Is The End Near for LCD Video Walls? An Interview With Planar’s Adam Schmidt

planaor lcd interview

By Futuresource Consulting

Samsung recently announced that it will stop the production of tiled LCD video wall products.
Though, they will supply ordered LCD video walls until the end of 2020. We spoke with Planar Executive
Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Pro Services Adam Schmidt to discuss this shift and gather from
this fellow LCD market leader what Samsung’s move could mean for customers and the industry.

Samsung is stating that they are stopping production of its tiled video wall products. Any idea
why?

It’s an interesting piece of news and one that can affect other LCD vendors in the industry. Samsung is
a significant manufacturer of LCD displays, but they aren’t the only one. Like many evolutions in the
business world, one company’s shift in strategy opens up opportunity for others. At least that is how we
are viewing this — as an opportunity. Samsung’s shift in strategy immediately creates new opportunities
throughout the market.

Tell us more about the tiled LCD video wall products. Who is the end user and what is the appeal of
these products?

Even with the industry attraction to LED technology, LCD video walls remain a fantastic product for a
variety of installation environments. For applications from mission-critical control room to digital
signage, tiled LCD video walls offer great image quality, reliable performance and very high pixel
density at a very attractive price per square foot. The Clarity Matrix G3 LCD Video Wall family has
been and continues to be one of Planar’s best-selling product lines. Our Clarity Matrix G3 was the
first tiled LCD product launched and has won numerous awards as the product has evolved to meet
and exceed customers’ needs. It’s a customer favorite because it features the world’s thinnest
profile, ultra-narrow bezel with industry-leading improvements to video processing, installation,
management and off-board electronics. Commercial-grade tiled LCD video walls have now been in
the market for about 10 years, so they are a rock-solid display technology.

It doesn’t sound like Planar is planning to discontinue making tiled video walls any time soon.
Is that fair to say?

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We absolutely have no plans to stop manufacturing and selling our LCD video walls. If anything,
we see this shift in Samsung’s strategy as an opportunity for us and others in the industry. LCD is
the most economical way to achieve the highest resolution. LCD video walls are known for their
affordability and, especially in today’s economic environment, having a high quality, yet affordable
LCD product in a variety of sizes is something we are proud to offer customers. Actually, Planar
was named the No. 1 market share leader in Americas LCD control room applications within the $4.7
billion LCD video wall market, by Futuresource Consulting. It’s safe to say that our LCD video walls
aren’t going anywhere.

Samsung is one of the global top suppliers of LCD panel technology. Do you see its stopping
the production of tiled LCD display products affecting video wall companies in the industry? Will this
affect Planar?

Samsung is a very significant commercial LCD panel supplier to many video wall product
manufacturers, including their own Samsung Electronics, so this will likely have an impact on many
video wall providers. We’re positioned relatively well because we have been leaders in the tiled
LCD market for many years. With our proprietary LCD video wall design, we’re not dependent on
any particular LCD panel. We have other LCD providers and have still other potential providers under consideration. Samsung’s announcement has no bearing on Planar’s ability to produce, deliver,
service or support our tiled LCD products.

Any final thoughts on Samsung’s decision?

Just that we stand firm in our commitment to protect customers’ past and future LCD video wall
installations. While Samsung may have good reason for making their decision, Planar will continue
to proudly manufacture, sell and service LCD video walls. Just last year, we introduced the new sub-
1-millimeter models for our Clarity Matrix G3 and Planar VM Series product families for unmatched
image quality and more uninterrupted viewing area, so we are here to stay.