While a 60-inch TV sitting in the middle of your living room might seem huge at first glance, jumbo screens have gotten even bigger and brighter, and they deliver higher definition in arenas and city centres around the world. Unlike TVs of the past, these screens can display live video in outdoor spaces with exceptional clarity and colour using LEDs. The same technology used to engineer your modern TV at home is harnessed to create these entertainment monoliths. But even though they aren’t going to end up in your living room anytime soon, these massive, energy-efficient visual displays continue to break records for their size and high-quality visuals around the world.
The technology of LED lighting has provided the fundamentals for these enormous screens to be cheaper, more efficient, and brighter than ever before. We don’t just use them for watching the second-by-second football play that’s happening in the end zone. They have also become part of the competitive race in innovation between tech companies—one that will help propel us into greater efficiency and scale in the long run. Who’s going to build the biggest screen next—and where?
Where Do These Screens Serve a Purpose?
Because these HD LED screens are designed to deliver better visuals to more people in one setting, the majority of these innovative feats are located in speedways, stadiums, and city centres.
In an enormous space like a football stadium, the farther the audience is from the players, the more difficult it is to see the plays as they happen on the field. Giant screens transform the audience experience into a live experience in perfect focus. Even football players have admitted that they use the stadium screens to their advantage during games.
How Are These Screens Different Than TVs of the Past?
The original cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions of the twentieth century used electron beams to paint images across screens one line at a time. The beam energizes dots of phosphor at a particular intensity that’s communicated by the video signal. From the left side of the screen to the right, the beam crosses in 42 microseconds. The electron beam is adjusted by the horizontal retrace signal to a range of bright or dark displays. A colour screen uses three separate electron beams and red, green, and blue phosphors for each pixel on the television screen. Each beam uses a different signal to indicate the specific colour of each pixel.
These phosphors determine the quality and the display on the screen. A CRT TV paints 480 lines on the screen at 30 frames per second. Because of this rapid movement, the human eye sees a seamless, moving image. After the electron beam paints lines down the CRT screen, a vertical retrace signal tells the beam to start again in the upper right corner.
Just How Efficient Are LED TV Screens?
The problem with CRT TVs is that they are near impossible to see in sunlight. The phosphors are not bright enough to compete with natural daylight. Also, these screens are only about 36-inches at their biggest. LEDs display brighter light to compete with sunlight, perfect for outdoor venues and arena spaces. Unlike CRT screens, LEDs provide high-definition displays at a relatively colossal scale.
Modern LED lights are small and extremely bright, using much less power than traditional incandescent bulbs. These are used instead of phosphors on a massive display screen. A pixel is a small module that has a grouping of three or four LEDs of red, green, and blue. On the biggest screens, a pixel module could have dozens of LEDs for better definition at a bigger scale.
These pixels are arranged in a rectangular grid and require a computer system that signals which LEDs turn on, when to signal them, and how brightly they should display. This allows the screen to display more frames per second and in higher definition. Because LEDs require significantly less power than screens of the past, turning them on to their brightest signal isn’t as expensive or taxing on the system. The biggest screens in the world are upwards of 100,000 square feet (9200 metres) in size.
Enormous screens rely on the energy efficiency of LEDs to provide the brightness, lightweight design, and detailed imagery that people experience with their televisions at home. These monolithic displays are breaking records all over the world because companies are racing to build the next biggest screen. But they’re simultaneously breaking records by engineering a more energy efficient and detailed screen, just on a colossal scale.
Who Is Designing Them?
Companies like Daktronics, Panasonic, Optotech, and Mitsubishi have engineered several larger-than-life display screens in the last few years. From Las Vegas and Beijing to Dallas and Times Square, innovative technology is enhancing the entertainment and network value of experiences through visuals.
Having a 1080p display or a 4K video screen takes live high-definition visuals to another level. Record-breaking speed on a video display is crucial when relaying imagery of 200 MPH cars racing around a track or race horses narrowly cross the finish line. These huge screens are transforming the next generation of live entertainment and visual content on an enormous scale. Beyond entertainment purposes, these screens are also optimized for communicating information to vast numbers of people in common spaces, like businesses and professional spaces.
Enormous screens defy past technology of the previous century by offering better visuals in a more energy efficient and visually stunning package. Their value lies in not only serving public entertainment and community spaces, but they’re also driving the industry that creates them to use less power—all while maintaining a powerful presentation for everyone watching.