US sales of the newly launched digiLED MC range of indoor / outdoor modular LED tiles have provided the basis for strong international growth, says global video solutions provider displayLED.
The range, including mesh and solid versions, was developed following extensive consultation with audio-visual professionals in the USA, and received phenomenal feedback at InfoComm this June. The product has sold over 6,000 tiles in its first four months of availability, and has already been deployed on high profile global productions including Bruce Springsteen's current world tour, the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards in Washington DC and The Donny and Marie Osmond Show.
Using high precision components, the screens are manufactured in China to US and European standards and certified by the German standards organisation; the TUV lab. The MC range features mechanically identical tiles with a range of pixel pitches that can be mixed to create screens with higher and lower definition areas. This opens possibilities for creative screen builds with differing sizes of pixel pitch in the same structure. A benefit of having a common tile size is that all accessories including hanging, stacking and screen controls are interchangeable, increasing flexibility of a rental company's inventory. This enables rental companies to mix and match the pixel pitches to tailor a screen package to meet their client's budget and technical specification.
digiLED MC (Mirage Curve) is based on a 500mm square platform, with a range of pixel pitches of 5.2mm, 7.8mm, 10.4mm and 15.6mm. All but the 5mm version can create a faceted curve, with up to a 14.4 degree angle between tiles. A further cost effective option is a non-curving version, known as the MK series. Both systems are designed for outdoor use and are fanless, therefore extremely quiet to operate and so are ideal for environments such as TV studios and shows using radio microphones.
Another feature aimed at the creative events market is the ability to pixel map both real and â€˜missing' pixels, allowing for a continuous video canvas spread across both screen and air gaps. The pixel mapping philosophy of “any DVI pixel to any LED pixel” means designers are given the ultimate freedom with show content creation.
Despite these creative features, the MC units processing has still retained the robust signal architecture offered by all digiLED Navigator devices. Active signal-loss reversal means that a secondary feed to the screen can always be present. In the event of a cable break, tiles that lose their signal will automatically swap over to the secondary system without a blip to the show.
When combined with the digiLED Navigator (the screen DVI input device) the system builds into a touring and event friendly structure with many screen-tech suggested features built in. Of particular interest to LED rental operators is the automatic plug and play installation of the Navigator Software via USB. Active DVI loop-through monitoring also provides ultimate peace of mind for any systems builders wanting to view their LED DVI feeds, and input signal indicators are located both front and rear.
Rental companies already using the MC and MK ranges include Pete's Big TVs (PBTV), Creative Technology (CT), Video WallTronics Inc, Innovision Media Group, and Moo TV in the US, and AV Systems in South Africa.
The range was developed by displayLED following discussions between CEO Graham Burgess, and prominent US rental company heads; Peter Daniel of PBTVs and Mitch Kaplan of Video WallTronics.
“Peter from PBTVs asked us to develop a range of mechanically identical LED tiles with varying pitches that could be combined in one screen,” explains Burgess. “This would increase the opportunities for cross-rental with other LED stockholders.” Pete's inspiration was to recreate a 1990's scheme, AV Buddies, in which a group of specialist rental companies could hire each other's compatible stock. This allowed AV Buddies to operate with a much bigger rental stock, effectively spreading their investment risk and sustaining their return on investment. The new, mechanically standardised range of screens enhances this proposition as all tiles are compatible and have common accessories. Rental companies investing in the MC range can pool their resources and compete with the dry hire giants. To date over 6,000 tiles have been ordered for the US market, ensuring that there is sufficient inventory for all partners to cross rent, even for the biggest jobs.
The range was launched to the European market at Prolight & Sound in the spring. Burgess says: “I'm optimistic the MC and MK will be as popular here and the rest of the world as it has already been in America.”
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