(Topic ID: 171786)

ColorDMD - LCD versus LED?


By goatdan

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 717 posts
  • 244 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by spblat
  • Topic is favorited by 89 Pinsiders

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There are 717 posts in this topic. You are on page 15 of 15.
#701 3 months ago

You got pics of your fix? Im interested.

#702 3 months ago
Quoted from shovelhed:

You got pics of your fix? Im interested.

There's some more pics in this old thread comparing GB without and ST with the new panel:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/color-led-display-cover-panel-to-improve-contrast.

They're listed on my shop page now: http://ccpinball.com/shop.html

#703 3 months ago

I've used the anti-glare DMD film from Pinball Life to great effect in the past to remove light glare off the PF from shining against the LED display and to "flatten" some of the apparently brighter blue colour (on MET).

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/colordmd-lcd-versus-led/page/10#post-4153654

I recently picked up a Tron that had a ColorLCD installed and I thought it looked rather cruddy with the particular style of "overcompressed" video animations on that game so I traded the ColorLCD for a ColorLED and it is *much* better. The higher contrast and smaller but brighter pixels on the LED display provides an effect that is much richer/more alive for the video segments vs the LCD display and better resembles the original plasma display.

I also tried a PBL anti-glare sheet on Tron too but found that in the process of "evening out" the relative brightness it removed the "magic" - so didn't keep it. On Tron in particular the PF light reflecting off the LEDs and the pop of the naked LED pixels suits the game perfectly.

So is LED always the better option - no. I would say it is really dependent on your specific game. If you have bright speaker lights then the LED is going provide a much brighter display (relatively) and with the anti-glare film it really becomes a far superior version of the LCD "dots" mode.

However, a lot of people like the display options provided by the LCD (Dots XL, god-foresaken "hi-rez" mode, etc.) SYMMV.

#704 3 months ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

the off "pixels" on LED displays reflect way more light than an LCD, resulting in poor blacks

My experience is when the LCD is showing black, it looks more like a lit greyish color.

The LCD just didn't have the same contrast to me.

#705 3 months ago
Quoted from RTS:

My experience is when the LCD is showing black, it looks more like a lit greyish color.
The LCD just didn't have the same contrast to me.

Both of those can actually be true, but it doesn't mean the LED is capable of being darker than the LCD. Have you ever had chance to compared side-by-side?

I actually plan to switch out an LCD from my Fish Tales and install an LED. I'll try to remember to take some side-by-side pictures of the displays in different light conditions and post them. From what I remember, before I put my improved panel over the LED on ST it looked lighter compared to the LCD in the adjacent machine.

#706 3 months ago

If you are using the LED it really behooves you to get a anti-glare film/panel from your preferred source.

I love my LEDs with the comet pinball anti-glare guard.

Without the anti-glare guard you are going to see the individual dots as grey dots if there is enough light in your room.

#707 3 months ago

My new-to-me Getaway is prone to washed out ghosting problems, which I think means my DMD driver board is cooked. Is there a chance that the lower power draw of the ColorDMD solution, especially the LED version, will give a satisfactory result? Or should I head straight to RottenDog first?

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#708 3 months ago
Quoted from spblat:

My new-to-me Getaway is prone to washed out ghosting problems, which I think means my DMD driver board is cooked. Is there a chance that the lower power draw of the ColorDMD solution, especially the LED version, will give a satisfactory result? Or should I head straight to RottenDog first?[quoted image]

Measure your voltages first. If they are bad, and likely the -112v and/or -100v measures higher, you can go straight to a ColorDMD and not worry about repairing those high voltages.

The ColorDMD will not be using the -112v, -100v, nor the 68v that comes from the DMD controller board.

#709 3 months ago

Thank you. They both were a good 25-30V high. Now I *need* ColorDMD. For safety!

#710 3 months ago
Quoted from HectorCM:

@goatdan I'm pulling the trigger for a LCD ColorDmd for my Metallica premium...should I also get the Gasket for glare? (As I read here is important for a game like Ghostbusters? Or is it not necessary?)
Thank you!!!

Sorry for missing this before. All my games come with whatever is standard for them. I've bought them all as show deals. So, I think, no gaskets.

#711 3 months ago

Here's some side-by-side pictures of LED and LCD. Same effect that I saw when I had them in side-by-side machines. I know which one looks darker to me.

First one is lying on floor, in medium lit room, lights are off to either side on ceiling, light path being about 45-degrees.

Second one is vertical in low light condition. (click to see full size)

Last one shows the reduction in reflection from the panels I use: it looks opaque, but let's light through.

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#712 3 months ago

kind of an unfair comparison. yes, the LED panel is going to look darker without any power running to it due to the nature of the display. however, once you power it up, you will get no "true" blacks, but rather a dark gray from the glow of the display. the unlit LEDs will remain that way, unlit

it all comes down to personal preference and if you want to be able to change the way your display looks (8-bit, square dots, dots XL), then definitely get the LCD panel

#713 3 months ago

That's true, but I'd be surprised if it affects the verdict. I've already put my contrast-enhancing panel in games that have LED. But maybe next time I add a new LED display, I'll get pics before I swap out the clear panel.

With regards to black, you can say there's a different misleading aspect as well. LEDs have a higher contrast and brightness. Thus it can give the illusion that the background is blacker, but it's just relative.

There's also other factors at play. The LCD extends the full lengths of the panel, therefore there's no darker framing which makes the lack of blackness obvious. But the LEDs cover a smaller area, and the darker framing makes the lack of blackness more obvious, as the previous pictures demonstrate.

Another factor is the LCD is completely uniform in shade, the LEDs are not, with each LED being more reflective than the space between them. I think this is another area where the improved panel really helps.

I really like the LED display on my Star Trek, but only with the improved cover. On my LoTR I think the high res mode on an LCD works really well.

#714 3 months ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

That's true, but I'd be surprised if it affects the verdict. I've already put my contrast-enhancing panel in games that have LED. But maybe next time I add a new LED display, I'll get pics before I swap out the clear panel.
With regards to black, you can say there's a different misleading aspect as well. LEDs have a higher contrast and brightness. Thus it can give the illusion that the background is blacker, but it's just relative.
There's also other factors at play. The LCD extends the full lengths of the panel, therefore there's no darker framing which makes the lack of blackness obvious. But the LEDs cover a smaller area, and the darker framing makes the lack of blackness more obvious, as the previous pictures demonstrate.
Another factor is the LCD is completely uniform in shade, the LEDs are not, with each LED being more reflective than the space between them. I think this is another area where the improved panel really helps.
I really like the LED display on my Star Trek, but only with the improved cover. On my LoTR I think the high res mode on an LCD works really well.

The key difference in the apparent black level when the displays are installed and the game is on is in their construction. LEDs, like all inherently superior display products, use actual lit pixels to form the image (ala CRT, Plasma, and OLED displays), whilst the LCD uses a backlight LCD panel where the entire panel is lit from behind. This results in the "black" region of the LCD actually glowing a dark grey when viewed in a darker room.

Beyond that, LED has a much much higher brightness level (nits baby!) that approximates the brightness (and contrast) of the original orange plasma DMD displays. The LCD... does not.

As has been noted, the LED does tend to reflect light off the unlit sections and the "apparent brightness" of certain colors (like blue) can sometimes be higher than the rest. An anti-glare film can be used to solve both issues if desired.

My own (excellent) personal taste at this point is to tend towards using LED as they best replicate the original DMD brightness and "feel", fit exactly in the original location, and overall make the game "pop" more than the LCD. At the end of the day, the LCD becomes "just another display", whereas the LED is something unique looking / interesting. ...oh, and the inability of the LED to apply the horrific "hi-res" mode to classic dots-animation is another benefit.

.

#715 3 months ago

This is now my second ColorDMD, both LED. The first in a TFTC and another in a BSD.

I first opted for LED in the TFTC because I didn't want to dremel the interior of my speaker panel for the LCD to fit, and didn't like how the top of the LCD screen could be seen as a black form in a bottom part of the translite. I'm so happy the way the LED looked and never considered changing.

Then had an opportunity to grab color for BSD, and once again I couldn't be happier with LED. Looks great and I don't have to lower my speaker panel every time I want to swing open my light panel to see the boards.

It's really personal preference, both are a luxury, both are awesome, and may always be a game to game decision. I seem to like MET in LCD, but sticking to the original technology of an LED screen just with a splash of color feels right. With all the odd fittings it seems weird to mount a laptop screen in a game. I'll probably feel different when I try LCD one day.

IMG_1517 (resized).jpg

#716 3 months ago

I picked up a Star Trek TNG that had a LED ColorDMD in it. I swapped it with the LCD that I had in my Twilight Zone and I cannot overstate how much better I think TNG is with “DotXL” compared with those little points of LED light.

I think Twilight Zone isn’t worse with LED than it was with LCD: I think that one is maybe a toss-up. [EDIT: no, it’s WAY better with LED. Those twinkling stars are stunning!]

Getaway I’ve only seen with LED and I think it is super duper that way.
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Added 86 days ago:

Here's some GIFs and further reflection on LED vs LCD https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spblat-s-game-room#post-5395947

#717 3 months ago

Dupe post, delete

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