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How to Determine the Best Display Solution for Your Meeting Space, Part Two

The use and goals drive the technology

How to Determine the Best Display Solution for Your Meeting Space, Part Two

“Which screen type is best for my conference room, an LED display or a projection system?”  It’s one of the first questions we’re asked when starting a conference room project however, to achieve the best outcome it’s important to understand that technology does not drive the best application but instead, the use and goals will drive the technology. While price, ease of installation and total cost of ownership (TCO) need to be considered, the answer depends on the project’s goals and on the calculated proper screen size which factors in viewing angles, distance, room size and more. Once the size is determined and the client and AV Designer have a clear understanding of the goals to be achieved, the type of display best suited for the application can be revealed.  Let’s explore what each has to offer.

Projection Technologies – DLP/LCD/LASER

The three main types of projection systems in use are: traditional lamp (high-intensity discharge lamps, or HID) DLP, LCD projectors and the newer laser phosphorous projectors (laser projectors).  Laser projectors are quickly gaining momentum in the industry because of their picture quality, long-life lamps and energy efficiencies. A laser projector can run 20,000 hours before displaying a noticeable degradation of light output, whereas a HID lamped unit’s degradation may be detected as early as 1500 hours. HID lamp changes are usually made every 2,000 to 3,000 hours so, despite the added initial cost of laser (approximately 30% over that of HID), it yields a lower TCO. LED lighted technology is still available, but its lower lumens are more appropriate for home theater than a bright office environment. 

Flat Screens – Plasma, LED, OLED/QLED

The main “Flat Panel” or “Flat Screen” display technologies are Plasma, LED, and OLED (organic light-emitting diode), with the most common and widely accepted technology being the “LED LCD” display. Plasma, while still a consumer “niche” market for video purists who believe it provides the truest contrast and color saturation, is no longer in use in commercial applications. With the quick adoption of 4K, plasma will be going the way of the cassette tape.

OLED, originally created by researchers at Eastman Kodak in 1987, is the next great technology that is sweeping through the flat screen market and will likely become the next standard, but manufacturers are already looking at direct view micro-LED technology as the next “big thing.” 

Although similar in name to OLED, QLED technology is dramatically different. QLED is basically an LED TV that uses quantum dots to enhance key picture quality areas and boasts of creating deeper black levels and reproducing more colors than ordinary LEDs. 

LED Direct View technology is the same technology that you see in NY’s Times Square or in large Stadiums. Over the last few years, manufacturers have been able to provide smaller “pixel pitch” (ppx) panels that allow for finer and more exact picture quality.  Ideal for close up viewing, these can be found in retail, auditorium or Emergency Operations Centers/Network Operations Centers (EOC/NOC’s). LED Direct view can also be found in larger boardrooms and training spaces affected by excessive, uncontrolled ambient light. As the price continues to settle and the pixel pitch technology becomes smaller (Micro-LED), we will see more direct view applications in board rooms and smaller spaces. 

As shared in Part 1, there are guidelines and formulas for determining the proper viewing screen size in a conference room. Those best practices hold true for 4K displays/projection screens as well but, with the incredible resolution of a 4K display or projector, you’ll need to bear in mind that 4 times the amount of pixels will be displayed (imagine duplicating that screen into a 2x2 grid on the viewing surface). What effect does this have on the image? While the resolution is incredibly true and sharp, font size and detailed content such as spreadsheets, will need to be enlarged for effective viewing.

So, which is best, a flat panel or projection screen? Just give us a call. We’ll help measure up your choices and design the best solution for your needs.