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Year in Review 2023: Matthias Hartmann | Sharp/NEC

Matthias Hartmann from Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe outlines in his invidis year in review annual commentary how LED is becoming more widespread and why the industry cannot yet rest on its laurels when it comes to sustainability.

In 2023, society and the market continued to face significant challenges, which were also noticeable in the AV industry. Both geopolitical events and ongoing inflation shaped events and left noticeable effects. Among other things, they led to a noticeable reluctance to buy new hardware and increased postponements of planned projects. These developments made it difficult to precisely plan and supply projects with the necessary hardware.

Compared to other European countries, the German economy has clearly lost strength. We are noticing this development throughout the German-speaking economic area – even as the economies in Austria and Switzerland are currently growing faster.

Trend towards LED technology

The digital signage industry also had to deal with cautious purchasing behavior last year. Nevertheless, we see an ongoing trend: the increased use of LED technology. DV LED displays impress with their brightness, high contrast, flexibility and scalability. Use-cases of LED displays range from large-scale installations with seamless display to creative shapes such as circles, ribbons or cubes.

Due to the increasing demand for LED solutions, prices are also developing accordingly – costs for all-in-one bundles in particular are falling. In the future, the question will arise about more energy-efficient LED solutions that, for example, promise significantly lower power consumption. Likewise, outdoor LED solutions with smaller pixel pitches will be in greater demand. These will be the next development steps.

We at Sharp/NEC are already making a start with our innovative “switch-off box”, which allows you to easily switch the LED walls on and off. This not only optimizes power consumption, but also simplifies the operation and use of the displays.

Energy efficiency and sustainability are more relevant than ever

We look forward to 2024 with confidence, in which we want to bring further energy-efficient and sustainable products onto the market. This includes, for example, a new LED series that impresses with a significantly reduced power consumption of up to 60 percent. We are also looking forward to being able to introduce Sharp’s e-paper displays, which have already been announced for the Japanese market, in Europe in 2024.

Last but not least, I would like to point out that although sustainability and energy efficiency are already on everyone’s lips and are being promoted accordingly by the industry, the lowest price is still crucial, especially for public clients. Our wish for the new year therefore remains – a rethink in which sustainability and longevity become decisive criteria. This is the only way we can work together to advance a future-oriented and sustainable AV industry.