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Changing the AV industry one pixel at a time  Piet Vanhuyse, Global Segment Director, LVX at Barco 

Video walls can improve the overall experience in every step of the customer journey, whether it’s being used in control room applications, broadcast backdrops, or a tool to contribute to an engaging work environment. But did you know that the vast majority of installations worldwide are adversely impacted due to poor handling and installation?

A LED video wall is a big investment and there are a few common issues most businesses face when installing a narrow pixel pitch LED product. A crooked wall or floor, for instance, can cause mechanical stress in the LED tiles resulting in visible seams – the so called dark and bright lines. Moreover, up to 50% of the time needed to install a LED wall is spent tweaking these mechanical seams after the installation of the frames and modules.

Considering LED technology is batch dependent, damage must be avoided at every stage of the project. With that in mind, the ‘smart engineering’ concept was coined.

Smart engineering for seamless outcomes

The smart engineering technology is patented and unique, setting Barco apart and ahead of the rest. Thanks to smart engineering, the quality of installation can be controlled in a predictable manner while reducing the risk of damage. Typically, the pixels are extremely close to the edge of the module. Even the slightest contact between the edge of the module and its surroundings can rip off multiple pixels. In order to help reduce the risk of damage significantly by keeping the edges of the modules away from its solid surroundings, we developed an automated solution – ‘shift insertion’ -which is mechanically guided from start to finish.

Built with two new features to ensure the experience is as seamless as possible, TruePix is the first platform using the new Barco Infinipix Gen2 processor, where the image quality is completely determined by the LED processing system. In addition, smart calibration has been programmed to automatically and instantaneously apply the correct colour gamut to make sure the colours are represented accurately. The True Dynamic Range feature on the other hand ensures perfect low brightness performance of our LED display. Barco’s unique algorithm, SteadyView, combats eye fatigue arising from intense, long term usage by reducing any perceivable flicker.

How TruePix stands out from the crowd

TruePix is the first product in the market using 5G on the tile link compared to the 1G industry standard. This allows to connect five times more tiles per output of the processor, simplifying the front-end solution significantly by reducing the number of cable-runs and points of failure. Additionally, TruePix is developed with 24/7 critical applications in mind with 4-way patented receiver card of the tiles integrated while other industry products only work with a 2-way or bidirectional receiver card at the moment. If there’s a data-link failure, the tile has three other connections to receive the correct video signal. If all 4 data links fail, or if there’s a receiver card error, this particular tile will be the only tile affected instead of the entire section to which it belongs.

Although we have a very robust system architecture, failures can always happen. TruePix can now be managed by the Barco video wall manager, which provides a single dashboard and user interface to set up, manage and monitor all Barco video walls whether it’s LCD, RPC or LED. The vitals of the system can be monitored, and diagnostics can happen remotely. Unfortunately, maintenance interventions remain the number one cause of LED damage as it requires a lot of experience, skills and training to take out or replace a LED module. So early diagnostics and prevention is a much safer and cheaper idea than fixing it up.

Reduced ecological footprint with no compromises on quality

The average power consumption of a direct-view LED video wall is around 700 watts per square meter. Comparing spec sheets of different manufacturers might reveal small differences, but these are always in the same ballpark and even depend on the production batch. When benchmarking the industry standards, we found that up to 40% of the maximum power consumption is still used in standby modes. With TruePix, we reduced the power consumption on black by a factor of 15, to less than 10 watts per square meter.

Ultimately, Barco’s TruePix platform ensures a consistent high-quality installation within a predictable time. It provides the best possible viewing experience with accurate colour reproduction, regardless of the colour standard, without the need of an expert user, and all the while reducing eye-fatigue for improved ergonomics. Thanks to innovations like the 5G data link, the 4-way receiver card and the integration in Barco’s video wall manager, the platform operates smoothly without avoidable interruptions, available with tailored maintenance service agreements and warranty conditions for up to 10 years, guaranteed to provide a peace of mind and to protect the investment.

Looking ahead, one of the most exciting things around video walls is peoples’ changing perceptions towards them. The technology today is advanced enough to ensure visual display installation and maintenance isn’t an obstacle for any business wishing to benefit from the technology. Video walls are no longer simple signage, they’ve come to be thought of as having a critical impact on a business’ functionality and as a centrepiece around which workplaces and work cultures can be redesigned.

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