Digital Signage – Understanding Screens

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 1 Comments

Flat screen technology has only been around a few years but already it has not only replaced its forerunner the CRT TV in our homes but also these thinner TV systems has paved the way for a revolution in out of home advertising.

But the demands on digital signage differ to those placed on home entertainment screens and while technologies like HD (High Definition) make quite a difference when you’re watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster, it will have little impact on an advertising campaign run on a HD digital signage screen.

However, there is a difference in the differing technologies used in modern flat screen TVs with advantages and disadvantages to them both. Generally when it comes to modern flat screen TVs they come in two varieties – the LCD (Liquid Crystal display) or plasma.

There was a time when there were quite sharp differences in the two technologies. Plasmas used to be brighter and have a better quality image, while LCD TVs used less power and were less susceptible to screen burn.

However, technology has advanced quite sharply and now the differences in the two technologies are negligible and more consideration should be given to protecting the screens to ensure the quality of image doesn’t diminish due to other factors.

Unlike home entertainment use, screens used in digital signage are often left exposed to direct sunlight or kept continually on. Heat build up and the direct glare of the sun can damage both LCD and plasma screens.

Some digital signage enclosures use clever technologies to ensure the screens of modern plasmas and LCD’s are protected. Air curtains are often used in some LCD enclosures, these blow a curtain of cool air across the screen preventing sun glare from causing hotspots. Anti-glare glass is also used extensively in LCD and plasma enclosures to ensure the screen is as readable as possible under direct glare.

When running a digital signage campaign, protecting the screen is crucial as the only outlay other than running costs is caused by replacing the screens. However, both running costs and protection may have become decidingly easier thanks to the development of LCD screens with LED backlights.

These use an array of light emitting diodes (LED) to generate the backlight of the TV. This not only uses a lot less power than conventional LCD technology but also they do not get as hot ensuring the screen costs less to run and will last longer.

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