Digital Projectors, LCD Screens, or LED Panels: Which is Right for my Event?

Posted by Jon Young on Jun 19, 2018 2:08:14 PM

Event TechnologyWhether you're organizing a rock concert, a conference, or a family fun run, digital displays can help you create the right atmosphere and relay important information during large events. But with a wide variety of display options available – digital projectors, LED panels, LCD screens, etc. – you want to make sure you're choosing the right technology for your needs.

The display best suited for your event typically comes down to lighting, audience size, and the other staging elements available. Use this blog to choose the digital display that will make the biggest impact at your next event.

Digital Projectors

Digital projectors have come a long way since your high school science teacher used one to illustrate the parts of the cell. The newest models offer great picture quality (HD up to 8K!) and can be easily scaled to produce big images for large crowds. Your AV provider may also have special blending hardware and software that allows 2 or more projectors to be used to create ultra-wide continuous images with options for picture-in-picture and multiple sources. Additionally, there are screens available that allow for rear-projection if backstage space allows. Digital projection can be a great option for a wide variety of events.

Pros

  • Great for creating large images
  • Works well when larger surfaces are available
  • Ideal for venues where you can control ambient lighting

Cons

  • Too much ambient light can wash out the image
  • Because most projectors still use lamps, redundant projectors should be used in message-critical situations (in case of lamp failure)
  • More equipment needed – special rigging or ground support for large projectors, screen(s), video switchers for multiple sources

Digital projectors are often the best choice for conferences, seminars, and other events where you need to reach a lot of people all at once. For smaller breakout meetings, projectors are typically lightweight, making them easily portable and adjustable. And where space is a consideration, special lenses are available that allow for very close placement of the projector to the screen. But always remember, too much ambient light can make images difficult, if not impossible, to see. So, if you're hosting an outdoor event during the daytime, you'll probably want to pursue other options.

LED Panels

LED panels can be a great way to create a stunning digital display on a large scale. Not only can they bring graphics and other visuals to life, but most LED systems are powerful enough to double as a lighting source for speakers and performers. If you're looking to add a little or a lot of dramatic effect to your next event, LEDs may be the solution.

Pros

  • Provide sharper image under difficult conditions
  • Ability to light the speaker without sacrificing display quality
  • Available in weather-resistant form when rain and other natural elements are a factor
  • Work well for indoor and outdoor venues
  • Flexibility in design
  • No projection necessary

Cons

  • Panel-based construction physically limits presentation options, though creative design can overcome some of these limitations
  • More complex to install than LCD – may require rigging, though ground-support is a feature of many of the latest products

Large LED panels typically work best for outdoor concerts, arena shows, and large general session meetings. But smaller setups can also be great for trade shows and other exhibitions. The weight of most LED panels means you'll likely need rigging to install them. But the visual impact of a wall of LED panels may be well worth the effort.

LCD Screens

LCD screens are great for events where HDTVs can be utilized to connect with audiences. They're versatile, the display is simple to manipulate, and they offer a high-quality image at an affordable price. While they might not be ideal for rock concerts, LCD screens can provide a stunning visual that makes a lasting impression on your audience.

Pros

  • Numerous connectivity options
  • Easy to install and move – lightweight
  • Cost-effective for small sizes

Cons

  • Restricted design capabilities
  • Limited screen sizes, with largest typically around 80”
  • Not bright enough for outdoor use

LCD screens are ideal for indoor events like trade shows, break-out meetings and other environments where the ambient lighting is beyond your control. The pairing of high-quality images and easy set-up makes LCD screens the perfect choice for connecting with individuals or small groups.

Digital displays come in all shapes and sizes, but each technology offers its own set of unique capabilities. Consider your specific needs and work with your AV partner to choose the display option that will take your event to the next level.

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Topics: Event Technology, Event Production