Why is an LED service programme not simply recommended, but fundamental for success?

When you bring home your brand-new car, not only do you expect it to look good, you expect it to give you reliable performance, day after day. You know the manufacturer’s service programme will keep it in tip top condition for many years of enjoyable motoring, up to and beyond the warranty period.

We all accept that maintaining a full-service history will keep our new car running at optimal performance, so why should it be any different for an LED wall?

You rely on your digital wall to deliver long-life, fit-for-purpose performance, with bright colours as vivid as the day it was installed. Irrespective of application, from meeting room spaces, control room, passenger information to digital out of home, consistent and reliable visual performance is crucial.

Our reputation as a quality manufacturer drives us to ensure our customers enjoy the absolute best performance over an extended period. To this end, we have developed a comprehensive, tailored service programme to accompany our LED products. We are here for the long term.

If you are offered an LED product from a manufacturer which does not offer an accompanying service programme, our advice is to ask the question, ‘why’?


Miguel Vieira, service portfolio manager for Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe, explains why the LED service programme is not simply recommended, but fundamental for success.

LED technology offers undeniable advantages

LED technology offers compelling advantages over LCD: high brightness and deep contrasts, unlimited scalability and customisable flexibility, and no distracting bezels or screen reflection. Your LED installation is going to impress!

Outstanding visual presentation is business-critical at Fineart Gallery in Oslo

An even more remarkable advantage of LED is its life expectancy. You can anticipate up to 100,000 hours life span from your NEC wall, that’s 10 years based on average use! That is extraordinary! This incredible technology goes a long way towards your sustainability goals.

But you cannot reasonably expect 10 years of peak performance if you have not shown the love and attention your LED workhorse deserves. With a service programme in place, you will have peace of mind knowing that you will gain all the advantages that LED promises, whilst protecting your operational workflows and your brand reputation, for many years to come.

It is important to point out that, of the large amount of LED technology flooding the market, there is a vast disparity in quality. At Sharp/NEC, customer satisfaction spans pre-sales to end of life. Not only are our products of the highest quality, so is our service. Our reputation depends upon it.

Why is LED technology more likely to require servicing?

Another big difference between LCD and LED technology is the number of components involved in creating an equivalent sized digital surface. It’s a question of probability. Even with industry leading Average Failure Rates (AFR) as low as 0.5%, when your wall comprises of approx. 470 components (compared to just 9 in an LCD wall), we must assume that some of these components will fail during the product’s long lifetime.

Let’s look at this a little deeper, comparing technologies in a 165” wall . . .

A typical 3x3 LCD videowall configuration comprising nine 55” screens to create a 165” digital surface.

The Annual Failure Rate is calculated taking all components of the wall into consideration. Whilst each screen within the wall could be considered to comprise of 4 components (panel, backlight, power board and main board), since a failure in any one of these elements would require the entire screen to be replaced, the AFR calculation assumes each screen is a single component.

Sharp/NEC has an exceptionally low failure rate of (typically) less than 1% which means there is a prudent 9 x 1% probability that a technical fault will occur.

AFR % Quantity of components Possible defect parts
(per year, per wall)
1.00% 9 0.09

9 x MultiSync® UN552

The chances of a defect occurring is incredibly low, on-site service is rarely required during the lifetime of the product. This is the reason why so many of our customers choose NEC, time and again!

It is interesting to note that many manufacturers do not quote their failure rates, we can only wonder why??

LED: 1 x LED-FA019i2-165

An LED 165” FA Series wall typically comprises:

  • 36 cabinets containing:
    • 36 hub boards
    • 72 receiver cards
    • 72 power supplies
  • 288 pixel cards
  • 2 controllers

Totalling approx. 470 components.

One may argue however, that 72 of these components are redundant (36 receiver cards and 36 power supplies), so unlikely to fail. Sharp/NEC build in redundant parts to ensure fail safe operation, although this does not in reality negate the need for servicing these elements. For transparency’s sake, however, let’s consider there are 398 non-redundant components in our LED wall.

Again, the AFR is calculated based on individual components, and in the case of LED, each and every component can be repaired or replaced, a great advocate for sustainability!

Every component is meticulously selected under Sharp/NEC’s stringent Japanese design and quality control standards, yet we should reasonably consider a possible failure rate of between 0.25% and 0.5%.

AFR % Quantity of non-
redundant components
Possible defect parts
(per year, per wall)
0.25% 398 1.0
0.50% 398 2.0
1.00% 398 4.0


1 x LED-FA019i2-165

Despite the high quality of the product, it is far more likely that LED technology will need to be serviced to maintain peak performance over its exceptionally long lifetime.

If you are currently considering LED technology and are weighing up the options, do talk to your prospective supplier about their published failure rates, and question:

  • Are they being truly open with you?
  • Are they advising you of the risks and possible costs deriving from higher failure rates?
  • Are they forewarning you of the costs associated with on-site service?

LED added-value services – it’s all in the preparation

As is the case in so many things, it’s all in the preparation. A successful outcome requires careful planning. The more complex the project the greater the level of meticulous preparation and planning required with more parties involved in the process. This is our area of expertise. By working with Sharp/NEC, and taking advantage of our added value services, you are guaranteed a successful outcome.


Our expertise in LED spans pre-bundled standardised products to bespoke solutions for complex projects. Each project is expertly managed in accordance with its unique set of requirements by NEC and our accredited installation and service partners. We trust our reputation to our partners. They are the best in their field and receive continual product training from NEC to ensure our customers enjoy the best possible outcome.

But as we have seen, LED is a multifaceted and complex product, and each stage of its installation and maintenance requires highly trained personnel. Every stage of the project demands careful consideration: assessing the technical requirements, conducting a site survey, installation, on-site servicing, maintenance, calibration . . . careful planning means no unforeseen challenges, and no costly mistakes; just a great job, first time, with the peace of mind that you will enjoy the best performance from your LED wall for an impressively long time!

Standard warranty, and beyond

Your LED service package will ensure many years of fit-for-purpose performance for the entire long life of your LED wall. Our standard warranty is included in the price of the product, but, for the reasons we have already outlined, this alone will not bring you all that you hope for in your LED wall. Remember your new car? If you don’t look after it, not only may you invalidate the warranty, you’ll soon find yourself stranded on the hard-shoulder of the motorway awaiting break down recovery.


The Royal Opera House, London - a dramatic 28.5sqm 90 degree curved NEC LED surface shines out onto the world famous Covent Garden Piazza.

Ad-hoc servicing can be provided but it is costly, time consuming, and not always available to your preferred schedule. We are entirely transparent in this regard (beware the LED supplier who is not), your LED wall will need servicing, and we highly recommend that you plan for this in advance. With a service contract in place, you’ll have no unwanted surprises to impact your budget and you are assured of our swift attention to minimise downtime.

There is a vast library of LED service documentation available on our SolutionsPlus portal, accessible to our accredited partners, including details of all our recommended service packs and further managed services and warranty extensions.

Your Sharp/NEC sales representative or service centre will provide a fully transparent overview of what is available with a non-biased recommendation according to your unique circumstances.

Go to SolutionsPlus

Our ServicePlus promise – how do others compare?

At Sharp/NEC, service is not just an afterthought. When we sell a product, we are committing to the full length of its lifecycle, we don’t simply walk away and leave you to it. We want you to get the best out of your investment even when the product is outside of the warranty period. Our service and support packages are second to none, providing genuine customer service – REAL SERVICE.


We urge you to investigate the true depth of any warranty and service offering from our competitors. Is it genuine? Is it worth the paper it’s written on? Can you be confident that they will come good with their promise? Time and again, we hear otherwise.

Find out more about ServicePlus, our commitment to quality.

Go to ServicePlus

In a previous blog, we addressed the issue of warranties and questioned our competitors’ agenda; are they offering genuine peace of mind or a flimsy marketing headline?

Go to Blog: Let’s talk warranties . . .

Our service programme provides genuine peace of mind with first class service levels supporting both large and small organisations to manage their displays estate. We are committed to providing quality and reliability with the assurance that should anything go wrong; we will not let you down.

Can you trust the same kind of commitment from our competitors?

Find out more about Sharp/NEC Direct View LED Solutions

Go to NEC LED solutions

With many LED products available on the market today, the level of quality differs vastly. Download our whitepaper to understand the differences and help you make an informed decision.

Go to LED whitepaper

NEC uses an all-metal framework in its LED solutions, avoiding the use of plastic for all structural parts of the chassis. Not only is this a positive choice for sustainability, it is also an imperative choice for safety and long-life reliability.

Go to Quality & Safety document

Use our LED configurator tool to specify your NEC LED solution

Go to configurator