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How To Increase The Image Quality Of Your LEDwall

Aug 17, 2007
How can you increase the image quality on your LED giant screen, without using the squared pixel (and its related side-effects)? Is there another way? Don't panic! Yes, there is another way and it is called "interpolated". How does it increase the quality by 400%? Well, I can tell you exactly how it does it because the only company that has it have a proprietary algorithm for image elaboration and I doubt they would like it revealed here.

But what I can certainly do, is to give you an overview of how it work. To start, we can say that our Interpolated Technology is very similar to the MP3 technology used in the music industry. MP3 is an audio-specific compression format based on the acoustic perception of the human ear. It provides a representation of pulse-code modulation-encoded audio in much less space than straightforward methods, by using psychoacoustic models to discard components less audible to human hearing, and recording the remaining information in an efficient manner (similar principles are used by JPEG, a lossy image compression format).

In the same way, the Interpolated Pixel is a compression based on the visual perception of the human eye: by compressing a BIG image to fit the small resolution available on the screen, the interpolated pixel proprietary algorithm compress the images the way MP3 compress sounds. This compression (together with the image persistence on the retina) allows us to control the visual perception by showing details, in our case one pixel, where there is nothing: that's why it is called Virtual!

As you can see, with this state-of-the-art technology, it doesn't matter how far the pixels are, because the image quality does not rely on a geometrical distribution of the LEDs on the screen surface. Furthermore it also have other key advantages: we learned that "geometrical pixel" is a relatively old technology and that it only works properly when LEDs are equally distant to each other. The problem is that even in this case, there are some side effects. The main side effects are related to the minimum viewing distance, chromatic fidelity and contrast ratio. Why? you are probably asking. Good question. Lets see.

Minimum viewing distance: if LEDs are spread all over (and not grouped in units or pixels), what actually happen is that the pixel gets bigger. Right? And if the pixel get bigger, the image must be looked at greater distance or it will appear pixelated (with dots). Right? And if the image is pixelated, you must move away from the screen in order to perceive it as smooth and defined. Right? What does that mean in terms of image quality? It means that the minimum viewing distance increase. And you might want to consider that, especially if you are installing the LEDwall indoor.

Chromatic fidelity: the distance between the LEDs has another side effects: indeed, the closer the LEDs are to each other, the better their single colors will mix, the sooner your eye will perceive the entire pixel color (the sum of the 3 basic colors: red + blue + green). Clear, no? Ok. On the other side, the more distance you put between LEDs, the more distant you must be in order to perceive the right color mix. What does that mean? It means that not only the images at short distances might look pixelated, but they might also have a poorer chromatic fidelity (yellow might appear as a dot half red and half green)

Contrast ratio: last but not least, if you have LEDs spread on the LEDwall, the surface might not be as black as you would like it to be to ensure the best contrast ratio. Let me explain. Each LED has a white background (or anyways clear) that is much lighter than the black surface of the screen. Now, if you spread this white LEDs on the black surface, what you get is a grey area. Since the contrast level is a ratio between the light emitted by the LEDs and the environmental light reflected by the screen, you can very well understand that your surface should be as dark as possible.

Why interpolated pixel avoid all these problems? Because it allows to put LEDs closer together, to form a clear unit (pixel). In this way you: 1. have a smaller minimum viewing distance because the pixel has a smaller surface; 2. get an higher chromatic fidelity because LEDs are closer and therefore colors mix faster; 3. you increase the contrast ratio because the more space there is between LEDs the more black the surface will look.

Each manufacturer will of course highlight the strong point of its technology, but bear in mind this information next time and make your own conclusion. I tried to clarify a fairly complicated topic, that often create confusion among people approaching the LEDwall business. Most of the time, the confusion is due to the fact that each manufacturer has its own approach and provide different solutions to the same problem, each one with its pros and cons. I hope I provided you with useful information, that will help you to make a more conscious consideration when you have to decide which kind of LEDwall better suits your needs.
About the Author
Fabio Aversa is marketing manager at Euro Display, the manufacturer of LED walls, giant screens and LED displays and author of the FREE ebook How to make money with your LED giant screen in 7 easy steps
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