Weighing the Merits of LCD Vs. LED Video Walls

Selecting an ideal video wall solution can be a complex task because of the wide range of options that are available. One of the most important components of a video wall solution is the display type, and the common types that people look at are LCD video walls and LED video walls. Most often than not, it becomes fairly difficult to choose the right one and this article attempts to help you identify the right display type based on your needs.

Color Accuracy and Display Quality

In the late 1990s, RGB light hit the market and changed the game to LED screens forever. RGB stands for “red, green, and blue”, meaning that with these colors LED lights are capable of producing tens of thousands of different colors and shades. Considering this, LED screens have a bit of an advantage over LCD. Colors are brighter, bolder, and sharper. LCD screens are made out of liquid crystal that has the same volume and density throughout the screen. Additionally, optimal screen brightness of over 12,000 nits (measure for luminance) for outdoor use-cases and large distance viewing is enabled with LEDs.

Power Usage and Consumption

While power usage is roughly proportional to screen size, LED screens offer greater energy efficiency per pixel than LCDs. This is largely due to LED displays utilizing newer technology, and their ability to dim backlights (such as for absolute black). When dark colors are displayed for a long time, software management has the option to completely turn off the backlight, diminishing the consumption of power even more. LCD screens use more energy since they have to be illuminated at all times to project an image. However, you will still need to make sure your venue has enough power capabilities for both LCD and LED video walls.

Brightness Uniformity

When it comes to a video wall solution, LCDs have been the popular option for years, and an ultra-narrow bezel LCD is one of the best suited for the job. LCD stands for “liquid crystal display” and chances are, you use this technology every day with your smartphone. LCD panels in a video display are composed of a layer of liquid crystal that is sandwiched between two polarized pieces of glass. When electricity is applied, the liquid shifts to create an image. Since the crystals in this liquid do not produce their own light, a backlight is created to illuminate the display. LEDs are the most common means of backlighting LCDs, and the technologies are often advertised as a package deal, i.e., “LED-LCD.”

Although LCD video walls are tiled like LEDs, there are spaces in-between the displays known as “bezels.” The ultra-narrow bezel design is the most ideal for video walls because it creates the smallest seams. In fact, with liquid technology and a narrow bezel, video walls can display a highly uniform brightness.

The Pixel Pitch

One of the significant differences between LCD and LED displays is the pixel pitch, which is defined as the distance between each pixel. The bigger the pixel pitch is, the further away you have to be to see it clearly. LED video walls have fewer pixels than LCD video walls, so the pixel pitch is greater for LEDs. Typically, LCD displays are installed more frequently than LED displays due to their lower cost and higher resolution when viewed from close distances. However, moving forward, you can expect to see LED video walls more frequently in command centers as both the pixel pitch and price continue to decrease.

Though LEDs have greater pixel pitch and are frequently more expensive, there are some advantages to choosing LEDs over LCDs. LCD displays, though they have greater clarity from a close distance, have bezels that can be seen between the panels of a video wall. The LCD video walls installed have very thin bezels, as thin as 5 or 3mm, but with LED displays you don’t have that visible edge. With a thin bezel, you will still see the lines on an LCD display wall, but with LED there are no visible seams in the wall. The margins in LED displays are smaller, and more facets can be used for a more precise, tight curve when creating curved video walls.

Hardware and Software

Comparing the hardware of LED and LCD screens to the old-fashioned TV screens is incomparable. The hardware of the latest screens is durable, able to withstand extreme temperatures and physical damage. However, when it comes to software, there are a few potential problems, with the first of them being security. Video walls often display the sensitive content of personal data. Protecting the information has become vital, especially for larger corporations. Getting hacked is every engineer’s nightmare.
Switching cables and outputs all the time is not practical, and even if it did, the hardware couldn’t keep up with the software technology. Hence, many video walls, regardless of whether they are built of LED or LCDs, implement software management to control data sharing and prevent any interruptions and cyber hacks.

Applications and Purpose

LED video walls are much more applicable in indoor applications where ambient light is bright. For example, they can be used in malls, multiplexes, stock tickers, product displays, clubs, and corporate lobbies. They can also be used in all outdoor applications as they are completely weatherproof and viewable under direct sunlight. No other digital medium is more suited for the following purpose: billboards, sports arenas, petrol pumps, or airports. LCD video walls can only be used for indoor applications where display resolution is important, such as control rooms and board rooms.

Choosing suitable LED or LCD screens for corporate deployments can be challenging in an ever-changing market. The type of technology you should choose depends on your needs, applications, and budget. At VSGi we will have all your needs covered. We design, deploy and support user-friendly, hassle-free AV systems so you can focus on growing your business, not struggling with technology. Contact us today to get more information about this technology and get started.