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I just can't get excited about them


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Single pixels.  Great for an arch color sweep.  Great for outlining a house.  Great for a pixel tree that has color patterns going up and down or some other manner.  But having cartoons or words scrolling across?  I just can't see it on a "triangular screen" with a resolution of 50 X 12 or 50 X 16.  The world today is minimum 1024 X 768.  Remember the first computer monitors?  320 X 200 on a 15 inch screen? 

 

I just don't see one element of a display of say 600 or 800 pixels trying to show graphics.  And now it is pixel panes - OK , more pixels but still it is one element of a large display?  If you have the resources to cover the entire front of your house with pixels, that would look fantastic.  But then is this really a Christmas lights display or a giant video monitor?  Call me old school, but I like lots of lights - thousands of them.  For those that have limited landscape, pixels could make an impressive display.  But then you would not have a broad viewing area.  There are tradeoffs. 

 

So what camp do you go with?  I don't go to a display to watch a big screen TV (with very substandard resolution).  I know some may be insulted on what I have said here, but I do not feel I am all alone.  I just can't get excited about them.

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My 16 x 50 pixel tree was the biggest hit 2 years running now. The first year of RGB, I had a 64 channel 4 color LED tree. 18' high and a 2' star on top. I don't know how many times I heard, "Oh! you have another big tree". Those comments came after I had been chatting for 5 minutes or so after they had been watching the show for 10 minutes. And might I add, their eyes were on the 16 x 50 Pixel tree.

 

I have a total of 270 LEDs in a 6 channel star, everything else are pixels or basic RGB. 

 

Say what you will, but my displays with traditional lights, LEDs and Incans alike, never drew much of a crowd. My visitor numbers quadrupled within the first year of all RGB and almost doubled again in the second.

 

I'm in the, what was it you called it, "triangular screen" camp. I will be there until the next big thing comes along or I decide on doing Projection mapping.

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Ron - I'm not saying pixels are not great - it is their use to make things like words or images scrolling across something as if they were video screens.  Your display photo shows mega trees with color bands on them - those moving up and down or left to right are absolutely stunning.  It's the part of trying to display low resolution images on them that does not excite me.  Mike

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There is a balance between patterns and images/text.

 

Text can look good if it is in time with lyrics or something, but often it takes too long to scroll it along a pixel tree, and sometimes it takes a second to even work out what each word is.

 

I create patterns for my matrix and icicles using video editing software, but I have no more than 5 pictures that appear on either of them.

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I'm with Phil and Radio. Pixel trees are fine. Matrices are fine. I've even seen some with patterns that had at least something to do with the beat. IMO, stick pictures and unreadable words aren't fine, and movies/cartoons will never be seen in my display. They're simply not the look or the audience I seek.

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I am upgrading my pixel tree this year to a 32x50. Last year it was 20x50. I don't run pictures on it yet. I did use one sequence with a line of text (show opener). Same comments as Ron Boyd above. Viewers doubled in 2 years and they love the tree. More pixels this year for me. But maybe more AC channels too?

Its all in what you like, what you can do, and what is in your skillset. Displays are different and unique for a reason.

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I am adding pixels for the first time this year.  I have 9  6' trees that I am converting from AC to Pixels, all for the color effects and control.  I am also adding 4 Pixel arches.  But the rest of the display remains AC.  I still even use some incans, as I like the traditional look of these on some elements.  As clyde said, each display is unique. 

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Everyone has a different taste. I have regular lights around 300 channels them. One spiral tree with leds, Pixel trees everywhere, Pixels every place I could put them. New this year is a full matrix on the roof. I do images, word and still provide the beat of the music with them. 

Sample here

Edited by Jeff Messer
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Stick Figures, movies,  a face on a barn, pixels trees or a full matrix all have a place as long as the owner of that display likes it. It may not fit everyone's taste and that's a good thing as it would get pretty boring seeing the same props and images no matter what display you look at 

 

For me, the talent it takes to create an animation (some call it a stick figure) amazes me and the audience. And any of the ones I have seen are spot on with the beat of the Music.

Edited by ezimnow
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I believe dumb RGB gives you the best bang for your buck at this time. However, I am planning on adding smart pixels next year. Not quite sure what prop I will incorporate them into yet. They look good on a tree, snowflake, candy cane......but not yet sold on the matrix display (pixel count needs to be huge to get a good effect......thus, get out your checkbook!)

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We worked the numbers between dumb and smart pixels. A few bucks more I can place smart any place in the show with no limits. With dumb we had limits and at time cost was very close. 

 

Thanks for the kind comments guys. I didn't mean to hijack radioguy's post but it was heading that way from monitors to pixels.

 

I see that we have so many tools to play with with pixels and only a small cost to get any light color I want. With the cost of tree sequences from Team Holiday I will keep the pixel tree each year. The matrix on the roof is new and still learning the how to's with it. My biggest fear is not being able to play it due to lag. I will see the night we install it and start testing. The house goes up first and we test each night so it keeps up excited to see what we install the next day to watch. 

 

Cheers my friends and happy lighting... 

 

Jeff

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Jeff - The visualizer makes your display look great - it is a large footprint on a small screen area.  When viewing it in the real world, the vantage point becomes critical to "see" it.  Moving waves or color fades are not as critical viewing wise as cartoon figures.  Yours are basically static with moving elements.  I love color wipes - top to bottom, side to side, radially from center, starburst, any type of geometrical patterns on pixels.  Your static Merry Christmas with the color fades is also fine (not scrolling).  But we do have one problem here in Wisconsin - that white stuff that falls from the skies has a tendency to cover our roofs :)  Mike

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If you don't like videos, images and text on matrices then you won't like P10 panels.

I first noticed them on the Australian Christmas Lighting Forum and now there is discussion of them here.

They have a high resolution, can easily be tiled and are cheap.

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For me, the talent it takes to create an animation (some call it a stick figure) amazes me and the audience. And any of the ones I have seen are spot on with the beat of the Music.

 

I'm guessing this is because upwards of 90% of the ccr sequences are purchased.  They are spot on with the beat cause a professional is sequencing them.  

 

I think a lot of people nowadays want a 'plug-and-play' awesome Christmas display and these have become the easiest way to achieve this.  Once you see a couple vids online you can pick out the purchased sequences. 

 

Personally, I think they're bland and predictable...

 

Song sings of presents --> show present scrolling across ccr tree...

Song sings of mistletoe --> queue 8 bit animated couple kissing under 8 bit mistletoe at top of ccr tree...

Song sings of wizards in winter --> show upside-down footage from 1982's Galaga (complete with lazers shooting digital snow)... well, I guess that one wasn't so predictable.. just odd. 

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LOL@ Mike... No Snow in Madison , Florida....

 

Everything I do is a channel hog and if its not I will waster several ports and not use all the universe. I can't wait to see this beast fired off and it will be many weeks before I go live with it.  

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