouping of three LEDs: green, red, and blue. The term pixel pitch describes the measurement between each cluster of pixels known as a diode. This measurement does have a standard, at least in how it’s calculated. It’s the distance between the center of one pixel to the next pixel’s center, and is applicable in both vertical and horizontal applications. For example, if an LED screen has a pixel pitch of 5-mm, its pixels are spaced 5-mm apart. Pixel pitch is normally within a range of .9-mm to 100-mm.

Two screens may be the same size, say 40”, but have different pixel pitches. Lower pixel pitch allows the viewer to stand closer to the screen to read or interact with it, while higher pixel pitch is for screens being viewed from distances further away. So, back to the 40” screen example. If the screen is used as a menu board directly in front of a customer, the pixel pitch should be low, typically sub 3mm in pixel pitch. However, if the screen is 6’ to 8’ away from the audience, a higher pixel pitch can be employed. Keep in mind pixel pitch is subjective to each viewer, and what looks good to one, may or may not look good to another. However, there is a general guide to follow, and that can be seen here. 

The Matrix: Viewable Space Matters

Matrix is another digital display measurement, calculated based on the number of pixels on each LED display tile multiplied across the entire display. In a matrix, LEDs are arranged in rows and columns similar to X and Y coordinates. A 2’ x 2’ display with a 30 x 30 matrix translates to 30 pixels per foot multiplied by 2’, totaling 60 pixels by 60 pixels. To find the number of pixels for the entire sign, multiply 60 by 60, for a total of 3,600 pixels. While seemingly simple math, it’s not always accurate as some manufacturers are less exact in their configurations than their counterparts. And while the difference may be unnoticeable, consumers should be aware that not every LED display is going to adhere to a specific set of standards. All of our products pixel resolutions can be found in their respective specification sheets on our site.

The actual size of a screen has very little to do with how crisp the resolution will be. Therefore, when comparing displays, universal module sizes provide for the most exact viewable space determination for screens with different resolutions but identical matrices. Take a 20-mm display and 10-mm display, each with a matrix of 96 x 144. Because it has more space between pixels, the 20-mm would need to be significantly larger; but the 10-mm display could achieve the matrix at a much smaller size with better resolution.

Look for more than size to pick the best screen

When determining what displays are best, placement is key. Interactive kiosks are another category altogether from large backdrop displays. Work with a professional provider to review pixel pitch, matrix, and viewing area for the most appropriate LED solution for your application.  Choosing a LED display partner that will help you understand these factors can greatly save you time, money and headaches throughout the entire process.

At PixelFLEX®, we collaborate with clients for the best LED solutions. Explore options with the PixelFLEX® Product Selection Tool.

How can retailers capitalize on passersby and heavy foot traffic? The answer for most of the lifespan of retail has been signage. In the modern world, that signage is now digital. However, there hasn’t always been a viable solution due to natural light. For window digital displays, there have been two major concerns: Can the digital signage compete with direct sun? and How can they be installed to not impede natural light from flowing into the space?

That’s the quandary that faced one of the world’s most celebrated retail brands, Levi Strauss. Their flagship store on Market Street in San Francisco sees a tremendous amount of foot traffic. They wanted to capitalize on this with dynamic content powered by digital signage. Transparent LED displays were the solution that answered all their concerns.

What is transparent LED digital signage?

The descriptor transparent is used because the display is a glass window integrated with a touchscreen, allowing for light to pass through in both directions. This is different than standard screens, which have backlit components that illuminate the pixels on the screen. This creates visibility for viewers. For the screens to be transparent and allow the dual light pass through, an alternate light source is used that does not block the display. These transparent LED displays also have lower power consumption, consuming roughly 10 percent of the power of a traditional display. The screens have transparent components such as cathode, anode and substrate. They are designed ultra-thin and are more flexible in comparison to other screens.

Transparent LEDs also allow for 3-D content, which has become a sought-after feature for retailers. When brands can use 3-D advertisements, it changes the way in which they can communicate ideas and engage with users. These displays also offer tools for easy communication, delivering a positive customer experience.

What problems do transparent LED displays solve?

  • Smaller space requirements do to slim footprint and no need for external rigging structures
  • Eliminates the need for additional lighting behind display due to 6-80% light transparency through the screen vs traditional LED video walls
  • Displays can be customized to fit existing window frame openings and structures
  • Eliminates traditional signage that blocks light and valuable window front
  • Reduces labor for content renewal or traditional signage

Potential Applications of Transparent LED Displays

With recent advances in non-traditional LED displays, Transparent screens have opened up new opportunities to place digital signage in places most people would not have in the past. Transparent displays integrate seamlessly into architectural facades bringing digital media to the forefront of design. With Urban development booming, you can create anchor piece to large window fronts in retail, landmark buildings, public venues, hotels, airports and much more.

How Levi Used Transparent LEDs

Transparent screens have varied uses, depending on your goals and what type of experience you want to create. For the Levi storefront installation, the first challenge to overcome was the natural light that was flowing through the windows. Levi wanted to counter the light, so it didn’t interfere with view ability, while also allowing the natural light into the space. When they came to PixelFLEX with their ideas, we immediately recommended FLEXClear, which is a 65 to 75 percent transparent LED display. The ability for the FLEXClear to remove hurdles related to natural light made it an optimal choice. The direct sunlight and ambiance were no longer an issue. The FLEXClear solution actually leveraged these issues, turning them into assets.

The Levi flagship store, on famed Market Square in San Francisco, enjoys a steady stream of foot traffic. The goal was to turn window shoppers into in-store shoppers. With its outward facing windows, the storefront was ideal for the FLEXClear solution. The completed project offered dynamic content that is vivid and visible to passersby, while also allowing natural light to stream into the store. Learn more about the features and benefits of FLEXClear and how it can invigorate your space today.

Video walls are becoming a more and more popular tool for creating impactful and dynamic experiences. Their magnitude and vividness can create a dramatic entrance or backdrop in a variety of spaces and applications. Entertainment venues, retailers, restaurants and corporate offices are all turning to LED video walls to connect with audiences. LED video displays are designed to present users with creative options, which can be overwhelming when trying to decide what will work best for your business scenario. With such a significant investment, it’s important to consider the initial set-up and design, as well as how to optimize your return.

You should always try to future-proof your LED video wall solution. By asking yourself a few simple questions, you can easily set yourself up for immediate and long-term success in your deployment. How easy will it be to upgrade to the latest technology, and how flexible is the platform? Using systems that have standard architecture, including standard PCs and Ethernet networks, are more adaptable, as are software-based systems. Is the product and supplier you are choosing a quality product and what kind of support is offered?

To ensure you get the most out of your investment, we want our customers to consider the following for the best outcomes:

  • Goals
  • Content
  • Installation and layout
  • Functionality

What are your goals?

Define the business case for your LED wall. Determine how it will influence purchases, promote items, entertain, or offer information. There are many uses for LED walls; this is the time to actually write this out in use case form. Set goals for your objectives based on the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Limited) philosophy to visualize the impact of your screens.

What type of content will you display?

This will be directly related to your goals. That purpose will drive the design of your content. If your signage includes a lot of text, you should opt for high contrast (white/black) and a clean font. Background images should be subtle. If your content is more for entertainment value, the focus will be on motion and clarity.

Much of the time, customers just want information. If you can provide this conveniently, it can influence their purchase. This influence was validated in a Cisco IBSG study, finding that 40 percent of shoppers agreed that digital displays, like video walls, had influenced their purchase because it provided them relevant information.[1]

Related to content, there’s also the question of if you will display multiple pieces of content, or one video split up among all the screens? You will need to marry your content expectations with the capabilities of the screen, like 4K resolution for high-quality video visuals.

How will the video wall be installed?

As noted previously, the design has to be easy to update and adjust. It’s not just something you install once and never interact with again. Regular maintenance is recommended as well. This means accessibility is necessary, so make that part of your installation plan. This will allow you to work on the system in the future with minimal down time. Other factors affect installation and placement, including:

Interior vs. exterior

  • Ambient light vs. direct light
  • Sight lines and angles
  • Wall space: consider not only your total space, but also what configurations you can fit into that space
  • Viewing distance
  • Any code requirements for the mounting structure

 

What kind of functionality will you need for hardware and software?

When choosing hardware, opt for commercial grade LEDs, as they are built for constant use and don’t get overheated. Plus, using a non-commercial screen in a commercial setting voids the warranty. Whether built into the screen or as an attachment, you will need a player or processor.

When determining what software to use, go back to your goals. It makes sense in most applications to play different content at different times, so scheduling is a must-have feature. You should also consider the ease of updating content, which is usually found with a cloud-based system that can be accessed from anywhere.

Find Video Wall Success with PixelFLEX

Developing a video wall is a big task. When well executed, these displays can dazzle and boost your connection with audiences. By focusing on goals, content, installation and layout, and functionality, you create a video wall that will offer the return you expect and be an investment that continues to yield for years to come. When you start planning, rely on the experts at PixelFLEX to deliver a custom creative solution built on reliable digital signage equipment. Learn more about our premier LED displays today.

 

 

[1] https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en_us/solutions/industries/retail/downloads/dms_brochure_0709.pdf