Optimal Choice: Curved or Faceted LED Video Walls?

Creative LED displays have dominated the market due to the rapid advancements in this type of display technology. Among these creative displays, curved and faceted are the most common. These two have distinct features that define them. Learning these characteristics can help you understand them better if you are in the market for either. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about them.

Overview of Creative LED Video Walls

Up until 2013 when the first curved televisions were introduced, display screens used to have the same design across the board. The common characteristic is that they were flat. However, this was not entirely a negative thing since flat screens are still quite popular and reliable today. 

The growing need for more immersive viewing experiences led to the invention of these curved and faceted displays. Curving displays improved the viewing experience by eliminating the distortion on the screens. It also allowed viewers to utilize their peripheral vision better. We will talk more about this later. 

Curved and faceted LED video walls are considered creative displays because of their unique design principles and standards. They challenge the status quo of traditional display technologies by adopting an artistic design that is both aesthetic and functional. Moreover, this offers more flexibility and customizability for the screens. 

Additionally, creative displays consider the interior decor of the space. Whether they are installed in malls or in homes, they are expected to complement the existing architecture and design of the room. This is unlike flat screens that can fit in almost all conditions. 

Curved LED Video Walls

These are the most common creative LED displays today. You have probably encountered them in malls and other public and private spaces. Their characteristic curvature is their primary defining feature.

What is a curved LED video wall?

The idea of a video wall is a large display that is installed either permanently or temporarily on the wall of a building. These video walls are used to broadcast content that is preprogrammed or transmitted live. 

LED video walls are usually flat. This has several benefits, including seamlessly integrating to a flat wall. However, nowadays video walls are installed in irregularly shaped walls. This means the walls do not have to be flat for the video walls to be installed. This creates the need for curved displays. 

There are a number of factors that facilitated the invention of curved screens. For one, improvement in LED display technology was a major boost. LEDs became bendable and flexible, allowing engineers to make screens that can bend without breaking. 

Secondly, flexible substrates for mounting LED chips were invented, which allowed for curving the screens without breaking them. The combination of these factors accelerated the growth of curved LED video walls in the industry.

Curving these LED video walls is done in the manufacturing process. The screen is curved or arched either inwardly or outwardly to create a visible curvature. In other words, the curvature forms either concave or convex shapes. Besides, these two shapes represent the two types of curved LED displays.

Types of curved LED video wall

Convex and concave curvatures are more of a categorization of curved displays. What this means is that the overall design will technically not always be an inner or outer arc. For instance, there are cylindrical designs that have either a flat or curved design. These are also considered curved LED displays. Defining the inner and outer arcs will help you paint a better picture of these types.

Inner arc curve screen

Going by shapes, the inner arc would be the concave shape. LED video walls with an inner arc are the most common of the two. The curvature is usually subtle and towards the edges. This configuration creates a visible curve of the screen.

A screen with an inner curve might seem odd when it is turned off. However, when it is turned on, you will barely notice the curve. If anything, the content on display appears so well since the curvature enhances the content display.

The enveloping inner curve was first introduced in TV screens. It grew in popularity fast due to the immersive viewing experiences it provided. The inner arc design is applied to many types of non-conventional or flat LED video walls. For instance, the cylindrical displays that are hoisted in the middle of large commercial centers utilize the inner arc design.

Outer arc curve screen

As the name suggests, this type of curved LED video wall has the curvature facing outwards rather than inwards. As a result, it creates a convex-shaped display. Outer arc curves are common, but not like their counterparts. 

In most instances, viewers look directly at a screen facing forward. Therefore, an inner arc curve is able to cater to their peripheral vision if they are stationary. In cases where the viewing angle is not direct, there needs to be a mechanism for catering to the viewers. This is why outer or convex screens. Particularly, these types of screens cater to viewers from the outside.

If you have attended exhibitions, you might have spotted LED video walls with this design. They are used in these settings because they can envelop a wider audience than inner arc displays. Also, they can be used in situations where the crowd is surrounding the display. 

Characteristics of curved LED video

Curved LED video walls have quite unique features that are a testament to their huge demand. These characteristics are credited for the many use cases of curved displays. Here are some of these features;

Immersive viewing experience

An immersive viewing experience means that the viewer is totally absorbed by the content on display. To create such an experience, a display needs to have features such as high resolution, wide color gamut, luminance, and so on. All these are already features of LED display technology. The addition of the curvature augments these features to create an even better viewing experience.

The immersive viewing experience of curved displays is facilitated by;

  • The surround display. As we said earlier, the eyes have a wide viewing angle, which is almost 180 degrees. Therefore, the surrounding nature of the curvature captures this degree of vision and helps the viewer to feel more immersed in what is on the screen. 
  • Reduced distortion. Again, this goes back to the degree of vision. The interference of the peripheral vision is reduced when looking at a curved screen, thereby providing a better view.
  • Reduced head and eye strain. When looking at a flat screen, viewers will have to move their heads and eyes from side to side to have a better view. With a curved screen, this movement is unnecessary since the eyes can see everything at once. 

Seamless integration 

The build or setup process of curved screens leads to a seamless display. For large LED video walls, small modules are assembled to create a large display. The lack of bezels on these modules creates a seamless and cohesive display. 

A seamless display has several advantages. Apart from creating the impression of a single and continuous screen, it also contributes to the immersive viewing experience. The content being displayed will not be subjected to artifacts or distracting elements. Eventually, this means better aesthetic appeal and a unified display screen. 

Multiple use cases 

The ability of a screen to be curved presents endless opportunities. It has several use cases that it fits perfectly. These use cases go beyond LED video walls. In other words, you can find curved screens in many devices today.

Some of the common use cases of curved displays include;

  • Museum displays
  • Retail store video walls
  • Trade shows and exhibitions
  • Architectural artwork

All these use cases, and more, make curved LED screens very useful in the current world. As the technology develops further, we expect to see curved screens in more applications.

Advantages of curved LED display wall

Curved LED video walls are advantageous in many ways. These advantages are partly due to the features of this type of screen. Other benefits stem from the use cases and other factors. Let us explore these benefits in more detail. 

Creates a sense of depth

A curved shape of LED display walls enhances the perception of depth in visual content. In this context, depth means the feeling one gets by seeing the content. Depth is achieved because by enveloping viewers and allowing content to curve around them, these displays create a more immersive experience. 

It feels like there is an added dimensionality to the content. This feeling is beneficial when viewing certain types of content including 3D visuals, and gaming content, among others.

Adaptable to their environment

The ability to adapt and fit in an environment is essential in many cases. Luckily, LED video walls can be specifically tailored to the specifications of the space. This includes a lobby, an event backdrop, or any other situation.

Moreover, some of the aspects of the curved display can be customized. For instance, the curve radius or size of the display is controlled mechanically to ensure that the display is adaptable. However, this is sometimes limited, especially when the design cannot be changed. On the flip side, this is easy to get around when dealing with faceted displays.

Bezel-less design

A bezel-less display is beneficial in many ways. For example, the viewer will not be able to spot the individual modules that make up the large display. In other words, there are minimal distractions.

LED modules with a bezel-less design seamlessly blend when stacked. There are no visible borders that show the transition from one module to the other. As a result, the display appears as one large canvas both when turned on and off. The advantage of this is a seamless, coherent, and aesthetically pleasing video wall.

Provides a wide viewing angle   

When discussing display technologies, we refer to the viewing angle as the field of vision of the naked eye. Put simply, it is the angle that the eye can be able to perceive content without losing any details or straining the eye. 

A curved screen has a wide viewing angle because the curvature accounts for the peripheral vision of the eye. What this means is that the viewer can see everything on the screen at once without having to move their eyes from side to side. Also, the viewer does not have to move to a certain position relative to the position of the LED video wall to see clearly. This is beneficial for large audiences.

Faceted LED Video Wall

The other type of creative LED display is called faceted. Remember how curved LED displays have defined shapes? Faceted video walls are undefined. This will become clearer as you continue reading. 

What is a faceted LED video wall?

The term faceted is used to define an approach used to create LED video walls. It involves staking flat LED panels to form a certain shape, mostly an irregular one. Therefore, when you hear of a faceted LED video wall, think of manually stacked LED panels that have formed a certain shape.

To reiterate, this is a method of arranging flat panels to achieve a certain shape. It differs from curved panels in that this method uses flat panels instead of curved ones. The outcome of the two methods is quite different. LED video walls are found in many setups and they are used in place of curved screens. This means they can be used interchangeably since the goal is usually almost similar.

Characteristics of faceted LED walls

Faceted LED video walls have sets of features and elements that define them. These characteristics will vary depending on several factors. Some of the common characteristics include;

Suitable for interactive displays

An interactive display is meant to serve the function of display and interactivity with the viewer. In other words, the viewer can interact with the content displayed. Faceted video walls support this functionality due to the manual control of the panels. Most flat panels have interactive features such as touchscreen and motion sensing. These features are then transferred to the stacked display. 

Creative and diverse use cases  

The whole idea behind stacking many panels together to form one display is to experiment and test creative use cases. Therefore, you can get a lot of use cases from creating different shapes and designs using LED panels. The only limit would be your imagination. 

Highly customizable 

Irregular shapes mean that the shape is not defined by any specific laws. Therefore, this allows for more customizability of the LED displays. Designers can be inspired by nature or their own imagination when conceptualizing the final design of the display. This creative freedom has led to the creation of some of the most iconic faceted LED video walls.

Benefits of faceted LED display wall

When you think about it, faceted displays are beneficial in certain situations. As demonstrated by their features and characteristics, these types of creative displays are beneficial for several applications. Some of these benefits include;

Quite adaptable 

This is a benefit that faceted displays share with curved displays. It means that they can be designed to fit a wide range of shapes. The manual control when stacking the panels allows the designer to create something that adapts to the space. 

Faceted displays can be constructed to match the desired layout, making them versatile for a diverse set of installations.

Improves indoor decor 

Nowadays, video walls are used for artistic impressions on top of being functional items. Therefore, faceted displays can be designed to match a certain aesthetic to improve the existing interior decor. Therefore, using these displays can improve your interior decor immensely. 

Inexpensive 

If you compare manually stacking panels to buying curved displays, the former is much more inexpensive. The display technology of curved screens is expensive. This is reflected in the substrate and the specific skill sets required to make them. This makes the overall endeavor more expensive than stacking flat panels together.

Easier to install 

In most cases, the setup of basic faceted displays requires general skills. As long as you are handy enough, you can set up the display easily. However, it is recommended to follow guidelines such as letting skilled and certified technicians handle these installations for the sake of warranty terms. 

Comparing Common Aspects of Faceted and Curved LED Video Walls 

Most of the aspects of curved and faceted displays that we discussed above paint a common theme. They show us that the two are somewhat similar. They have a similar goal — to make a display that is not flat and that can be used in a variety of ways. Therefore, we can compare these aspects side to side to have a better picture of them.

Design and configuration 

When we compare how the two are configured, we can see similarities and differences. This is essential since configuration and design are indicators of the final design. 

Curved displays are usually configured at the manufacturing plant. That means they are sold with the curvature as part of their feature. However, you might find screens that have folding capabilities. This means they can be both flat and curved.

On the other hand, faceted displays are primarily configured or designed from flat panels. This can be limiting in terms of designs. 

Visual Experience/Impact

Both curved and faceted displays have the same goal — to provide an unmatched visual impact for the viewer. The difference between them is that one can offer a better experience than the other. This depends on the specific configuration, use case, and other factors. Generally, curved screens will perform better than faceted displays.

Use cases 

Comparing faceted and curved displays based on use cases is valid. The applications of each will depend on the characteristics and features that it boasts.

Curved LED video walls are best when used for broadcasting to large audiences. Their enveloping feature captures a wide visual angle for large crowds of people. On the other hand, faceted displays are mostly used for artistic impressions. They can be used as backdrops, wallpapers, or static decor. Their ability to be configured into multiple shapes facilitates this use case.

Customization

In an ever-changing world, the ability to customize things is crucial. It allows you to design something that truly represents the current situation. 

Faceted displays can be highly customized. We already established that irregular shapes are unlimited. This means the possibilities of customizing here are unlimited. Still, you need to be considerate to ensure that you are not infringing any rights.

Cost

As you would expect, the cost of configuring or installing these displays would be different. They could be high or low depending on factors like size, type, and other factors that influence cost.

Curved LED video walls are generally expensive. This is because the manufacture of curved screens requires more resources than flat panels. These resources need to be recouped in the sale. This is what makes curved displays expensive.

On the contrary, faceted displays are less expensive than curved displays. This is because flat panels are generally cheaper to manufacture. Still, we cannot underscore the fact that there are flat displays that are more expensive than curved ones. The more advanced the LED display technology is, the more expensive the whole panel will be, and vice versa.

Curve radius consideration 

When setting up faceted or curved displays, the angle of the curvature formed has a radius known as a curve radius. Both designs have varying curve radii. Curve radius matters because it impacts the overall visual quality of the display.

The curve radius of curved displays is either fixed or flexible depending on the specific features of the display. A small curve radius can lead to distorted images and color. Therefore, the ability to change this radius is quite crucial.

During the setup of faceted displays, the curve radius is easily controllable. However, this depends on the skill used to stack the flat panels together. Failure to plan this before will lead to a display with a curved radius that is unbearable. 

Which One to Choose?

The choice of the type of creative form factor or design of display will depend on several factors. You need to evaluate the characteristics of both and see which are more fitting for you. The above comparison will help look at them side by side.

For a more direct and objective answer, you should consider curved for content display and faceted for artistic depictions. To clarify, curved LED video walls will serve you best if the plan is to broadcast content that people will pay a lot of attention to. On the other hand, faceted displays are best used for art placements and installations in spaces. 

Conclusion

In instances where you have to choose between two things, it is always good to consider the features, benefits, and characteristics of each choice individually. Using this information, you are in a better position to make an informed decision. This was the aim of this article. We have provided you with essential information to help you choose the optimal choice between faceted and curved LED video walls.

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