Revival of Drive-In Theater Boosts LED Display Business

Some novel applications of large size outdoor LED displays are happening now. Outdoor LED displays are not merely seen as digital billboards on the buildings or by the highway. Actually, it is very popular to use LED displays as backdrops for commercial events such as movie premiere, live concerts, and more.

However, during the coronavirus pandemic, drive-in cinemas become a premier entertainment selection that can remain social distancing. Recently, more and more drive-in cinemas reopen across the world. There are LED display and projection solutions for drive-in cinemas.


(Image: ADI.tv)

Unlike projection solutions, LED display solutions have a superior brightness advantage that allows cinemas to be opened all day, not only at night. This results in better economic efficiency for cinema owners. The drive-in cinema owners can use the “LED display on the truck roof" or rental displays for the display screen. The “LED display on the truck roof" solution is easy to install while using rental displays offers wider diversity and flexibility for screen designs. The screen can also be a marketing tool to show sponsors' logos and slogans. Rental displays extend drive-in entertainment to drive-in concerts, drive-in night clubs, or any innovative drive-in event. Outdoor recreation could be more attracting supported by LED displays, bringing innovative opportunity for the LED display industry.

As the specification of digital content upgrades continuously, 2K or 4K resolution content and HDR visual performance have become common. Besides, the viewing distance from the audience in the first row (drive-in cinema) becomes closer. Predictably, the pixel pitch of LED displays would be lower to 10mm or less. Thus, if we want to increase the screen resolution to 2K or 4K, it can be achieved by shrinking the pixel pitch and adopting the time-multiplexing design.

Driver IC supplier Macroblock offers a wide variety of products that are designed for outdoor LED display applications. Its MBI5251 supports the time-multiplexing design but bring 16-bit grayscale and 3,840Hz refresh rate for HDR visual performance.

Before the world is fully back to normal, it is believed that LED displays for drive-ins will thrive and bring better user visual experience for long-term business benefits.

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