LED Displays

How — and why — to replace a projector with an LED video wall

Projectors used to rule the roost in all sorts of commercial displays applications, but the new boss is the LED wall. In meeting rooms, classrooms, lobbies, retail showrooms and even government command centers, LED walls have rapidly replaced projectors as the display of choice.

Projector vs. LED video wall

An obvious difference between a projector and an LED wall is in visual performance.

Projectors work by shining a bright light through a small transparent lens onto a surface. Viewers see the reflection of the projected image. Projectors perform better in a dark environment, because the light of the projector is not particularly bright and it has to travel from the projector to the screen. They also generate a fair amount of heat, which is why projectors require a fan and tend to be noisy.

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An LED screen is made up of components that emit light directly toward the viewer. The light has virtually no distance to travel, so the resulting image is extremely bright and clear. Even viewed from an angle or in brightly lit rooms, the screen loses none of its sharpness, brightness or coherence, making it perfect for big meeting rooms. Unlike with projectors, there’s no need to dim the lights to see all the details on an LED screen. Meeting rooms can remain well lit during presentations, allowing employees to take notes, remain more attentive and, for remote employees joining via webconferencing, see the room and meeting attendees clearly.

Samsung’s cutting-edge microLEDs, the next generation of LEDs that power The Wall for Business, are submillimeter-size chips that produce a dynamic color range and higher contrast, for more vivid and precise visuals than normal LEDs.

Replacing a projector with a video wall

Even facilities designed around a projector-based system can easily upgrade to an LED wall. The flexible, modular nature of LED allows you to tailor the solution to any space. Removing a bulky projector and an even bulkier screen also frees up valuable space; from planning to installation, your LED display is working for you rather than the other way around.

LED video walls also tend to be easier to use and connect devices to, as this medical research university in Oklahoma City discovered when they made the switch to LED (after their projector caught fire). With high-quality visuals and no need for maintenance, Samsung’s LED wall was an obvious choice for the campus.

As you consider replacing a projector with an LED wall, here are some things to keep in mind:

Designing around your space

Think of your LED wall as a series of tiles or modules that fit together — seamlessly — in order to fill the allotted space. As you measure your space and plan the video wall’s design, keep in mind that the only space your new solution will need is for the display itself. A wall-mounted display is a lot more practical and effective than the projector equivalent, which needs space both for the screen and the projector itself. Projectors also depend on access to mains power, which often comes with obtrusive cables. LED walls are far more discreet, powered without cables running across the floor.

Selecting the right technology

Pixel pitch, the distance between the center of one “tile” and the center of the next, is also a critical consideration. If you need your LED wall to be crisp and legible from a significant distance — in a hotel lobby, for instance — there should be a relatively large distance between the pixels (a higher pixel pitch). But a higher pixel pitch doesn’t look great up close, such as in a home theater. In this instance, the pixels should be closer together (a lower pixel pitch), and the screen will therefore have more pixels in total. Cost increases with the number of pixels, so identically sized LED tiles can vary significantly in price.

Finding a trusted installation partner

Once you’ve invested in an LED wall, it needs to be properly installed. It’s easy to find an installation service, but it’s a little trickier to find a reputable provider you can trust. You want your new LED wall to be calibrated correctly, and hiring a professional helps ensure the job is done to a high standard. Samsung provides white glove service and support through your display installation, as well as regular maintenance, ensuring all your LED panels perform exactly as they should.

Making the investment

A new LED wall is likely to be less of an investment than you’d expect. When you consider LED’s longevity compared to a projector system, you would likely replace a projector two or three times over before needing a new LED wall.

LED is an obvious upgrade from a projector in every respect — from ease and flexibility of installation to lack of maintenance and out-and-out performance. Ultimately, there’s no appreciable downside. As a business investment, the advantages of LED are obvious. And for the end user, it’s a far more engaging and satisfying viewing experience.

Find everything you need to know about choosing your LED displays for optimal viewing indoors and out in this free comprehensive guide. And if you’re not sure a video wall is right for your needs or your budget, discover other, equally innovative, smaller direct view LED displays from Samsung.

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Simon Lucas

Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant with nearly 20 years of industry experience. In a previous life he was editor of whathifi.com. These days he writes about all aspects of consumer electronics, with an audio/video emphasis, for numerous titles all over the world. Anyone with a penchant for incoherent ranting can follow Simon on Twitter @onlysimonlucas.

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