A few of the leading signage display brands recently launched their ‘Micro’ LCD videowall products and are already beginning to report shipments during the second half of 2019. LGE, NEC, Planar, and Samsung are already competing in this newest videowall segment, with very similar specifications across each of these product offerings.
To set themselves apart from their competition, each brand distinguishes themselves through other technology advancements, such as LGE’s image improvement algorithm for reducing the image gap between tiled displays, NEC’s SpectraView Engine factory calibration, or Samsung’s image enhancement technology. One common theme across all brands is the added focus concentrating on solving difficulties arising from videowall calibration, greatly reducing both time and cost associated with these issues during installation.
The latest digital signage industry news may be inundated with LED videowall display announcements, but LCD videowalls currently remain the stronghold in the market due to their competitive cost. Rivalry among leading display manufacturers, in addition to many Chinese companies, continues to be strong as the introduction of LCD videowalls with bezel-to-bezel width less than 0.99mm began shipping in the latter half of 2019. Advancements are still underway to keep these products relevant, especially as the rise of LED videowalls continue to offer competition in certain markets. As the price gap between ‘Micro’ LCD videowalls and indoor fine pixel pitch LED videowalls narrows, key factors differentiating these videowall offerings are resolution, durability, creative usage, and ease of installation.
Competition among leading display panel makers is also fierce, with only LG Display and BOE producing these ‘Micro’ narrow bezel videowall panels. Interestingly, Samsung Electronics commonly uses LG Display’s videowall panel in this case, instead of China's BOE panel. Indeed, BOE is promoting a sample product with equivalent specifications, however, it has not been selected for videowall products manufactured by first tier set companies. LG Display's leading position in this product segment will ultimately be determined by the direction of Samsung Display's product launch strategy, in addition to the timeliness of product quality improvements from the Chinese display panel maker. Currently, LG Display is supplying various videowall panel products, including its 0.88mm ‘Razor Narrow Bezel’ panel, with nearly 450K units per year. Samsung Display is supplying nearly 640K units per year for all its videowall panel products to set makers around the world.
Currently, ‘Micro’ LCD videowalls continue to primarily serve indoor applications and are utilized most often in mission critical settings such as control rooms, boardrooms, or broadcast studios. However, these displays are also beginning to make their way into niche retail applications, public spaces, transportation, or corporate settings as well. Based on the latest release of our Public Display Market Tracker with Q4 2019 results, it is evident that videowalls are quickly becoming one of the fastest growing products among digital signage displays. Global videowall shipments reported a 21% year-on-year growth due to the growing number of applications and venues installing these displays. More notably, demand for videowalls in the <=1.99mm bezel width category increased a remarkable 82% year-on-year based on Q4 2019 results.
In anticipation of a growing number of brands expected to launch videowall products with bezel-to-bezel width less than 0.99mm in 2020, Omdia is splitting our current bezel width categorization from <=1.99mm to two separate categories: <=0.99mm and 1.00mm-1.99mm. In fact, fourth quarter results from 2019 reveal nearly 13% of videowall shipments with bezel-to-bezel width less than 1.99mm are comprised of these ‘Micro’ narrow videowalls in the <=0.99mm bezel width category. Omdia expects moderate, steady growth for these ‘Micro’ videowall products during 2020, as many of the leading global signage brands are already reporting shipments in this category.