Christie Unveils LED-DLP Based Displays

Last night at the Touch nightclub in New York City Christie unveiled what the company is calling “the new digital canvas” -- its MicroTiles. MicroTiles are modular screens that can be stacked in any arrangement, and that provide 70x more pixels than most 4mm surface-mount display LEDs. The product has many application possibilities including in retail displays, live events, and more.

From a product development perspective, the new MicroTile is important because it represents the first real introduction of a product for the commercial AV market that features a “lampless” projector. Texas Instruments DLP has been developing video projector prototypes that use LED phosphors as the light source, in place of a conventional lamp. But the units available from DLP projector manufacturers have been a bit slow in coming to market, because of standard economy of scale factors, and also because the LED-light source projectors are not yet as bright as conventional projectors. But they are getting better and brighter all the time, as yesterday?s demo by Christie in NY demonstrated.

At the nightclub, Christie provided several versions of its new “video cube” technology in action, including an extremely large display used on stage for the presentation, a retail kiosk where the product could be placed on display in a “box” made of MicroTiles, and an intriguing wayfinding configuration. MircoTiles were even used on the ceiling of the club as part of an art presentation.

Christie was touting the versatility of the product, as well as its quality. Highlights of the LED- and DLP-based system include:

· Lightweight modular tiles that can be assembled and re-assembled into any size, shape and space, forming a continuous digital canvas with minimal 1mm seams

· LEDs rated at 65,000 hours to half brightness or nearly 7.5 years of continuous operation

· Screen size of 16 inches wide x 12 inches high, the tiles also feature a shallow depth of only 10 inches and require just 2 inches of minimal clearance for rear ventilation

· Built-in sensors monitor each tile?s performance, allowing the system to be “self aware,” automatically adjusting brightness and color matching during setup and continuously over the lifetime of the display

· The optical design creates an image that combines a balance of high brightness (800 nits), deep contrast, and unparalleled color range (115 percent NTSC-1953)

Christie hinted at some large-scale MicroTile installations, and said they would be revealed shortly.

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