Display and Projection

Leyard to Buy Planar Systems

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China's Leyard Optoelectronic Co., Ltd. (provider of LED display products and ancillary systems) will buy America's Planar Systems, Inc. (display and digital signage technology).

Leyard at ISE 2015

Leyard will acquire all of the common stock of Planar for a purchase price of $6.58 per share or a total value of approximately $156.8 million.

While the deal may be done, the transaction is subject to specified closing conditions, including approval by the shareholders of both Planar and Leyard, and antitrust and other government clearance.

The pending acquisition augments Leyard’s existing range of LED display products and enables Leyard to expand its position outside its Chinese home market. As far as we know at this point, the intention is that Planar staff retain their positions.

Victor Li, Chairman of Leyard, says, “We believe that Planar and Leyard complement each other and that this acquisition will create significant synergies. We intend to strongly support the continued growth of the Planar business, with standalone management, under the broader Leyard umbrella. This acquisition demonstrates Leyard’s ongoing commitment to expanding its global presence. The combination of Planar's strong customer relationships, respected product offerings, and history of innovation across the organization, together with Leyard's market leading position in emerging video wall technologies create inspiring solutions for customers.”

We told you this was coming: Chinese companies that have grown exponentially based on a huge home market will eventually buy their way into US and European markets.  Planar has experienced a solid year, and it's on track to boost this year's overall revenue by 17.6%. Meanwhile, the China home market is weaker with the yuan devaluing and other domestic issues. This is the time when China turns outward-- when the home market stalls.

Expect more deals by end of 2015 as Leyard's Chinese competitors react, not willing to let Leyard get too big a headstart in overseas markets (because Leyard will turn any overseas profit to financing attacks to take more domestic market share).

Go Leyard to Buy Planar

World’s Fastest LED Video Wall Scaling, Says Calibre

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Tim Brooksbank

Calibre launches its range of scaler-switchers (HQView625 and Calibre HQView770) built from its own HQUltra, the world’s fastest single-channel 4K presentation switching performance technology.

Calibre’s own virtual-ASIC video processing technology provides these scaler-switchers with three functions in one product. The more powerful in the range, HQView770 scaler-switcher, offers…

In Projection Mode, HQUltraWarp provides real-time adjustable 4K warp & blend for fast and easy screen calibration.

In LED Mode, HQUltra provides LED-optimized 4K scaling with a pixel-accurate algorithm that preserves image detail even with significant downscale, a key requirement for driving LED videowalls with good quality images.

In Presentation Mode, HQUltraFast gives the user unprecedented switching speeds, changing visually instantly between input channels in 0.25 seconds.


The 11 video inputs and four identical video outputs include 4K HDMI with 4K50 & 4K60 4:2:0 support, HDBaseT and 3G HD-SDI.

Tim Brooksbank, Chairman at Calibre says: “The HQView770…It’s the ultimate live events scaler-switcher.”

Go Calibre Launches HQUltra, World’s Fastest Single-channel 4K Presentation Switching

A Good Bet on the Horse Track & Digital Signage

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Following the largest single sponsorship deal for the benefit of UK horse racing, The Qatar Goodwood Festival witnessed a first in UK horse racing with more than 120 linear metres of high res digital signage along the final furlong and finish post.

If that signage looked familiar, you might have recognized ADI’s digiBOARD from Premier League football grounds, rugby stadiums and arenas. (digiBOARD features in 13 of 20 Premier League grounds)

The specific digital solution for the Qatar Goodwood Festival, created by LED specialists ADI as the exclusive screen supplier to the Goodwood Estate features 8 staggered 8 metre digiBOARD panels along the final furlong and a 60 metre long digiBOARD strip at the finish post-- all with outdoor 10mm SMD.

The digiBOARD solution is complemented by some of ADI’s other products, including the iCONIC 100+ screens (cited by the company as “the world’s largest, highest resolution mobile LED displays”).

Nick Robinson, Screen Rental Director at ADI comments, “We’ve taken one of our proven technologies and created a bespoke digital platform that met the unique requirements of the event sponsor and the venue. The result is visually spectacular, creating outstanding brand exposure that engages race-goers at the Festival and TV audiences. It has also created an attractive aesthetic in horse racing that’s never been seen before in the UK.”

Headline partner Qatar-- as well as sponsors Jaguar Land Rover, Neptune Funds and NatWest-- improved their sponsorship via full motion advertising in an audience engagement solution that surpassed the traditional audience engagement of static boards. And the signage operator gained the flexibility to change content depending on the race and the time of day (maximizing commercial opportunities as well live information (like race winners) for spectators to enjoy.

Go ADI LED Screen Solutions

Desktop Monitors Join the (Video) Revolution

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ViewSonic designs a 24’’ Full HD integrated webcam LED monitor around the corporate and personal use of the latest videoconferencing and collaboration solutions.

ViewSonic VG2437Smc

It’s about time somebody reinvented the desktop monitor. After all, for years, we have insisted upon referring to the desktop screen that enables our computers as a “monitor,” or “display.”  Both words—however, useful-- convey passivity, an inertness of being.

That’s as archaic as referring to digital cinema as “film” or to what you sometimes hear on your smartphone as a “dial tone.”

In a world where 560+ million people use Skype (50% with video on, says Microsoft) and 100 million people use Microsoft Lync to communicate for work (79% of U.S. enterprises currently use or plan to deploy Lync for telephony as it metamorphoses into Skype for Business), the screen on your desktop needs to match up to today’s age of professional (and personal) collaboration.

It can no longer afford to be solely the stolid purveyor of spreadsheets and Word docs… the monitor needs to stop being a wallflower and join in the real conversation-- the new web, video and voice collaboration that defines modern work (as well as social life).

That’s why ViewSonic brings out the VG2437Smc, a 24’’ Full HD integrated webcam LED monitor.

With a 2 megapixel Full HD webcam, integrated echo cancelling microphone, stereo speakers, and advanced SuperClear MVA wide-viewing angle display technology, the VG2437Smc enables desktop video conferencing-- from any desktop PC running the most popular web or video conferencing applications.

It’s designed to be an active enabler of today’s collaborative work, That is, it’s designed —from the initial concept— for use with Microsoft Lync (now Skype for Business), Skype, Google Hangouts, Cisco Jabber and Webex, Citrix Gotomeeting and Viber.

Viewsonic VG2437Smc is TiltableThis is not your father’s “monitor” or “display;” this is the eyes and ears and voice of your digital world, the way to convert a desktop PC to a personal web and video conferencing solution. It enables any user to connect to other desktop users, to group conferencing solutions in meeting rooms and to smartphone users.

“…Statistics indicate that there are 560 million registered skype users who spend a total of 2 billion minutes every day on skype. In 2013, skype-to-skype calls represented 40% of the total telecom traffic worldwide,” says Claire Chuang, Product Manager for Monitors at ViewSonic Europe Ltd.

The way we work is changing so fast, we hardly have time to reflect on how different we work today than even 5 years ago, let alone 10 years ago. To give you just one European example, the Norwegian Health Network (Norsk Helsenett) now improves patient care for 5 million people with 200-250 videoconferences per day and is said to have 130,000 Lync users in its network.

Chuang adds, “The low cost of videoconferencing solutions has become one of the key considerations for end-users in European markets, which are still recovering from the economic downturn, when choosing enterprise monitors. With the VG2437Smc all-in-one video conferencing solution, business customers can now save time and travel expenses while enjoying a seamless connectivity, as well as a collaborative and productive working environment.”

Good for both business users and consumers, the VG2437Smc also solves the problem of the “rigid” monitor—it features and a height-adjustable, ergonomic stand so users can adjust the angle and placement of the screen. Pivot the screen 90 degrees for portrait mode or swivel 360 degrees. Adjust the height or tile it as much as 25 degrees. If you know this feature to be useful for any ordinary display, think about how necessary and essential it is for frequent “videoconferencers.”

Viewsonic for Collaboration

VG2437Smc also packs dual 2-watt speakers and echo cancelling microphone, as well as 2 USB and mic/headphone ports for connecting headsets. Using Viewsonic’s SuperClear MVA technology means display performance with 178° wide viewing angles offers 95% sRGB coverage and 20M: dynamic contrast ratio.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2a, DVI, VGA and. A Blue Light Filter setting allows users to adjust the amount of blue light emitted from the screen, enabling longer viewing times and increased eye comfort for work and multimedia applications.

With ViewSonic energy-saving Eco-modes, EnergyStar Compliance and EPEAT Silver certification, the VG2437Smc is as green as St. Patrick’s Day.

All commercial end users can register online for a 4 year warranty when buying ViewSonic’s VG2437Smc.

And the best news: the VG2437Smc won’t break the company bank. At a SRRP of £199/ €299 (ex VAT), it’s the most affordable way to encourage all employees to collaborate more often and more successfully.

It’s about time the desktop monitor joined the (video) conversation.

Go ViewSonic VG2437Smc

Watch the Video of the ViewSonic VG2437Smc in action

Daktronics for Largest Video Display in Spain

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The largest video display in Spain – and one of the largest video displays in all of Europe – is a Daktronics that measures 194 square meters and wraps around the El Corté Ingles building façade at their Callao location in Madrid. Now a second display, measuring 137 square meters, is installed in Mágala.

El Corte Ingles

The installation at Callao measures 18.29 meters high by 10.61 meters wide and features SMD (Surface-Mount Device) technology at a 10 millimeter line spacing. The display includes a seamless angle that provides impressive viewing angles as it shows vibrant images with excellent contrast.

The Mágala installation measures 9.88 meters high by 13.9 meters wide and features a 13HD pixel layout, prime technology for cutting through direct sunlight.

With this new system, El Corté Ingles will project their distinctive image and provide a new experience to their customers. Much of the information shown on the display will include fashion and beauty trends, home décor, electronics, food, tourism and more. 

A total of 25.5 million people annually pass through the Madrid square where the Daktronics display is located giving it a great amount of reach and impact as it can be seen from more than 100 meters away.

Both displays incorporate industry-leading environmental protection for longer lifetimes in outdoor environments. The variable content zoning capabilities of each display allow them to highlight one piece of content across the entire display or to organize the display into different sections to show multiple pieces of content at the same time.

Go Daktronics and El Corté Ingles

Say Yes to Electronic Paper for Digital Signage

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How about a Build-Your-Own-Sign using electronic paper technology?

Based on “every digital sign is different,” the new Visionect Platform provides hardware and software building blocks any customer needs to tailor electronic paper signage exactly to their individual needs.

Luka Birsa, Visionect CTO, argues “Electronic paper’s high-readability and low power consumption make it ideal not only for e-books, but also for use in digital signs – which can now come in any size and are no longer limited to the dimensions of electronic paper displays available on the market. New hardware and software from Visionect make it possible to build a custom digital sign by combining multiple EPDs or electronic paper displays into larger screens for the first time, ushering in a new era of digital signage.”

“Take any electronic paper display, implement your platform, and your digital signage solution is ready to be used - it’s that easy,” says the CTO.

The Visionect electronic paper platform can drive multiple electronic paper displays at once, with the high-readability of printed text perfectly adapting to environments “where glaring, energy consuming and heavily wired LCDs just can't do the job.”

Based on almost a decade of research and three years of experience with running electronic paper displays 24/7 in demanding conditions, such as hot Australian roads and cold Alpine winters, Visionect engineers developed a brand new hardware board created specifically for digital signage. The board has Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and localization features (GPS), and, most importantly, has the ability of connecting various sizes of electronic paper displays and even multiple displays to a single electronic board.

Supporting the new hardware is a complete overhaul of the software for driving electronic paper displays. Now written in Go, the server software features a more user-friendly interface, making monitoring and managing displays easier, on desktop or mobile. Adapted to use in digital signage, the software is suitable for large scale deployments and enables the handling of multiple display units connected to a single board.

Visionect’s CEO Matej Zalar explains, “By introducing these new building blocks onto the market, a new generation of digital signage is born. Based on highly-readable electronic paper, the Visionect platform enables the easy creation of custom-made digital signage solutions. Any electronic paper display in combination with our hardware and software can result in a sign that is self-sustainable and performs outstandingly in numerous environments.”

One thing for sure: the new platform sets a trend for a 100% self-sustainable signage solution that can be mounted without wires and which significantly decreases the total cost of ownership.

Go Visionect’s E-Paper Digital Signage Platform

Robotic Signs Set Sail on High Tech Cruise Ship

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Quantum of the Seas, Robot Arms

Quantum of the Seas…it’s a ship that owner RoyalCaribbean International describes by saying, "By taking a quantum leap forward with the first ship in our Quantum class, we're holding ourselves up to the promise of building ships that take you to new heights."

Yes, the cruise ship offers the first ever sky-diving simulator at sea… the North Star, a jewel-shaped capsule that gently ascends over 300 feet above sea level for breathtaking 360° views… completely revolutionary spaces that transform from day to night…and newly designed, modular staterooms that feature the first virtual balconies at sea.

So, it's no surprise to discover Royal Caribbean International's Quantum-Class ships will offer new huge quantum-class entertainment venues with spectacular 360 projection technology and 100" screens wielded on six gigantic robotic arms.

Quantum of the Seas

The cruise line calls the installation venue "Two70" for the 270-degree panoramic sea views thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass walls almost three decks high at the stern of the massive Quantum ship.

Two70's ceiling house six robot arms will control 100" LED screens that extend downwards into the venue, featuring multi-screen digital content. The venue’s glass walls will become part of the entertainment, displaying projections of that encircle the room.

Robotic Arts is programmes the robots and prepares for the content. Andy Flessas, founder of Robotic Arts, calls these robotically controlled video displays "RoboScreens."

The robot arms will move the screens to match the shipboard evening show's music and choreography while still synchronizing each screen's display to form a cohesive image as part of the line's high-tech new entertainment venues."

"We are doing something that has never been done before," says RCI Executive Entertainment Producer Bob Kerns.

Instead of just sailing off into the sunset, Quantum of the Seas will sail into the record books for digital signage as well as cruise ship history.

Go Robotic Signage and Quantum Cruises

Go Quantum of the Seas...

Unilumin: World's Highest Density LED screen-0.8mm

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Unilumin 0.8

Unilumin Group Co.,Ltd. recently released “the world’s highest density LED screen which features 0.8mm pixel pitch.

The company figures this product could be a big hit to the video wall market, especially for the control room market where rear projection cubes (RPC) and super narrow bezel(SNB) display are now used.

The video wall market grew nearly 60% CAGR from 2009 to 2013, according to Futuresource Consulting. Ultra high density LED display is expected to be a significant disruptive technology for the video wall market in the coming years.


High-Resolution LED Modules by eyevis

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eyevis LED

LED modules by eyevis aim at demanding tasks in control and conference rooms at trade fairs and events, or in TV studios and digital signage applications.

With a pixel pitch of only 1.5 to 2.5 mm and the high-quality concept consisting of an integrated image processing system, precise and robust housing as well as the high-resolution, these LED modules by eyevis are designed for permanent indoor installations and mobile video walls.

The modules allow for the assembly of completely bezel-free video walls. Through the small pixel pitch of only 1.5 to 2.5 mm the LED modules are also interesting for applications with small viewing distances. For a pixel pitch of 2 mm, for instance, a video wall of only 8 m² is sufficient to display a full HD signal in its native resolution. Moreover, eyevis says their high-quality LED modules with 1.500 cd/m² are more than twice as bright as conventional professional LCD displays (they provide a clear image event in bright ambient light conditions).