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NovaStar

Thomas S. Friedman • Company 411May 2019 • May 3, 2019

NovaStar’s North America Team: John Zhan, Selena Zhang, Ricky Li, Karl Zheng, Clark Tian, McGrady Yang, Wain Wang and Gilbert Mu

Company Experiencing Spectacular Growth as it Redefines the LED Marketplace

NovaStar is a global-leading LED company that develops LED display control solutions for a variety of market applications including live entertainment, digital signage, and stage rentals. The company is very much on the move, providing LED and control solutions for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the 2016 Rio Olympics and several Electric Daisy Carnivals, among many other projects. They are also part of one of the most successful touring live events in the industry, the WWE.

Today they have 44 branches serving more than 10,000 corporate and retail clients worldwide. Their product line ranges from LED display synchronous control systems, LED display point-to-point calibration systems and cloud-based management services. Their work is earning them kudos from some longtime players in the live-event world.

“Our favorite thing about NovaStar is that they are always listening to customer feedback,” says Shannon McNealy, marketing manager of ABCOMRENTS. “They continually update products to meet the high demand of today’s rental and staging market which makes our jobs so much easier. With the addition of fiber in their new 660 and HD model, LED walls can be controlled at greater distances. NovaStar is definitely the first choice for hardware and software for LED walls.”

“NovaStar’s products are a key to our success in the video market,” says Will Komassa of Blizzard Lighting. “They are innovators, place a high value on product quality, and are all-around good people to work with. There’s no other company we’d rather have provide our processing hardware.”

Their products are certainly getting noticed. NovaStar’s MCTRL4K controller was named “best video processing product of the year” by Commercial Integrator at last year’s LDI, and was also nominated by industry professionals for an Indispensable Technology award in the Video category at the 18th Annual Parnelli Awards in January. “We’re proud of the MCTRL4K and all it can do, and we’re very excited to see this product getting the recognition we feel it deserves,” says NovaStar’s North America regional manager John Zhan. “The MCTRL4K is a revolutionary product for a few reasons, not the least of which is its HDR capability. We see HDR as the way of the future in the LED industry, and the MCTRL4K is the first and only product in the field to fully support HDR10.” Because of its higher contrast ratio and greater color gamut (among other reasons), HDR (High Dynamic Range) provides a picture that is much more vivid and lifelike than standard definition video. “The LDI show also allowed us to display other products such as the C1+N9 stage control solution, and the J6 multi-screen splicing processor with V-can software, in addition to others.”

NovaStar CEO Victor Yuan

‡‡         A Decade of Innovations

NovaStar’s meteoric rise is even more impressive considering the company is just over 10 years old. It was founded in 2008, and in a sign of what was to come, one of their first projects was working on the Olympic Games in Beijing. “That was our big breakthrough,” says NovaStar CEO and founder Victor Yuan. “But it wasn’t until 2013 when we broke into the U.S. market with our calibration technology, which was really well received at the time.” But that would just be the beginning. “Over the last several years, our presence in the U.S. market has steadily grown with the introduction of products like the MCTRL660, NovaPro HD, VX4s and MCTRL4K, which have been successful due to their stability, which is something we’ve found U.S. clients really look for.”

Yuan acknowledges that NovaStar products are coming into a crowded, competitive market. “NovaStar decided to approach the market in a different way than other companies in the industry,” he explains. “Rather than simply creating a variety of LED control products, we first analyze the needs of various applications and then create a series of products tailored to the specific needs of the application. These solutions include low latency, stage rental, digital signage and more, making it easier for clients to find a solution that works for their specific application.” He credits a strong R&D team who keep up on industry trends. “We try to be the first to market with products that meet the requirements that we think clients are going to have, often before they even become the industry standard. The MCTRL4K is the first controller in the industry to fully support HDR10. HDR is just starting to become more widely used in the LED industry, and we expect it to become the new standard for applications needing the best image possible. What we’ve done lately is refined the HDR10 standard into something we’re calling HDR-Optima. This standard is tailored specifically for LED screens to get the best HDR result, and of course the MCTRL4K already supports this new standard. This is a good example of how we stay in front of these industry trends.”

Recent products from NovaStar’s R&D department are fueling further growth: “The NovaPro HD has been a great product for us in the U.S. market. The Pro HD is an all-in-one controller and processor that scales really well, provides Genlock and DMX control, and has a good variety of inputs, all with a user-friendly interface.”

NovaStar has their own North American sales team, which has grown since 2013 from two to five representatives. NovaStar also partners with authorized dealers that carry NovaStar products, including Blizzard Lighting, SquareV and Formetco LED Video. “We currently have an office in Las Vegas with local stock, which is really convenient for our North American clients,” Zhan says. “We’re also in the planning stages for a larger Las Vegas office with a demo room, training center, and more.” They are proud to now offer remote 24/7 worldwide customer service, while a local team of more than 10 technicians is also on hand to provide dedicated technical support. “With the time differences, we felt like it was very important to make sure it was easy to take care of our North America customers at a time that is convenient for them.”

The company is aggressively getting the word out about its products and applications. In November of 2017 their “NovaWorld Tour” included a stop in Atlanta. Zhan says it was a great success and propelled the company into expanding its reach. Themed “Visualize Your Imagination,” the event highlighted several of the company’s products, including its Phobos series. There was also instruction on the use of the 4K controller, R5 controller, A8s receiving card and SmartLCT software. They shared development stories and successful cases from over the past nine years all over the world. “Our customers attained a better awareness of the company’s scale and product system. At the same time, we use these events to better understand what customers are looking for, as well as what types of technical or product training will be useful to them.” This information is certainly put to good use, as they have an ambitious schedule of international training sessions, with more coming. “It’s going to be an exciting year for us.”

NovaStar technology is controlling the visuals at the 100,000 square foot Esports arena in Arlington, TX.

‡‡         A Look at NovaStar’s History

NovaStar first burst on the scene in 2008 with their synchronous control system ADM100, which was used to control the total 3,400 square meters of screens at Pangu Plaza for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “We’re especially proud of that because it is still fully functional today,” Zhan says. The following year they revealed their second-generation synchronous control system N200. In 2009, NovaStar provided a complete package that included a control system and point-to-point calibration services for Beijing Dinghao Plaza’s 1,200-square-meter giant-sized screen. The NovaCLB brightness calibration system launched in December of that year.

In 2009, they released the NovaCLB color calibration system, and increasingly spread their international reach. Just one case in point — they provided complete service and calibration for Turkey Central Stadium’s 800-square-meter LED display. “The following year, new customer support and sales branches were established in Shenzhen, China to better serve and support LED manufacturers,” Zhan explains. “We always understood that it was important that we not only kept ahead of trends, but made sure our clients and customers always felt well-served.” In 2011, the M3 Series launched, “which established a solid basis for the future of Nova’s control system.” By 2012, NovaStar was already dominating the LED rental market with 80 percent market share in China, and new branches were established in Beijing and Shanghai. Next, in addition to expanding into North America, they launched the asynchronous full-color control system with market applications in advertising and information sharing, as well as a cloud-based control platform. This platform has now grown into a highly successful complete cloud solution, which today includes VNNOX, Novaicare, and the Taurus multimedia player. Over the last few years, NovaStar has also introduced NCE, the NovaStar Certified Engineer program. They continue to expand around the globe, opening up branches in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

“Most of our complete line of new products, including the VX4s and NovaPro HD, were launched in 2015, setting a new standard and sales record for the industry back then,” Zhan says. “At that point, we had 74 certified and registered distributor channels worldwide.” Another breakthrough followed. The 100,000-square-foot Esports Stadium in Arlington, TX, the largest dedicated Esports facility in North America, chose NovaStar’s MCTRL660 PRO to serve the unique needs and demands of their community. This past December, they started shipping their A8s and the A10s receiving cards. “Everyone is aware that the display industry, including LED, LCD and projection, is experiencing a change in the way we look at realizing image quality,” Zhan says. “Currently, the entire LED industry is focused on more, better pixels. Receiving cards are expected to have a higher loading capacity, which provides the amount of pixels needed. With the design of cabinets trending more towards fine pixel pitch, the requirement for receiving cards to have a small size is more important than ever.” These will meet the needs of clients wanting more vivid colors and image quality. “For indoor fine pixel pitch applications, clients understand that it is necessary for LED displays to have excellent image quality. HDR, 18bit+, and ClearView were all created to meet this need.”

Dr. Aaron He – Vice president of NovaStar

‡‡         Looking Toward the Future

Dr. Aaron He, vice president of NovaStar, shares his clear vision of the future of the company. “NovaStar is committed to pioneering innovative technology in the LED industry. In addition to all the new technology we patent every year, NovaStar is also proud of the strides we’ve made in improving customer focus and anticipating market trends, and we’re going to make sure we continue on this path. We want to find new and better ways to create value for our clients through innovative technology, tailored solutions, user-friendly products, and professional support.”

To learn more about how NovaStar is redefining the LED market, check out their highly informative website at www.novastar.tech. This June, they will also be at InfoComm in Booth 2773.

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