Consider how you feel when you walk into a brand setting that completely immerses you with its features. When brands create branded environments that drive feelings, you can’t help but feel inspired and reminiscing about what that brand has meant to you. Some of the strongest brands in the world do this every day.

Walk into an Apple location, and you’ll find an interactive experience that’s more than just a place to purchase goods. Experience any event at Disney World, and you’ll find yourself smiling and connecting with a brand you’ve loved for years.

These brands know how to craft an experience, and they do so with different types of media, including everything from vinyl graphics on a wall to digital signage that engages viewers and tells a story.

Branded Environments: An Iconic Example

As noted, when customers enter an Apple location, it’s a truly unique experience. It doesn’t feel like a typical retail location where you shop for goods and pay at the counter. They even have a goal of transforming stores into “town squares.” They even removed the word store.

Inside the store, you can interact with each new device. Apple’s senior vice president of retail, Angela Ahrendts, said of the transformation, “We are reinventing the role our stores and employees play in the community. We want to be more like a town square, where the best of Apple comes together, and everyone is welcome.”

The first of these next-generation stores was unveiled in San Francisco with a 50-foot video wall inside. It resembles a meeting place, not a store. There are meeting rooms for entrepreneurs to meet and coding classes.

Apple has stayed true to its brand by creating this new environment with the connection between brand and consumer growing even stronger.

Telling Your Story with Branded Environments

Whatever space you’d like to transform, whether it’s a retail shop, outdoor event, or corporate office, you have the opportunity to tell your story with branded environments. While you likely spend a lot of time and resources on your digital image, don’t forget about the physical spaces where your customers can interact with your brand. Through strategic design and a focus on your brand’s core values, you can create numerous touchpoints for connection. One way to do this is with digital signage.

Digital Signage in Branded Environments

Using digital signage in your branded environments allows you to educate, entertain, and immerse your visitors. It can also compensate for less staff without impacting customer service, and it may even save you money in the long run, money you would have spent on new printed signage needed for every new event or promotion.

At PixelFLEX, we’ve had the pleasure of creating some amazing branded environments for clients, delivering a substantial WOW factor and showcasing brands as modern, current, and dynamic.

The Tru Hotel at Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort is an excellent example of a well-executed branded environment. The hotel wanted a transparent LED display to grab the attention of patrons. We installed FLEXClear LED panels above the main entrance to entice visitors and promote events at the casino. We were able to create a striking display without losing any of the natural light in the lobby.

NetApp, a hybrid cloud data service company, tapped us to create a new branded environment in their revamped headquarters. This project included curved displays in the center of their space, which could be used to tell their story and highlight their abilities. With FLEXMod screens, we delivered a seamless 360-degree display.

Stanford University is one of the country’s most prestigious colleges, known for both its academics and sports programs. To set the stage for their “Home of the Champions” display, they wanted a curved screen capable of delivering high-resolution imagery. The unique screen gives the space a feel that would make any fan cheer.

These are just a few examples for inspiration for your branded environment. With the right design and LED displays from PixelFLEX, you’ll be able to create memorable experiences for your audience. Find out more about what’s possible by browsing our products.

Corporate facilities are putting displays in conference rooms, front lobbies and green rooms more and more these days, and strategy for entertaining clients is big business. How can business owners make their display stand out above the competition and attract the sales, and how can AV integrators and suppliers play into those client trends?

On this episode of LED Talk, we discuss the top four design trends in digital signage and how they’re affecting the market.

Tune in as we talk about how “size matters” as large format displays are becoming a standard among the industry. Everyone seems to be wanting tighter pixel pitch, aiming for full HD, 2K or 4K. Finer pixel pitch products like sub-2mm, even sub-1.6mm, are trending as well.

Interactivity is key, as virtual and augmented reality experiences become our new normal; only about 10 percent of people remember things that they read, but over 90 percent of people can recall things they experienced, a statistic motivating much of today’s content marketing and product purchasing decisions. Touch, motion, and tactile experiences are on the rise, especially in retail and hospitality, where brick-and-mortar are having to keep up with the e-commerce world. Of course, durability and price points can’t be forgotten; it’s a delicate balance.

What are other trends, and how can you integrate them into your displays? And what’s one of the most unforgettable displays we’ve ever seen? Listen to us explain it all.

Follow PixelFLEX on social media for more LEDTalk!

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From 2017 to 2019, there was a 50% increase in fine or narrow pixel pitch products, which most would say is undeniable growth. The business-owner is demanding this crisper technology and so is the market; the real challenge is how to create these high-res products and still make them affordable to the end user, while also making a stable product that has traditionally been unstable.

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Shopping around for a new display can be confusing. At first glance, it may seem as though there are tons of different kinds of video wall displays, let alone brands. How are you supposed to choose between Direct View LED, LED Wall, LED Screen, or a standard Video Wall? Well the truth is, these are all different names for the same thing. Rather than getting hung up on the name for the overall display, what’s important is understanding the parts behind these screens, so that you can get the best bang for your buck. At PixelFLEX, we have experts that can walk you through the entire process to find a dynamic display that fits your exact needs. To make things a little, easier, however, we’ve put together a run-down on what exactly makes up a “video-wall,” regardless of what name you use for it.

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All too often, companies spend large amounts on production and editing of high-quality videos, without thinking about how they will actually be seen. The result is that, instead of a bright, engaging and visually grabbing display, important videos are shown using low-resolution projectors, or even a simple screen that is too small to be anything more than an afterthought to customers. For this reason, video walls are becoming key to companies looking to make a strong impression. From creative LED screen entrances, to auditorium viewing screens or even artistic structures incorporating the video itself, video walls have emerged as a versatile and unique alternative to help companies stand out.

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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.

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

Video wall technology is one of the most exciting communications developments of the decade. This technology has experienced huge popularity growth mainly because there is just so much to love about video walls. Their flexibility, clarity of picture, and dynamic presentation abilities are just a few of the benefits they bring to a space. As a series of seamlessly overlapped displays that are controlled by one processor, this technology is exceedingly intricate, yet extremely powerful. Utilized in higher education, the military, and lobbies of executive office suites, their applications are nearly limitless.

One of the current prevalent uses of video walls is the 24/7 control room. Their functionality, ergonomic design, and capability to share critical data quickly and accurately make them a must-have in today’s decision-making environments. However, not all video walls are the same. Some are created to dazzle and entertain, and others, like those needed in control rooms, should offer more practical features. When looking to purchase and install this technology in your control room, there are several key factors to consider.

From a financial standpoint, you need to ask some important questions. First, what is the life-span of the wall? This technology is currently advancing at a rate faster than the degradation of the typical control room housing, so you must consider the protection of your investment. The best approach, then, should include investigation of longevity issues such as maintenance and service policies, as well as upgrade options.

While longevity is an important consideration, it is only one portion of the TCO, or total cost of ownership. Other significant features to research are power consumption, cooling requirements, and reliability. Your video wall will be in operation 24/7, and thus, will require sizeable capital, so it’s important to make the smartest choice to preserve that investment.

Less directly related to financial concerns are questions of quality and functionality. Color quality and brightness are paramount in a control room setting. Timely educated decisions depend on clarity of text and images. Sharpness of display improves legibility, both close-up and at a distance. When deciding which system to use, you’ll want to investigate issues such as pixel size and resolution, relative to the planned positioning of your wall.

At PixelFLEX ®, our process for your video wall begins with your vision. We offer creative solutions to your unique projects, and we want a partnership to last the long haul. As technologies change, you can trust that our relationship with you stays strong.

To learn more about PixelFLEX’s products and services, visit us online today!

In the past five years, the market for high-resolution LED displays has grown exponentially on a wave of new pixel pitch technology. The rapid growth has provided businesses with an array of powerful display solutions, but the skyrocketing price has some concerned about how to develop a balanced budget that maximizes the value of their investment. There are a number of considerations to take into account when surveying the field, and though the market is producing cutting-edge technologies, the key to efficiency may be surprising.

Recently, competitors in the LED display market have focused on increasing resolution by focusing on reducing the fine pixel pitch, which measures the physical distance between two LED diodes, center to center. Less than a decade ago, 10mm to 20mm pitches were standard. But recent advances have put 3mm and less products in the spotlight, with a 15.8% CAGR predicted between 2014 and 2024.[1] Industry insiders say that this race to develop the finest possible LED display have pushed prices too high, as the R&D and man hours necessary to create the technology is simply too expensive for manufacturers. This both limits the growth of the market and creates an additional challenge for businesses looking to integrate an LED display into their approach.[2]

The key for businesses looking to maximize their investment is to look back by a year. Though instincts say that older technology is outdated and therefore not as good, the upgrades seen in fine pixel pitches have been incremental. Whereas 4mm pixel pitches were cutting-edge last year, this year they’re considered old news. Despite that, 4mm products are extremely high-resolution and using that technology means the same goals can be met with a much smarter, leaner budget.

Creating an immersive experience for customers is harder than ever, and though having a high-resolution display is essential, it’s far from the only consideration to be made. Putting up a digital display of any kind will create more engagement from viewers, with more than half (55%) not only recalling a digital screen they’d seen but remembering the exact message displayed.[3] Standing out from the crowd is absolutely key, and recent advances in LED have made thinking outside the box more than possible, but necessary. “Audiovisual designers can be more creative than they’ve really ever been able to be. They’ve been limited to rectangular boxes for such a long time,” David Venus of LED manufacturer Pixel Flex said.

When looking to balance a high-resolution with price, distance is your friend. The more natural distance between viewer and display, the less important it is to have a fine pixel pitch. Many locations, like university unions and property managers, are renting out ad space on their digital display to offset the cost of an initial investment, and though this solution isn’t ideal for every user, it’s a powerful way to regulate a budget.

Perhaps the most important element of investing in a current digital display is to seek out manufacturers who are creating standardized displays. When electronics are uniform across platforms, it’s easy to buy a lower-resolution version today and then simply upgrade later down the line when more powerful technology becomes affordable.

The future of digital displays is a thrilling one. As technologies grow more powerful and affordable, the A/V world will likely never be the same. To learn more about the exciting new technologies emerging and ways to find digital solutions on a smart budget, just visit: https://pixelflexled.com/products/

[1] https://epsnews.com/2016/09/01/fine-pixel-pitch-led-display-market-reach-3-1b-2024/
[2] http://www.tmrblog.com/2016/09/fine-pixel-pitch-led-displays-market.html
[3] https://oaaa.org/NewsEvents/PressReleases/tabid/327/id/4244/Default.aspx