Following our Nov. 16/09 article regarding Pattison’s new digital spectaculars on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, we wanted to clarify a few points for some of our questioning readers.
The boards are LED, and Pattison claims that the superior colour and clarity they produce is due to the fact that its 16mm pixel pitch screens are a higher resolution than competitors’ 20mm pixel pitch screens (ie 16mm screen 341pixels per sq. ft. vs 20mm screen 218 pixels per sq. ft.). (Ed. Note: we checked with competitors and that’s right.) Digital resolution is expressed as pixel pitch: the distance between pixels. The smaller the pixel pitch measurement, the crisper and more vibrant is the image.
By altering the intensity of the three RGB colours of the diodes in the pixels, trillions of colours can be produced. The digital billboards adjust seamlessly to light intensity depending upon the ambient lighting surrounding the sign. At the height of a bright sunny summer day the sign is at peak brightness while in the pitch darkness of night it is at its lowest.
Light sensors on the sign read the differences as they occur throughout the day, and software in the sign adjusts the screen’s illumination as required for maximum legibility and energy efficiency. (Ed note: Competitors work the same way.)
In addition, Pattison claims that these screens feature higher black levels for an even crisper display. High black levels minimize light reflection that competes with the light emitted from the diodes. High black levels will make the colors appear richer and brighter giving the image more ‘pop’.