Video Boards and HD: Industry Misnomers Explained

Video boards create a focal point in your arena, stadium, or field, allowing fans to see live game scores, captivating in-game graphics, and messaging from sponsors. Given the financial investment in a video display, it’s a smart idea to take a close look at important industry terms, especially when it comes to screen resolution. The term HD, or high definition, has been misused to describe video boards. To ensure you’re not paying for features that don’t exist, it’s critical to understand that video boards are rarely HD.

Focus on Pixel Pitch for the Best Screen Resolution

To understand resolution, it’s important to know that what appears on any screen is not one image, but a grouping of dots called pixels. These are the building blocks of every display’s image. The more pixels and the closer those pixels are together, the sharper and more defined the image will appear. To compare video boards, look at pixel pitch. Pixel pitch is simply the distance from the center of one LED pixel to the center of the next pixel, measured in millimeters. The smaller the pixel pitch, the more pixels make up the image on a display, increasing the resolution.

What Is HD?

The term HD was coined to highlight the difference between the resolution of a high definition display and a standard definition, or SD, display. An HDTV display with a 16:9 aspect ratio, for example, would have a frame size of 1920×1080 for a total of 2,073,600 pixels. An LED video board, as seen in athletic stadiums and arenas, cannot meet this standard for HD because the video board’s pixel count simply isn’t large enough and they don’t need to. Pixel pitch is chosen based on viewing distances in the stadium and other circumstances.

Nevco Displays vs. “HD” Described Displays

The lesson is, don’t rely on the term “HD” in the name of a product to deliver the highest resolution. Instead, compare pixel pitch and LED count. For example, a typical 9’ x 17’ “15HD” screen offered by some manufacturers only has 340,000 LEDs. The Nevco display for that same size has a pixel pitch of 16mm with 480,000 LEDs – over 40% more. That’s why at Nevco, we don’t use the term HD as some other manufacturers do, to avoid confusion.

Trust the Experts at Nevco

At Nevco, our video board descriptions are based only on their true capabilities. We’re straightforward about both the potential and limitations of our products. For decades, we’ve been designing and manufacturing video board solutions, helping clients choose the technology that works best for their intended purpose. We’re focused on delivering quality products and excellent service. Ready to explore our video board options? Start here.