With standards constantly changing, what’s best – LED Walls or projectors?

When it comes to digital signage, video walls and making an impact with your customers, the attitude is go big or go home. You only get one chance to make a first impression so you want it to be the best you can.

Creating that initial engagement could mean the difference between gaining a new customer and getting your message across, to missing out altogether so it needs to be done right. And that can all come down to making the right decision on your digital display to make your big bold statement. This can be achieved by displaying high resolution images and videos to create an immersive, eye-catching environment.

So what are your choices? Is the LED wall the way to go? Or should you opt for a projector? Both have their advantages and, when used in the right conditions, can look breathtaking.

But how do you decide which one is right for you?

There are a few things you need to take into consideration like costs, ease of set-up, image quality and reliability.

COST

LED walls

LED walls in the long term are one of the most cost-effective large digital signage options. They include no consumable parts and have much lower power consumption than other formats. There are also minimal maintenance requirements and LED screens will run for up to seven years until they reach half-brightness.

Projectors

The cost of a projector set-up will vary depending on whether a single projector and screen is used or if a blended projection system is required. Initial costs of projectors are on par with LED walls but the addition of a screen increases the cost.

The latest projectors have laser and LED light engines and lamps and it’s here where the higher costs occur. Running costs are also higher because the projectors, which operate at high temperatures, require fans and filters which need to be maintained regularly. Over time, lamps will also need replacing with each costing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Blended projection systems also use far more power to produce a high resolution image than a LED wall of the same size.

 

EASE OF SET-UP

LED Walls

LED walls, made up of lightweight panels, are easy to mount and align but the difficulty of the deployment increases with the size of the screen. For added stability and safety it may be necessary to mount the screen to a structural wall.

Another advantage is the minimal footprint thanks to its shallow depth. With LCD screens it is also possible to incorporate touch interactivity to make the experience even more immersive.

Projectors

While the screen materials are lightweight and relatively easy to install, the projector or projectors are quite heavy with installers requiring lifts and ladders to put them in position which adds to the expense. Throw distance is also something that needs to be taken into consideration for the projector to create the image size you want. For a blended projection system, with two or more projectors, the calibration process can be complex and time-consuming but the result is an image that can cover a very large space.

 

IMAGE QUALITY

LED walls

When it comes to picture quality the LED walls are capable of full high definition (1920 x 1080) and 4K (3840 x 2160) when using displays between 47-inch and 55-inch. Larger displays with even higher pixel density are even capable of 8K (7680 x 4320) for an incredibly sharp image.

The LED walls can also combine the accumulated resolution of all the displays to have a “stacked” resolution which is a distinct advantage over projectors.

Black levels and the contrast ratios on LED TVs have also significantly improved in the last few years and have brightness levels that will allow them to be used in venues where there is a high level of ambient light.

But one downside of creating a wall of LED panels is the bezel width. But manufacturers have managed to reduce bezel thicknesses to well below half a centimetre with some as slim as 3.5mm so from a distance the bezels are not as intrusive. This is an issue you won’t have with a projection set-up.

Projectors

A projector is capable of producing up to 4K resolution but falls behind those higher resolutions you’ll see with LED walls. But the most pleasing thing about projection, and also blended projection when done right, is the seamless image that can be used on a grand scale.

Forget those thin bezel lines and the tiled effect of an LED wall, a projector’s image is striking. Projectors using DLP imaging technology provide even greater picture sharpness and less motion judder for fast moving images.

Brightness is also a key factor when it comes to projection. The two factors that will have the biggest impacts on brightness is the level of ambient light and the throw distance between the lens and the screen. A longer throw distance will reduce the overall brightness of the screen.

Want to hear more?

Digital display insights, technology and applications dominate the agenda of this year’s Integrate Expo, with a dedicated stream of digital display education on Tuesday 23rd August and an exclusive 4K session with rAVe Publications’ Founder, Gary Kayye on Thursday 25th August.

You can also meet the manufacturers behind the leading display brands and discuss your business options. Make sure your register now to attend and meet the industry’s leading figures today!