9 November 2018

Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 years. Dave does strategic advisory


November 7, 2018 by Dave Haynes
For LED Screens Within Public Reach, The Future Is Hardened

There’s no question that direct view LED displays have seen a huge uptick in marketplace adoption in the last couple of years, but one thing that’s been holding back even broader adoption is durability.

In simple terms, conventionally-made LED displays are fragile. That’s not much of an issue if the displays are up on a wall or set back in some way that minimizes the risk they’ll be bumped or be in reach of curious, prying fingers.

Put an expensive fine-pitch LED in a flagship store, shopping mall concourse or airport terminal courtyard, within public reach, and they’ll inevitably get damaged. The little surface-mounted LEDs get inadvertently scratched off by roller bags, or flicked off as someone breezes by the edge. People in this industry may know the screens are fragile, but the general public doesn’t.

Fixing those bumps and scratches – repairing or more likely replacing the tiny LED light packages – is complicated, time-consuming and costl

 

Hardened Alternative

About this time last year, I went over to Taiwan and Shenzhen, China to see how LED displays are made, and got a glimpse of what was coming – hardened LED displays that would stand up to all the inevitable bumps and scratches. They could, as the old saying goes, take a licking and keep on ticking.

A year on, a handful of Asian manufacturers have products coming out of R&D – ready to market as a new, and at least in some respects, better approach to LED displays.

I was in Montreal yesterday to get a look at one of those products – a 1.5mm fine pitch display manufactured by the publicly-traded Chinese firm Ledman. A company called AVL Media Group – part of a larger AV distribution company (Intellimix) based in Montreal – has the Canadian distributorship, and brought me in, wanting my opinion on whether what they have has potential.

It does.

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