Outdoor Digital Signage – Why Not?

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 0 Comments

There are a great many advantages of taking digital signage to an outdoor location. There is always a greater potential audience with an outdoor digital signage screen than there is with a similar indoor system.

Furthermore, and outdoor screen can be viewable not just by pedestrians (of which there will be more of) but also to motorists, bus passengers and other road traffic – all potential customers.

But strangely enough, despite these benefits, outdoor digital signage still only makes up a small percentage of all the digital screens installed for out of home advertising (less than 5% as of 2009).

But why is this, the advantages of using an outdoor screen over an indoor one seem clear- so why are there so few installs?

Disadvantages of Outdoor Digital Signage

Well obviously, many people assume the disadvantages of installing a screen in an outdoor location, outweighs the advantages. But do they?

Of course, you can’t simply take a normal standard LCD device and place it outside. It will fail as soon as the first drops of rain hit it. Also, temperature, direct sunlight and other weather elements are just as damaging to a sensitive electronic device like an LCD screen.

The logistics of networking is also seen as a problem for many installers – although with modern Wi-Fi and broadband this should be less of an issue than it was several years ago.

But Protection can be cost effective

Outdoor TV systems are notoriously expensive; even now, as prices are dropping these outdoor TVs can still cost thousands more than a standard or commercial screen. This huge outlay can make any return on investment difficult to realise – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Outdoor LCD enclosures are a good cost effective alternative. They house standard or commercial grade screens, protecting them from the weather, attacks by vandals and contain temperature controls such as fans and heaters.

LCD enclosures, even combined with a commercial grade TV designed for sunlight readability will still cost dramatically less than a specific outdoor device. This reduction in the initial investment makes the return on investment a lot easier to quantify.

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