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LED vs. Projection

Due to the increasing demand for high quality visual aids with sustained performance and the prices of LEDs being reduced over the last 5-10 years, many venues have switched from projectors to LED displays for their viewing needs. LED displays are better designed to overcome many challenges in indoor settings and provide consistent performance over time.

Many factors indicate that owning an LED display offers a higher value and a lower total cost of ownership when compared with owning a projector. Two main factors in this choice are overall image quality and overall cost of ownership.

Although LED displays and projectors use different technology to produce an image, the visual difference in image quality can easily be compared between the two products. Two main contributors to image quality are brightness and contrast.

Many factors contribute to brightness, including innate brightness capability and ambient lighting conditions. An indoor environment can present a variety of unique challenges that require certain brightness capabilities to ensure clear image quality.

For example, churches and auditoriums often have mixed ambient lighting conditions, which can be a combination of natural sunlight and overhead lighting. Because image quality partially depends on ambient lighting conditions, the best visual aid in this type of setting is one that performs flawlessly every time regardless of surrounding lighting.

Ambient Light
Projectors reflect light off a surface and because of that, their image quality is partially dependent on the surface used. This means that the brightness of the content is reduced if the surface is well lit. LED displays produce light internally, so content doesnít have to bounce off a surface before it reaches the audience.

This means that LED displays can adjust to surrounding conditions, complicated set up, or additional technology to produce a clear image; a clear image is produced simply by turning the device on. The ability to direct rather than reflect light gives the LED display a distinct visual advantage in a variety of ambient lighting conditions.

Another factor that affects image quality is contrast. Contrast is the difference between lightness and darkness in an image, and the greater the difference between these two values, the better quality image on your display.

Because projectors need to reflect light off a surface to produce an image, black screens are not an option, so this greatly limits capacity to improve contrast. In comparison, LED displays have masks that provide a deep black background for content, and can also use louvers and other display face features to create unmatched contrast and superior image quality.

Replacement Costs
LED displays also have much fewer replacement costs than projectors. Projector maintenance requires frequently changing lamps, and these expenses add up over time.

An LED display is at half brightness at 100,000 hours. If a projector lampís lifetime is 2,500 hours, the lamp would have to be changed about 40 times to reach the equal lifetime of the LED display. The LED display is the more hassle-free choice for long term maintenance over time.

This article is courtesy of Daktronics, www.daktronics.com.

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