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.
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 60 feet tall by 362 feet wide and providing stadium staff 21,700 square feet of digital canvas—that's 35.5 million individual pixels or a resolution of 14,000 x 8,456 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 tall."
This is enough real estate to run three FullHD images, each 60 feet tall and 106 feet wide side-by-side along a single display, with an extra 44 feet 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 Mt. 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 9,000 nits, a 30 percent increase over the old stadium signage. For comparison, your TV has a 100 nit maximum limit, movie theater displays only top out at a paltry 50 nits. This added brightness will allow a contrast ratio of 9,000:1 while providing deeper blacks, better color 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.
The display is being put to immediate use. Later today, DC United (MLS) and Fulham FC (EPL) will face off in a friendly, and Carrie Underwood will be playing the stadium later this evening.