What are scan and refresh rates, and why are they so important in film production?
Scan and refresh rates seem to be the biggest cost factor when it comes to LED screens on the market today. Like everything, you get what you pay for.
There are many ways to cut costs on the production of LED screens. The easiest way is to use low quality LEDs, driver ICs and PCBs. We are often asked to match or beat prices from other vendors, and the first question we usually ask is “what are the components of the screens and what level of components would you be looking for?”
Most of the time the panels aren’t of the same build quality nor are the components, which creates a significant price difference. We do provide budget offerings and these differences in quality will be clearly outlined, so you will know what to expect.
There are two main factors that determine the performance of an LED screen. These are driver ICs and receiving cards.
I’m not going to dive into the science here as it starts to hurt your head if you’re not an electronics engineer but, in a nutshell, the driver ICs tell the LED (RGB) what intensity it should be.
The amount of LEDs that are driven off an IC is translated to the scan rate. It’s a balancing act of ICs vs. scan rate and performance. When brightness isn’t an issue (i.e. – indoors) the scan rate can vary from 1:8 or 1:32 and anywhere in between.
So why not have everything at the best scan rate? Simple – cost! This all comes back to ‘you get what you pay for’.
Normally, outdoor screens will have a better scan rate than indoor screens, because they run brighter and they need more IC power to drive the LEDs. Indoor screens don’t need that level of brightness, so they will generally have a higher scan rate.