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Outdoor AV Week: The Evolving Outdoor TV

Transforming the home viewing experience with outdoor fine-pitch LED display technology.

Outside living spaces are rising in popularity as more people look for ways to enjoy time outdoors. These spaces can be enhanced with modern display technology due to ongoing advancements. For example, imagine it’s a sunny day and you want to watch a ball game, but also want to relax poolside or fire up the barbecue. The good news is that today’s outdoor fine-pitch LED display technology allows you to do both.

Previously, outdoor installations typically sacrificed either details or brightness in their on-screen content. Now, both can be achieved thanks to an array of improvements, especially in pixel pitch and high brightness imagery. The 2020 Futuresource Consulting Global LED Display Market Report confirmed that outdoor LED video display products stabilized their value share due to a transition to increasingly smaller pixel pitches.

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Outdoor TV - Planar
Today’s outdoor fine-pitch LED displays are incredibly versatile, offering lightweight solutions that can be hung and tailored to nearly any size or shape. Photo courtesy of Planar.

The technology is evolving at a rapid pace, which means we’re also seeing a larger selection of products in the market that are more affordable, durable, and efficient. Vivid, ultra-sharp imagery is one of the most popular advantages of today’s outdoor fine-pitch LED displays, but it’s not alone. The list of benefits is growing and will continue to expand as the technology becomes even more accessible. For now, let’s address four ways that modern-day outdoor fine-pitch LED displays are transforming home viewing experiences:

  1. Delivering Fun in the Sun: Direct sunlight has long posed challenges for viewing outdoor displays, but recent improvements such as increased brightness and narrowing pixel pitches are allowing viewers to enjoy brilliant content even in direct sunlight. With smaller pixel pitches around 3 millimeters, outdoor LED displays offer brightness starting at about 4000 nits. Manufacturers are also offering pixel pitches as low as 1.5 millimeters. Such capabilities are key for fostering the close-up, detailed experiences viewers want to enjoy at home, and we can expect customer demand for even finer pitches and brighter imagery to fuel continued innovation in the not-so-distant future.
  2. Braving the Storm and Other Weather Conditions: In spite of falling prices, outdoor fine-pitch LED display technology can still be a significant investment. If you’re looking to incorporate an LED display into your home’s outdoor living space, like any technology, you want to make sure that the product is well-suited for the environment and can be properly cared for to stand the test of time. Environmental conditions can be detrimental to outdoor display technology. To avoid deteriorated image quality and overall system operation, consider outdoor LED displays that include elements like waterproofing, wear-proof masking, dust-tight enclosures, UV protective treatments, and support for wide temperature variations.
  3. Supporting Long Life and Profitability: In addition to contributing to an amplified viewing experience, elements that are designed to help extend the life of the solution can also save time and money on bothersome and premature repairs. Also, it’s important to note that more manufacturers are offering LED products that are designed to support durability and continuous operation. In years past, LCD display technology was a popular choice for precise visuals in close viewing distances, but they came at a high price and few outdoor solutions were available. Today, companies not only have robust portfolios of outdoor LED displays for end-users to choose from, but they are offering solutions that are increasingly more affordable and demonstrate an ability to stay bright for nearly 10 years.
  4. Adapting to Individual Needs for Today and Tomorrow: Today’s outdoor fine-pitch LED displays are incredibly versatile, offering lightweight solutions that can be hung and tailored to nearly any size or shape to cultivate viewing experiences that best accommodate a customer’s space, even as their needs evolve. Additionally, outdoor LED video walls are quickly becoming faster to install and more convenient to service, thanks to features like stackable cabinets, quick-lock systems, swappable components, and front access. As a result, customers spend less time worrying about complicated maintenance and more time enjoying the technology.

Outdoor fine-pitch LED displays that captivate audiences in environments ranging from stadiums and amphitheaters to restaurant patios and retail exteriors are also suitable for residential pool and outdoor living spaces. Recent advancements that allow users to enjoy bright, detailed content in direct sunlight, simplify installation and maintenance, and extend a product’s life are creating one-of-a-kind viewing experiences like we’ve never seen. What’s missing from your outdoor living space today? There’s no time like the present to elevate the experience with an outdoor fine-pitch LED display.

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Steve Seminario serves as vice president of product development for Planar, where he has helped develop and introduce a wide range of leading display products over the past 15 years.