Not everything is bigger in Texas. The gargantuan LED display housed in the Dallas Cowboys' stadium, and the even the slightly more humongous display in the Houston Texans' stadium, have just been displaced by the mega-jumbotron debuting today in Jacksonville in the US.
The Florida-based NFL team unveiled its two new HD displays — mounted above either endzone — this morning. The displays have been in development for the last four years or so, designed and manufactured by South Dakota's Daktronics. Each billboard is longer than the field itself, standing 18.29m tall by 110.34m wide and providing stadium staff 6614.16m² of digital canvas — that's 35.5 million individual pixels or a resolution of 14,000 x 8456 pixels — in what Daktronics describes as its 13 HD layout.
As Jay Parker, Daktronics' VP of Live Events, explained to Gizmodo:
"The 13 HD display is a unique display built by Daktronics. It's not a traditional LED pixel layout. This product was really designed to get lines of resolution; with HD displays being common in your home, we wanted to design a product that not only looks spectacular but also let us get lines of resolution in a smaller spacing. Our goal was to get to 1080 [lines of vertical resolution] and our LED technology allows us to do that on a display 60 feet [18.29m] tall."
This is enough real estate to run three full-HD images, each 18.29m tall and 32.31m wide side-by-side along a single display, with an extra 13.41m of horizontal space for additional graphics, live stats and ad content. "The Jaguar's new owner really wanted to make a difference, make a splash, and do something great for the fans," Parker noted. Even more impressive is the display's performance.
Here you can see how the new displays stack up against, a human, a car, a semi, one and two storey houses, a set of goal posts, and George Washington's noggin from Mount Rushmore
Florida, aka the Sunshine state, is not an easy place to install a giant LED television, what with all the sun's rays constantly beating down and washing out the image. To counter that effect, Daktronics has boosted the brightness of its new displays up to a whopping 9000 nits, a 30 per cent increase over the old stadium signage. For comparison, your TV has a 100 nit maximum limit, movie theatre displays only top out at a paltry 50 nits. This added brightness will allow a contrast ratio of 9000:1 while providing deeper blacks, better colour rendering and a wider viewing angle. What's more, even with all this added capability and size, the use of high-efficiency LEDs means that the new displays will use roughly the same amount of electricity as the old boards.