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What’s a Bezel? Digital Signage Goes Frame-less for Video Walls

Commercial-grade LCD Displays with Narrow Bezels Set to Take Off in 2011

Sort Date: 02012011

SANTA CLARA, CALIF, February 1, 2011—New advancements in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are now allowing for commercial-grade products with very thin bezels (the visible rim or edge of the display), making them suitable for video wall applications, according to DisplaySearch, the worldwide leader in display market research and consulting.

“In recent years, in order for professional video installers to create video walls with no noticeable lines, their choices were limited to direct-view LED or rear-projection DLP displays,” noted Chris Connery, DisplaySearch Vice President of PC and Large Format Commercial Displays. “Advancements in technology in both LCD and plasma have allowed for the spacing between adjacent displays to almost disappear. New thin bezel LCD technologies can be used in ways never thought of before.”

As examined in the January edition of the DisplaySearch Monthly Large Format Commercial Displays Sell Through Report, major vendors are selling more narrow-bezel commercial displays. Four of the top brands offering commercial-grade LCD flat-panel displays in the US (Samsung, NEC, LG Electronics, and Sharp) are competing to offer the thinnest uniform bezels, marketing products as narrow, ultra-narrow, and even super-narrow bezels with specifications ranging from 15 mm to less than 5 mm.

Figure 1: Active US Commercial LCD Models Promoting Narrow, Uniform Bezels

Brand

SKU

Diagonal Display Size

Resolution

Bezel Size

NEC

X461UN

46"

1366 x 768

<10mm

NEC

X462UN

46"

1366 x 768

<10mm

Samsung

460UT

46"

1366 x 768

<10mm

Samsung

460UT2

46"

1366 x 768

<10mm

Samsung

460UTB

46"

1366 x 768

<10mm

Samsung

460UTN

46"

1366 x 768

<10mm

Samsung

460UTNB

46"

1366 x 768

<10mm

Samsung

460UTNUD

46"

1366 x 768

<10mm

NEC

P461

46"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

NEC

P461AVT

46"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

NEC

P461P

46"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

NEC

P521

52"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

NEC

P521AVT

52"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

NEC

P551

55"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

NEC

P551AVT

55"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

Sharp

PNV601

60"

1366 x 768

<10mm

Sharp

PNE601

60"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

NEC

P701

70"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

NEC

P701AVT

70"

1920 x 1080

<20mm

Source: DisplaySearch Monthly Large Format Commercial Displays Sell Through Report

The ability to make large video walls with minimally visible seams puts LCDs in competition with direct-view LED displays, which have the handicap of low resolution—limiting how close the display can be comfortably viewed—compared with LCDs. Other technologies, such as projection cubes, are now starting to feel pressure from LCDs as well. Companies with a long-time presence in the rear-projection video wall market, such as Christie Digital (Planar), Clarity, BARCO, and Mitsubishi, are now providing narrow bezel commercial LCD displays for both single-use and multi-tile installations alike. Long-time players in the direct-view LCD space, including NEC, Samsung, Sharp, and LG, are all either offering, or planning to offer, narrow bezel variants of their commercial-grade displays for video walls.

Some providers of plasma display panels (PDPs), such as Orion, which have focused on narrow bezel plasma solutions for years, now find that larger PDP producers, including LGE, are not only developing narrow bezel LCDs, but PDP as well.

This technology comes at a higher price, however, as narrow bezel LCDs can have ASPs twice that of regular-bezel displays and three times that of consumer TVs. However, now that there is a discernable, visible difference, as well as a real end-market for commercial-grade displays, AV professionals can more easily explain the differences between displays used in harsh commercial environments and that which the end-user might have purchased for the home.

These and other technology advancements in LCDs and PDPs help to separate commercial grade products from consumer grade products. It also allows these displays to further encroach into existing commercial markets and are catalysts for growth in the sector. As detailed in the DisplaySearch Quarterly FPD Public Display Shipment and Forecast Report, worldwide shipments of commercial-use FPDs grew 44% Y/Y in 2010 and are forecast grow more than 50% by 2012.

Figure 2: Worldwide Commercial-Use FPD Forecast (2008-2016)

Source: DisplaySearch Q4’10 Quarterly FPD Public Display Shipment and Forecast Report

The DisplaySearch Monthly Large Format Commercial Displays Sell Through Report captures sell-through for commercial-grade LCD products shipped through commercial distribution. The DisplaySearch Quarterly FPD Public Display Shipment and Forecast Report analyzes historical shipments, revenues, and forecast projections to provide an accurate, detailed view of this market.

For more information contact Charles Camaroto at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, e-mail contact@displaysearch.com, or contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan for more information.

About DisplaySearch
Since 1996, DisplaySearch has been recognized as a leading global market research and consulting firm specializing in the display supply chain, as well as the emerging photovoltaic/solar cell industries. DisplaySearch provides trend information, forecasts and analyses developed by a global team of experienced analysts with extensive industry knowledge. In collaboration with the NPD Group, its parent company, DisplaySearch uniquely offers a true end-to-end view of the display supply chain from materials and components to shipments of electronic devices with displays to sales of major consumer and commercial channels. For more information on DisplaySearch analysts, reports and industry events, visit us at http://www.displaysearch.com/. Read our blog at http://www.displaysearch.com/cps/rde/xchg/displaysearch/hs.xsl/www.displaysearchblog.com and follow us on Twitter at @DisplaySearch.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit http://www.npd.com/ and http://www.npdgroupblog.com/. Follow us on Twitter at @npdtech and @npdgroup.

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