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  • 6 Types of Video Screens

6 Types of Video Screens

As content becomes increasingly digital, the display of video content is an important factor in retail, event, exhibition and other spaces. Video and other digital content is shown on video screens which there are many types of.

This article outlines the main types of screen. This article was written in 2013.

1. Plasma

'Plasma Screen' is one of those phrases that has become generic and refers to almost any flat panel video screen. In reality Plasma is a very specific form of video display and one of the first to become widely available. Generally speaking most screens over 40" released before 2012 were most probably plasma. From 2013 onwards plasma has become increasingly rare as LCD/LED is more popular.


  • A very consistent image quality across the whole screen
  • Even luminance across the whole screen


  • Heavier than LCD
  • More fragile than LCD due to glass panels
  • 'Burning' where the same image shown for long period is permanently burnt into the screen


LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and can be regarded as a light source similar to light bulb for the purpose of developing a basic understanding. LED Screens are made up of many red, green and blue LEDs. When controlled individually these form 'pixels' which are the basic building blocks of any digital image. Sometimes the red, green and blue LEDs are separate and sometimes are used in a 'tri-colour' arrangement whereby the individual colours cannot be distinguished.

LED screens are typically seen as digital bill boards, at large outdoor events and in stadiums.


  • Very bright to the point that they can compete with full daylight
  • Generally these are the only solution suitable for large screens or for outdoor use


  • Generally quite costly (although reducing in price)
  • Generally lower resolution than Plasma or LCD (although at time of printing 3mm pixel pitch screens are becoming available)
  • Generally heavier that LCD
  • Risk of 'dead pixels' where a pixel stops working which can ruin the effect of the entire screen

3. LCD / LED

LCD stands for liquid crystal display and is the technology seen on digital wrist watches and most mobile phone screens and nearly all computer monitors. Increasingly LCD screens have become referred to as 'LCD/LED' or simply 'LED' screens. This is because LED is used as the light source to illuminate the Liquid Crystal Display. Liquid Crystal does not emit light naturally so requires a light source behind it.


  • Lightweight
  • Cost effective
  • Thin-bezels (in some models) allowing for 'video walls'
  • Very bright


  • Uneven brightness across panel (but only to the experienced viewer)

Terminology of the above:

This writer feels that these terms are becoming confusing for clients so our company refers only to "Plasma Screen", "LED Screens" and "LCD Screen with LED Backlight" to avoid any confusion.

4. Projection

Projectors are one of the most common ways of showing video content at events. These work by shining light of the video image onto a surface which can then be viewed by an audience. The most common example of projection is at a cinema. This is a very common method of content delivery as it is often very simple to setup; a single projector can be plugged in and pointed at a surface. Whether this is for a small presentation right up to larger awards shows this can be quicker and more effective than erecting LED video walls or video screen walls.

Video projectors range in size from as small as a paperback book up the size of a large fridge (cinema-grade equipment).


  • Single unit to setup and rig
  • Cost effective at almost all sizes
  • Minimal support and structure needed
  • Can project onto existing surfaces such as walls and buildings


  • Limitations on brightness
  • Need for specialist lenses dependent upon application
  • Need for low light levels in rooms where they are used
  • Need for a screen or other projection surface


HOLOX is a holographic effect developed by SXS for live events. This uses projection technology mixed with classic theatre design principles to create a holographic effect that impresses audiences.


  • Impresses audiences
  • Makes the content more memorable
  • Allows for theatrical interactions between presenters/performers and content


  • Requires low ambient light levels
  • Not suitable for highly technical content, such as engineering diagrams

6. HolActive

Holactive is another type of content reproduction developed by SXS which uses a mixture of augmented reality and pepper's ghost holography. Holactive gives the user experience of interacting with a hologram.

This works by the user controlling the movement of a live 3D CAD rendering which is then projected within a holographic space. The effect and experience is incredible.


  • An incredible experience that helps people remember the content
  • Usable in any space
  • Quick to setup


  • Cost

Most of these articles are also available on Google+ via Johnny Palmer's Google + Profile


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