2016 Macroblock LED Display Conference Recap




2016 Macroblock LED Display Conference Recap

Industry leaders and experts gathered at Shenzhen Langham Hotel to experience 2016 Macroblock LED Display Conference on July 14. The theme “Beyond Product” emphasized on the industry transformation and new market demands in LED display industry.

Macroblock’s chairman Li-Chang Yang kicked off in celebration of widespread applications of fine pitch LED displays. Fine pitch LED displays can be seen everywhere at ISE 2016 in Amsterdam as well as at Infocomm 2016 in Las Vegas. Well-known companies who did not showcase LED displays before firstly launched their fine pitch LED display products at exhibitions this year. NEC showcased pixel pitch 1.5mm fine pitch LED displays; meanwhile, Mitsubishi, a key player of outdoor LED displays, also showcased their pixel pitch 1.5 mm fine pitch LED displays at the exhibitions. The trend is clear. LED displays are widely acceptable from outdoor to indoor applications. The distances between audiences and LED displays are getting closer, and so are the image defects on the LED displays. LED displays may probably dominate some of the indoor applications instead of LCD screens or projectors for the advantages of brightness, seamless, flexible sizes and free-forms. However, image quality, visual performance, smallest pixel pitch, and cost are still the challenges ahead for fine pitch LED displays. Macroblock is excited about blazing a new trail with upstream and downstream partners to overcome the challenges and open arms for any innovation in LED displays that may apply on interactive displays or “smarter” displays.

Aeson Event Technologies is a leading total LED display services and solution company in the USA. 95% of Aeson’s businesses are from fixed installation and system integration, and the other 5% are from staging and rental displays. At the conference, Justin Mack, General Manager of Aeson Event Technologies, gave a US market overview of the rental and staging and fixed installation. Justin further explained that LED display users are not LED experts, and they expect to have a great looking display with the same image quality as LCD TVs. It is impossible to buy LED displays with cheap price and good quality with good services. US customers will usually pay for a better product and better service. Reliable and honest suppliers are always first priority for LED display users. Besides, US government is actively promoting green buildings; more and more suppliers pursue LEED certifications (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). A LEED professional credential signifies a commitment of active participant in the green building movement and adds values to green products on energy saving efforts, which are important indexes for US customers as well. 

With the concerns of image quality, energy saving, and light pollution of LED displays, many users may think of a special feature of LED displays: brightness adjustment. Macroblock’s LED Display Product Manager, Kurt Tsai, started with the theory of LED display brightness adjustment. He further analyzed the most common two methods for users to adjust LED display brightness: Grayscale Data Adjustment and Current Gain Adjustment, and introduced Macroblock’s newly launched: Brightness Adjustment Module. Grayscale Data Adjustment is the easiest way to adjust LED display brightness, but LED displays will lose grayscales to apparently affect the image quality after brightness adjustment. Professional users who require better image quality may opt for Current Gain Adjustment, but this adjustment can only be functioned with specific LED driver ICs with current gain features. Users now have a third and more convenient method to adjust LED display brightness without any compromise on image quality, energy saving, and light pollution, and that is Macroblock’s innovated Brigthness Adjustment Module. Users only have to choose Macroblock’s LED display driver ICs with current gain function and upgrade the software of controllers to achieve better image quality without grayscale loss after adjustment. Mr. Tsai along with Novastar’s Product Manager, Wade Wei, also live-demonstrated the user-friendly interface, making a deep impression on the audience at the end of the speech.

With the specification upgrade of LED displays, customers become more demanding for better image quality and more reliable products. Mark Liu, Vice President of Nationstar, analyzed the stringent requirements of LED displays in different segments and Nationstar’s SMD LED technology breakthrough to meet customers’ needs. Mr. Liu further explained that product differentiation is significant, and product quality is the only thing we cannot compromise. Nationstar’s REESTAR SMD LED products pass automotive qualifications – AEC-Q standards and provide high reliability even under extreme conditions.

Echoing the uncompromising product quality, Macroblock’s LED Display Product Manager, Freddy Lo, listed the current challenges of image quality on LED displays: Contrast vs. Brightness, High Contrast Interference, Refresh Rate vs. Grayscales, Refresh Rate at Low Grayscales, and Wide Input Voltage vs. Visual Performance. To get better contrast, users usually adjust the brightness, and especially lower the brightness of color black on LED displays; however, this may affect the visual performance of low grayscale images, such as severe high contrast interference, unsmooth gradient, decreased refresh rate, and grayscale loss. Macroblock’s Hawkeye series LED driver ICs are specifically designed to improve the image quality more easily. Besides, Macroblock’s LED driver ICs also provide wide input voltage range, allowing customers flexibly design their LED display systems without sacrificing visual performance. Apart from challenges of image quality, energy conservation is another challenge for users. Many LED displays are operating 24-7, and Macroblock’s newly launched 48-channel LED display driver IC - MBI5353, featuring “intelligent power saving” function, help dynamically reduced power consumption of LED displays. For example, when an LED display shows a pure black image, MBI5353 may save the current consumption of the whole system up to 50%. This dynamic power saving feature is ideal for LED displays in central control rooms or when showing pictures with large areas of black, such as texts-only or subway route maps.

With high definition requirements of LED displays, Lionel Cheng, Marketing Manager of RGBLink, began with the market trends and demands by different segmentations and shared his insights on how to flexibly control multiple video image signals on different sections of the display while keeping reliable and clear images simultaneously. RGBLink’s X Venus Series video processors are designed for these needs.

Grayscales and details are the most popular topics of LED displays. Our final featured speaker Aaron He, Vice President of Novastar, updated us with Novastar’s latest controller technologies 18bit+ and Clear View™ which keep image details as well as ensure high grayscale and high contrast image quality even after brightness adjustment.

Last but not least, Macroblock China’s General Manager, Larry Lee, summarized all the fantastic speeches that all the trends begin and end with end-users. The diverse applications of LED displays from outdoor advertising, video walls and staging to indoor TV broadcasting, ballrooms, central control rooms and shopping centers create more splendid and energetic atmospheres. However, users nowadays ask more than just image quality, but also ask for environmentally-friendly LED displays, no matter in daytime, nighttime, far distance or close distance. Macroblock hosts conference annually to invite industry experts together with only one and simple goal: create a win-win, long-term, and healthy industrial ecology.