Walk the halls of CES or InfoComm and you’ll invariably bump into your fair share of 8K technology. The obsession with resolution is understandable—of all the attributes to pitch a customer on, resolution is a simple, intuitive sell. More is better.
But when it comes to image quality and next-gen display capabilities, plentiful pixels are far less important than what those pixels can actually do. High dynamic range (HDR) content and a display’s image processing power play a much greater role in delivering image quality in a display that will dazzle your customers and your customer’s customers, too.
HDR > 8K
High dynamic range visual content consists of two principal attributes—high contrast and deeper, more lifelike color. The interplay of the two deliver a visual experience that most viewers find superior to simply ramping up the resolution. Delivering deeper blacks and more gradations between light and dark portions of a scene, while simultaneously broadening the amount of colors a display is able to reproduce, is no simple feat. Many displays that claim to deliver HDR content may not be able to deliver the full gamut at certain brightness levels—especially at the extremes of light and dark. They may support HDR, but not all the time or in every corner of the display.
The only way to overcome this is through sophisticated engineering and control over the visual pipeline from input to output, something Daktronics can deliver. For instance, rather than use the standard 8-bit engine to process color, the company employs a 16-bit color engine at the module level to ensure that there’s no fall off in color reproduction regardless of intensity. The end result is a display capable of truly delivering on HDR’s visual promise.
The Devil Really is in the Details
Even if you don’t opt for HDR, image processing is still central to an LED display’s performance, controlling everything from scaling, color correction, de-interlacing, calibration and dimming. This last one, the reproduction of critical detail in dimmer portions of the scene, is particularly critical and something many displays struggle to do well.
To ensure a display can reproduce details in darker portions of a scene, it needs processing power to deliver more colors. As you ramp up processing power and the number of colors you can reproduce, you improve the ability to tease out subtle details from darker portions of your scene. (If you want a deeper dive into the math behind how this works, check this out. We promise, it’s not complicated.)
Typically, this function is measured in bits. But caveat emptor, just because a display says it can deliver 10-bit or 16-bit color doesn’t always mean it’s devoting all of its bits to a single display function. In Daktronics’ displays, there’s a 22-bit processing system with 16 of those bits devoted exclusively to color processing.
The way the LED processing system is physically architected also matters. In Daktronics displays, LED drive controls are located in each module instead of rival systems that send signals to modules from a centralized piece of processing hardware. Thanks to this one-two punch, you’ll find a display that can tackle a wide range of colors and brightness levels with equal ease.
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This article is sponsored by Daktronics.