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The Truth About Pure Black And Other Features Of Your LED Screen

Aug 17, 2007
In the past we discussed some basic information about LED technology. So just to summarize in case you missed anything, here's a brief recap:

* LED = a semi-conductor that emits light
* Pixel = the basic luminous dot, which can contain one or more LEDs
* Pitch = the distance between pixels, expressed in millimetres
* Pure white = the perfect balance of red, green, and blue
* Minimum Viewing Distance (MVD) = the closest you can get before image appears pixelated. The type of screen, as well as the type of content displayed, plays a role here.
* LED screen = smaller modules (from 4*4cm to over 1*1m) assembled together
* Colors available = up to 280 trillion (65,000 * 65,000 * 65,000).
* Gamma correction = the exponential correction needed to adapt colors to the logarithmic vision of the human eyes

Now let's take a deeper look into further features that define the quality of an LED screen. We mentioned several times the importance of having a pure white (the perfect balance of red, green, and blue) in order to have the highest image quality. Now lets see the importance of having pure black.

How do you obtain a pure black on an LED screen? Well, you do it by turning off all the LEDs. Pretty easy, huh? Actually, no. The biggest problem in obtaining pure black with an LED display is the fact that you do not use LEDs to get the black. In fact, if all the LEDs are switched off, you can't rely on your advanced electronic control system.

So how do you do that? You ask the mechanical engineer - incredible, but true. Obtaining pure black is a question of mechanical structure of the LED screen. Indeed, pure black entirely depends on how dark the surface can get when the screen is turned off.

Trust me, it's not easy. The main complication is that such a wide surface will always have a reflection factor, meaning that, if you are not careful, you might end up with a huge black mirror when you turn off the screen. That's why the frontal design of the LED walls is so important, because it must be dark without being flat and reflective as a mirror.

Why, exactly, is pure black so important? Because it defines the contrast levels of the LED screen. The contrast level is the difference between the light emitted by the display and the environmental light reflected by the screen's surface. Minor is the light reflected, higher is the contrast and, therefore, the color depth and the naturalness of the images.

To increase the contrast level, professional LED screen manufacturers provide particular anti-reflex flyers that split the light and don't reflect it, increasing the visibility of the screen even in direct sunlight. The contrast level of a LED display is a fundamental factor to take into consideration, especially during huge events broadcast via television.

What should you be aware of when broadcasting an live event on your LED screen? First of all, the LED wall refresh rate. The refresh rate indicates the number of times that the image refreshes every second. For example, a PC monitor has a refresh rate of 72Hz and, therefore, refreshes all the pixels of the screen, from top to bottom, 72 times every second. To provide a comparison, most TV monitors have a refresh rate of 50Hz and only few products of the last generation have a 100Hz refresh rate.

Professional LED screens have a minimum refresh rate of 240Hz, which is almost triple of that of most advanced TV monitors. The refresh rate is fundamental, because it determines the image's quality: if it is too low, the LED screen would display a flickering image when recorded by a professional camera. Some manufacturers offer a refresh rate as high as 2000Hz to meet the demands of the broadcast industry, especially important for events with rapid camera movements and HD format.

Secondly, be aware of brightness levels. Depending on the location, you might have different needs for brightness. Outdoor events will obviously require an incredibly high brightness to contrast the sunlight. However, if the event is indoors, you must have a lower brightness in order to avoid solarization. To provide you with a practical example, an average frontal brightness is 2,000 to 3,000 NITs for indoor use and up to 5,000 to 6,000 NITs for outdoor use LED screen.
About the Author
Get the FREE ebook specifically for LED Screens Buyers by Fabio Aversa. He is a recognized LED Displays specialist and marketing manager for Euro Display, a leading LED Screens manufacturer and supplier company.
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