Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? What I’ve learned about dvLED.

One thing that keeps me interested in my career is that our industry is ever-evolving as technologies are introduced and evolve over time. After 17 years of working in the world of Pro AV distribution, I never stop learning new things. Most recently, I was tasked with learning about dvLED to help support our sales team and customers on projects. While I still have a lot to learn, here are some key takeaways that I can share based on what I have learned thus far.

Pixel Pitch & Viewing Distance

The term pixel pitch was new to me, but it is one of the key factors to think about when designing a dvLED display project. Simply put, pixel pitch is the measurement, in mm, between the individual LEDs or pixels, measured from the center of one LED to the center of the LED adjacent to it. Naturally, as the pixel pitch value decreases, the resolution in a fixed size cabinet increases and allows for a closer optimal minimum viewing distance.

For this reason, it is important that you discuss with the client where the closest viewer will be in relation to the display so that you can choose a pixel pitch that is appropriate for the specific application, remembering that as pixel pitch decreases, the equipment cost increases. As a general rule of thumb that has been shared with me, you can multiply the pixel pitch by 10 to give you the approximate closest viewing distance in feet. For example, the recommended minimum viewing distance for a 2.5-pixel pitch wall would be 25 feet.


If you are like me, then often when you think about display resolution for common applications it is typically 1080p (1920×1080), WUXGA (1920×1200), or 4K (3840×2160), understanding that there are many others, but these are most common. With flat panel displays and projectors, the image size can vary while the resolution remains constant. For example, a 4K display can be 55” in diagonal, 98” in diagonal, or several other sizes, but the resolution will always be 4K. With projection, a native WUXGA projector, whether displaying a 110” diagonal image, a 216” diagonal image, or any size for that matter, the resolution will always be 1920×1200. 

This is not the case with dvLED, as the individual LEDs (or “pixels”) mounted on the surface of the module are a fixed size, so that when the size of a dvLED display changes, so does the resolution. To illustrate this, let’s look at a dvLED panel that is 16:9, 27.5” in diagonal with a pixel pitch of 1.58. The resolution of this panel is 384×216. If you require a 1920×1080 display, you will need 25 panels in a 5×5 array making a 137.5” diagonal display, while if you require a 4K 3840×2160 display, you will need 100 panels in a 10×10 array making a 275” diagonal display, requiring four times the real estate!

Structural Considerations

In many cases, dvLED displays will either be wall-mounted or flown, although sometimes they can be ground stacked with the appropriate stacking hardware. Depending upon the size of the display, they can get quite heavy. For example, a recent 165” diagonal display (6×6 array) I quoted weighed just shy of 500lbs, and a 275” display (10×10 array) weighed over 1300 lbs. It is absolutely crucial that the structure or wall on which you are mounting the dvLED or the structure from which you are rigging can support the load. 

Additionally, in order for a successful installation, the dvLED cabinets need to be perfectly aligned along the x, y, and z axes so there are no visible seams between the individual panels that make up the display. Since most walls will have some imperfections and not be perfectly flat, you will be faced with either using shims or exploring mounting hardware that provides post-installation adjustment of all three axes.

Power and Data

Unlike a traditional flat panel or projector, the display does not have a single power cord with dvLED. Instead, depending upon the size and resolution of the display, multiple AC circuits are required. If we go back to the 165” 6×6 array I referenced earlier, this display required six dedicated 110v/10A outlets. In this case, each AC circuit is powering six panels with a main connection to the first, then daisy-chaining with power jumpers to the next five.

In addition to power, every dvLED display requires multiple data connections between the display and the dvLED controller/processor using data cabling, such as Cat6. The number of data runs will vary based on the overall resolution of the display, but you can expect that the manufacturer will advise you during the proposal stage on the required cabling and power requirements for the specific project.

I am seeing more and more projects come across my desk that involve dvLED, and there has been dramatic growth in overall product sales in the category over this last year. There is no reason to believe that these trends will not continue, and I look forward to continuing my education on the subject.

For more information, visit https://www.exertisalmo.com/products/direct-view-led-displays, and get in touch with your Exertis Almo regional service development manager today.

See what’s new from Panasonic Pro Displays

Have you heard about the new Panasonic CQ1 series of Professional displays?  Panasonic announced this new series of six (6) narrow bezel size options from 43, 50, 55, 65, 75, and 86 inches. They’ve integrated a unique feature such as, forward-tilting design (up to 20-degrees) for maintaining legibility when mounted in high places.  They have no-signal power off function in which power is turned off (standby) automatically when there is no signal for 10 minutes.  The Button Lock/RC control lock function prevents tampering and hijacking of the display.  This is can be a big plus when installed in public environments.  They do have brightness of 400cd/m2, 4k resolution and capable of supporting 4k/60p signals.

They are designed for 16-hours of continuous operation and support LAN, RS232C, and HDMI CED control to integrate easily into any environment.   These displays include built-in ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner and integrated speakers, making them an ideal solution for corporate, education and sports bar applications.  Panasonic has backed them up with their 3 year Advance Swap Replacement standard warranty, too.  We have some already in our warehouse with more hitting at the end of September and larger sizes in October!  Contact me or your sales rep for pricing and promotional offers.

Angie Greene
Business Development Manager, CTS, DSCE

888-420-2566 x6209  |  [email protected]

Eight Reasons to Seriously Consider Panasonic’s AG-DVX200


In 2002 Panasonic introduced the first truly affordable digital progressive scan camera with the release of the AG-DVX100. The camera recorded in SD format, with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Later came the AG-HVX200, which provided 24p, 1080p HD or 720p video formats. These cameras were game changers for their time. The popular show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was shot using the DVX100, proving it’s value to broadcast professionals.

This year Panasonic has done it again with the introduction of the AG-DVX200 4K/60 P large format camera. The camera records “high quality video in cinematic DCI 4K 4096 x 2160 at 24p, UHD 4K 3840 x 2160 (60p/30p24p), FHD (including 120 fps and 24p) as well as SD”.

As more and more television productions are shot in 60p UHD, the AG-DVX200 is there to meet the demand. In addition to its 4K production quality, the camera’s 4/3 format provides the shallow depth of field usually reserved for film. The V-Log L 12 stop aperture and variable frame rate (up to 120fps) gives the videographer more latitude to shoot in less than perfect lighting conditions.

Read on for eight reasons why anyone can shoot video like a boss with this camera.

Reason #1:  Stop the shakes!

The camera also includes a 5-axis hybrid image stabilizer, manual or auto focus, iris and zoom.  XLR audio inputs, HDMI (4K), 3G SDI (HD or SD only), and standard definition composite outputs.  Because the sensor is larger than those in the past, the camera itself is a bit bigger than earlier versions.

Reason #2:  Spot on Color

The electronic viewfinder is OLED. The camera also has a waveform monitor and vectorscope on board to ensure correct color balance and brightness levels.

Reason #3:  V-LOG!

Earlier Panasonic cameras had an upgrade available to owners who wanted the option to incorporate V-log into their productions. The AG-DVX200 now has V-log L as a standard feature. V-log “allows for a wider dynamic range of luminance information that is more in line with how the human eye sees”. This means more shadow and highlight details, closer to film than video.

Reason #4:  Plenty o’ Memory!

The camera can record to two SDHC or SDXC memory cards. The SDHC can record up to 32 GB of video, the SDXC can record up to 2 TB of video! The SDXC card is 13 times faster than a SDHC card, allowing for UHS speed class 3 for high-speed data transfer, this enables 4K/24p, UHD/60p, and VFR recording. Approximately 160 minutes of 4K/24p data can be recorded onto a 128 GB SD memory card, or a scene of about 110 minutes of UHD/60p data. (A 64 GB SD memory card will hold approximately 80 minutes of 4K/24p data, or about 55 minutes of UHD/60p data.) Another great option on this camera is that you can record in two different formats, such as HD and UHD at the same time.

Reason #5:  Dueling Codecs!

Images can be simultaneously recorded into two different formats, Main & Sub. The Sub Rec File can be used for tasks such as previews, offline editing, and internet data transfers. Dual recording is provided with two modes, an FHD 50M mode and an FHD 8M mode.

Reason #6:  2 Channel Digital Audio Recording!

PCM format for MOV/MP4 formats or Dolby Digital AVCHD format is available from the built in mic, mic or line inputs. Level adjustments are available directly on the camera.

The Panasonic AG-DVX200 is a versatile video tool that deserves serious consideration by the videographer looking to upgrade to 4K.

Reason #7:  Affordability

Panasonic is offering a $400.00 rebate on the sale of this camera to end users through the end of September!

Reason #8:  That’s a latte features in a camera

The AG-DVX200 will be at our upcoming E4 events. Visit the Panasonic booth for a hands-on tour of this amazing camera and receive a $5.00 Starbucks gift card (while supplies last).

Invest in Real Estate


Three Reasons Why Moving to 4K Makes Sense on Your Desktop

Conventional wisdom (and maybe your parents or grandparents) tells us to “invest in real estate.” While this is an adage about acquiring financial wealth, the same tenets hold true for pixel count on monitors. More pixels offer flexibility in numerous ways.

Recently the creative team here at Almo Pro AV installed NEC MultiSync 27-inch 4K monitors. It was important to us to establish a common viewing platform so that each designer could pick up someone else’s work and share assets being confident that we were seeing the work as originally intended. Packing full 4K UHD resolution and a robust, simple-to-use color calibration solution, I was very excited to get my hands on this display and put it to use.


The other members of the team have offered their impressions of the monitor already. You can read Jeff’s thoughts here, and Diana’s perspectives here.



Modern graphic design (and nearly every other industry in the free world), is computer-based, and at its core is a visual medium. As you are all well aware, visuals on a monitor are made up of pixels and more pixels simply equals better. Apple popularized this movement with the Retina Display. Starting on IOS devices, they quickly scaled their efforts up and brought them to their notebook line and subsequently to the desktop. Other manufacturers were quick to follow and the HiDPI boom was born.

Here are three reasons why moving to 4K desktop monitors just makes sense:

First, and maybe most obviously, you can place and view numerous windows next to each other for viewing and multi-tasking – perfect for the modern power user.

Second, when paired with a capable OS and graphics card, ‘retina display’ experiences are possible. This is where (granted this is a loose example, but go with me here… ) an object will be rendered at approximately the same size on screens of the same size but different resolutions, but the one rendered on the higher pixel count screen will appear sharper to the eye given the density.

Third, and most valuable to me as a designer, becomes apparent when working in the Adobe Creative Suite. With this 4K NEC monitor, I can see more of my work at 100% magnification than ever before. Just take a look at this side-by-side photo comparing the NEC to my old Apple Cinema display.

Both images are shown in Photoshop, on the same MacBook Pro at 100% magnification. As you can see, with the additional pixel space of the NEC display I’m able to see my work completely in context, without the need for excessive zooming in and out.

The same is true of Illustrator. I can view multiple layouts in InDesign at once, and I can now view true 4K video in Premier and After Effects.

The benefits of 4K (and higher!) resolution displays is clear in design, the same can be said for any user. Imagine the number of rows of a spreadsheet that can be displayed on this type of display! Even if that’s not attractive to a customer, the increased clarity of HiDPI monitors makes them a great option.

Have any of you seen the demand for 4K on the desktop yet?

 Let us know your experiences in the comments.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where we’ll take a look at color calibration with NEC’s SpectraView II solution.


Why I’m happy my outside TV died during Football Season

I couldn’t wait for my TV to die.  Crazy, right?  Read on and I’ll explain.

More than half the TVs installed in outdoor spaces are engineered for indoor use.  And I was like most people.  Why would I spend more on an outdoor rated display when I could get something for less than half the price?  If it dies I can run out and pick up a newer model and throw it up on the wall without much down time.  And when my first display died I did just that.  I found an old plasma in the house and hung it up outside.  Eventually, as expected, its performance began to decline.

Flag on the play!

What’s the black box in the corner of my screen?

“Die, you imperfect plasma, just DIE!” I muttered to myself in the fall.  Here’s a snapshot of its demise, notice the upper right hand corner image fade.  It was only a matter of time!

(Full disclosure, Brian Rhatigan, my coworker and display expert tells me this isn’t a typical symptom of aging displays, and probably has more to do with the source.  But that doesn’t work with my story.  Read his blog here.)

"Heather's Hut"

Living in paradise has its perks

Cut to earlier this month.  A recent Polar Vortex had 75% of the country experiencing below freezing temperatures.  I was in chilly, snowy Chicago (my hat is off to those of you who can handle that!) and I couldn’t wait to get home to my beloved South Florida, the 85°+ December weather and watching the Miami Dolphins claw and fight their way to their first winning season since 2008 in my outdoor football paradise.


Flag on the Play!

It’s a Saturday night prime-time Dolphins v. Jets showdown in New York.  December football in-conference rivalry at its finest!  The bevvies were ice cold, the sausage dip was made, and the propane tank was full.  I was ready!  But I was unprepared for a dead display.  It was a football fail, to put it mildly.  Yes, I’d wished ill-will upon my clunky old plasma, but the timing was terrible!  I’d wanted to brag to my northern neighbors!  (Karma much?)  We watched the Dolphins trounce the Jets, 34-13 in the living room on the couch.  Booooo!

Can this be corrected in the second half?

Earlier this fall SunBrite TV introduced their new Veranda Series 4K UHD outdoor displays for full-shade outdoor spaces.  These beauties are up to 30% brighter than typical indoor TVs, and they’re weather proof!  And while that was always a major selling point for buying an outdoor display for outside, now… NOW they’re affordable!


My Spirit Reptile

If there’s such a thing as a spirit animal, mine is an iguana.  (OK, spirit reptile).  Not glamorous, cuddly or even cute.  What we have in common, according to Wikipedia is that we thrive only in temperatures between 79-95°F.  This makes South Florida the perfect place for me to live.  And ideal for outdoor winter TV watching.


You can’t keep a true Dolphins fan down for long.  My Veranda is on a truck headed to South Florida.  Just in time for college bowl games and the NFL playoffs… I’m holding out hope that my Dolphins are still standing by mid-January!  Stay tuned for Part II, as I turn my Football Fail into Veranda Victory!

Do you have an outdoor setup you LOVE?  Share a picture in the comments, I’d love to see what you’ve got!


Memory Bliss: Top 5 Moments of E4 Tour 2016

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you and say I’m a little glad the E4 events have wrapped up.  It has been a busy year for the Almo team and we are all ready for a breather. Not so fast – Chicago is March 22nd and San Jose is April 19th (deep cleansing breathe). It’s time to reflect on the top 5 moments of the E4 2016 tour:

Top Moments of 2016 E4 AV Tour

1.  Almo Becomes First Distributor to Live Stream a CTS RU Certified Class

We wrapped up 2016 with a bang by becoming the first AV distributor to live stream a CTS RU certified course on Facebook. With over 100 online attendees, we were excited to extend the education of the E4 beyond the Dallas, TX area to the whole world.

2. Almo Services Offering Launches

Although we introduced Almo Connect in late 2015, the first time Almo customers got to really learn about it was at the E4 in Atlanta. In talking about the bandwidth needs in the 4K keynote, it was a perfect foray into conversations about reselling Almo Connect services. Next we launched Almo Control at the Boston event, our new control systems programming.

services todd

3. E4 Experience Launches

We take feedback from the tour very seriously. One aspect that was missing from E4 was a more hands-on approach to product learning. So we launched the E4 Experience with two “experience rooms” – Design a Huddle Space and Create & Publish Digital Signage Content. Each experience was sold out for every event.

4. World’s First Keynote in True 4K

Last year Gary Kayye came to me and said he had a “killer” keynote idea. To present the keynote about 4K IN 4K! We did it with some magic from Barco in Atlanta and rocked the house. I’ve never had so many comments about an E4 keynote about how much they learned about 4K and all the myths dispelled.

5. Almo Announces Acquisition of IAVI at Washington DC Eventalmo+iavi

While in the middle of planning two E4 events, we were also gearing up for the acquisition of IAVI in April and announced the news to our vendors at what they thought was an appreciation event but ended up being more of a press conference. Surprise – we just doubled in size! Very exciting times!

Just because the tour is over doesn’t mean the learning has to stop! Check out our recorded classes, including Gary’s Keynote where you can STILL earn CTS RU’s, our videos, blogs and photos.

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