Pixblasters Video LED Controller

by Pixblasters

Combine LED strips to create a huge display that acts as a regular video monitor.

View all updates Nov 04, 2019

How to Make Really Big Video LED Displays

The Pixblasters Video LED Controller is designed to be expandable and to support really big video LED displays. While a single Pixblasters MS1 video LED controller drives up to 16,384 LEDs, multiple daisy-chained Pixblasters MS1 controllers can potentially drive hundreds of thousands of LEDs. To provide the simplest possible video display’s architectures, each Pixblasters controller can operate either in Master or Slave modes. Figure 1 below explains the Pixblasters daisy-chain system connections and provides an example architecture of 18.8 m2 (202 ft2) video display built of 60 LEDs/meter addressable RGB LED strips. For more technical details, please see the Pixblasters product flyer.

Figure 1 – Architecture of Video LED Display Driven by Daisy-chained Pixblasters Controllers (click for full size image)

Pixblasters MS1 daisy-chained big display workflow:

  • Control computer (1) generates video for the complete LED display, and with the standard monitor cable, connects to the DVI compatible video input of the Master Pixblasters MS1 video LED controller (2).

  • Optionally, the computer (1) can be locally or remotely controlled through different network interfaces. It can run any video display application, including digital signage players that automatically connect to online digital content services (7).

  • The Master Pixblasters controller (2) controls Slave controllers (4) through the DVI video link and an optional control link*. Each slave controller displays the exact portion of the video image on the attached LED panels (3) built of up to 16,384 RGB LEDs.

  • The video and the control links (6) between the chained Pixblasters MS1 controllers use ordinary Ethernet cables to enable simple and flexible display wiring. The links guarantee automatic and perfect LEDs synchronization.

  • Each controller (2, 4) is configured for Master/Slave mode by on-board DIP switches. Other configuration parameters are setup only once for each board through a simple configuration menu on the PC (5) connected with the USB cable.

  • Display’s configuration parameters, such as LED timing parameters and the video input image part for display on the attached LEDs, are permanently stored in the on-board microcontroller that also controls the LED system’s boot-up.

  • Separate +5V DC power supplies, which are not shown in Figure 1, must provide sufficient power for the complete display.

* Full control link capabilities are TBD.

The Figure 2 explains video inputs and video outputs of the Pixblasters Video LED Controller. The Master Video Input should be used only on the first Pixblasters MS1 controller in the daisy chain. That board connects to the control computer by a monitor cable. DIP switches must be set for the Master FPGA configuration, as explained in the User’s Manual delivered with the board.

Figure 2 – Pixblasters Video Inputs and Outputs

Slave boards in the Pixblasters daisy-chain do not use the Master Video Input. Instead, they receive the video signal through the Ethernet (STP) cable connected to the Slave Video Connector. Regardless of the configured Master/Slave mode, each Pixblasters MS1 controller sources video signal through the Video Output connector.

The following 2 min video clip explains how to connect Pixblasters MS1 controllers to support very big video LED displays.


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Pixblasters Go

Start building your dream LED display with your own Pixblasters MS1 LED controller.


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Pixblasters Array-S

These Array-S boards enable releasable connections with the Pixblasters MS1 LED controller and easy building of the LED matrix. It distributes the video control signals and the power sourced from an external +5 VDC power supply. Each board includes holes for easy wall mounting. Two boards included for a total of 32 LED strips connections.

Credits

Pixblasters

We are a dedicated two-man team of FPGA electronics experts with 20+ years’ experience, with the goal of enabling everyone to build and operate immense and responsive high-resolution video LED displays.


Goran Fiolic

Gordan Galic


L-Tek

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