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InfoComm 2016 - Window into the World of Displays

The Futuresource professional AV team attended Infocomm 2016, meeting clients and scanning the floor for the latest innovations in this space. For those that did not attend this show, we wanted to share what we found to be the big display themes, which did reflect the trends from European market, captured in our ISE 2016 report.

The final numbers for the US show InfoComm 2016 did echo the feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike, it felt quiet, which is strange for a Vegas based show!

However, given the increasing influence of ISE in Amsterdam, arguably the premier global professional AV show, it was excellent to see a few exciting product launches timed for this US show. Whilst the numbers were down, there was certainly a buzz around the show floor and positive steps to introduce new areas including drones and the internet of things (IoT), which will maintain its future relevance. 

Projection 

Following the trends seen at ISE and reflected in sales performance, solid state projection (SSL), mostly high bright laser phosphor, was heavily promoted by almost every vendor at the show, and rightly so given its importance to the category. 

InfoComm 2016 was not necessarily about what was being shown but rather how it was being shown. Several brands, in fact most, demonstrated projectors being used in micro or large-scale mapped installations. This was most notable on the Epson stand, following the same theme it adopted at ISE, the brand partnered with DATATON to highlight its intention to be recognised as a leader in high-end, as well as mainstream projection.

Closely linked to both the above points, digital signage played a pivotal role on most brands’ stands, finally making this application viable to all product segments. Brands were keen to illustrate how projection’s inherent flexibility creates a wealth of opportunity for players in this space. The Panasonic Space Player, though not a new product, is a great example of this trend.

As the impact of flat panel displays in presentation applications becomes more wildly felt, we expect projector brands to devote more time in demonstrating how the technology can do far more than mirror a computer screen.

Beyond solid state illumination (SSI), brands continue to accelerate the introduction of high resolution projectors with 4K, liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) and digital light processing (DLP) chipsets, very clearly a trend highlighting the level of investment in the installation space.

NPP LED

NPP LED stood out clearly in the latest Futuresource Global Video Wall Report, NPP LED, <3mm was front and centre for most of the leading display vendors. Indeed, it is quite amazing to see how this new display technology has moved from the darkest depths, at the back of ‘hall nowhere’, to be such a prominent category, in such a short space of time.

The Sony 1.2 CLEDIS (Crystal LED Integrated Structure) wall was the show stopping technology for Futuresource, rarely without a huge crowd. Deliberately avoiding the techie side of the product, it has very high contrast potential in well-lit environments and produces a smooth continuous image.

Numerous LED product developments were on show across the floor, cable-less solutions, curved mounting, etc., another key indicator of the rapid maturity in this category. Silicon core is the other vendor worthy of individual note, launching both P0.95mm indoor and P3.9mm outdoor solutions. 

Commercial Flat Panel

The commercial LCD category felt a little flat, no pun intended, at this year’s show. We have already been through the 4K, and to a point the super large screen size buzz, so the addition of new headline grabbing products was limited. In fairness this is also a consequence of so many launches timed for ISE this year.

Nevertheless, there were some trends and announcements that caught our eye. The first of these was the clear push into high brightness categories with all the key vendors emphasising this segment. In the case of Samsung, this manifested itself into an impressive full outdoor demonstration, an area that Futuresource believes is primed for growth in the next few years.

The sheer scale and visibility of NPP LED makes it easy to forget that the LCD narrow bezel (NB) category is still the dominant video wall technology with 64% value share in 2015 and one that has enjoyed another round of development, with vendors launching extreme narrow bezel (eXNB) product to market. This creates a third segment, <3mm bezel to bezel and brings the category ever closer to seamless display. 

We would be remiss if we didn’t also mention the array of stunning, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology from LG, in particular the double sided display. Whilst the current price points are extremely prohibitive, and likely to stay that way for some time given production issues, the displays are quite stunning and have the wow factor that exhibitors and attendees crave. 

This is a very quick and high level overview of display technology at the show, please feel free to reach out directly for a more detailed discussion.

About the author

Chris Mcintyre-Brown

About Us

Here at Futuresource Consulting we deliver specialist research and consulting services, providing market forecasts and intelligence reports. Since the 1980s we have supported a range of industry sectors, which has grown to include: CE, Broadcast, Entertainment Content, EdTech and many more.