Displays and Digital Signage Hardware
Digital Signage Displays
Chances are you have a pretty good idea of what screen size you need. But have you given much thought to the type of digital display your situation requires? The differences between commercial and consumer displays can be vast:
- Commercial warranty (2- to 3-year) or consumer warranty (typically voided in business setting)
- Hours of operation (extended runtimes)
- Device control and monitoring via network connections
- Tamper resistant controls
- Expandability and integration options via inputs, media players
- Built-in digital signage software (CMS)
- Vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape) mounting capability
- Touchscreen capabilities
Consumer vs. Commercial Use Displays
A consumer-grade display or TV is a product that has been designed for consumer use and not for digital signage. Typically consumer products have a 1-year warranty that is not valid in a business setting. Since consumer displays aren’t built with fans, custom bezels, or large heat sinks to help keep them cool, they’re only designed for up to 8 hours of constant use. The longer you run a display, the hotter it gets. The hotter your display runs, the faster picture quality degrades, and the more likely it is to fail. Commercial displays can run for 12—24 hours due to extensive attention to heat dissipation. Consumer displays also have limited connection options and minimal structural reinforcement.
Three Kinds of Signage Displays
Consumer TVs, pro-sumer TVs, and commercial displays (16 and 24 hours) all look similar on the outside, but there are several differences that make one better than the other for your business application.
Consumer TVs are what they say they are, TVs for the consumer world. These are best used for a few hours a day for watching TV and movies in a home. As such they have features to match, good video processing, sleek design, TV tuner, and built in speakers. They’re not made for the rugged world of business environments where they could be run 12–24 hours a day showing the same message all day.
Pro-sumer displays are in between true commercial displays and consumer TVs. They have some features of both. Some pro-sumer displays can be left on up to 12 or 16 hours a day, they have a TV tuner, and all have a good blend of what makes a TV great and a commercial display functional.
Commercial displays are the workhorse of the bunch and displays can be left on up to 24 hours a day. If consumer TVs are the flashy Ferrari, then commercial displays are the rugged, but luxurious SUV. Commercial displays are all made to run for long periods of time at higher brightness than the other two categories. Commercial displays have connections and features that are geared towards the business and IT world. They run long, last long, and have the warranty to back it up.
What if you want to mount your display in portrait instead of landscape orientation? Looking to build a video wall? Do you need the display to run all day and night? Only certain commercial displays are designed with these features. Using the wrong monitor will shorten the life span if it’s not built to do the work you need it to.
Full HD, UHD or UHD (4K) resolution? It all depends on the content you plan to display. Still unsure? Call us today, and we will give you all the information you need to make the decision.
IT Connectivity vs. Full Connectivity
If you are going to be displaying in standard or HD resolution, your digital signage needs IT connectivity and the ability to accept VGA, DVI, CVBS, DisplayPort and HDMI. If you want to display your digital media from almost any source, then full connectivity is the way to go. This is found in a signage that also offers BNC, Ethernet, USB 2.0/3.0, and component connectivity. A potential for cost savings exists since IT connectivity generally costs less than full connectivity.
Touchscreens let you interact with the content on the display. Touchscreens are generally commercial displays that allow you to enable your content with an intuitive, reliable, and durable interface that can withstand the rigors of the highly-demanding public-use environments. Large public venues, that include shopping malls, corporate offices, airports, and other public areas use self-service kiosks and large-format interactive displays to easily allow visitors to access information including maps, way finders, catalogs, design tools, directories, and more.
Video walls are a configuration of multiple monitors, hardware, and software that allow multiple commercial displays to be tiled together. Displays can be contiguous, overlapped, or even positioned to form one large screen or image. Simple walls and content can be driven by multi-monitor video cards or embedded processors in video wall displays. More elaborate and complex walls may require hardware or software controllers. Typically, video walls are used in large public venues so larger audiences can view the content at one time or to display large amounts of data in a control room setting.
Most displays cannot be used outdoors due to the sensitive nature of their internal electronics. When placing displays outdoors, you must consider a number of challenges including daylight readability, weatherproofing, protective enclosures, shock sensors, and cameras ensure security. Some outdoor displays are built into an enclosure that will control the climate. Others don’t require an enclosure and are built to with stand weather and vandalism.
Digital Signage Hardware: Players and Appliances
A digital signage media player allows you to play your content. Media Players might be as simple as a standalone device like an iPod, or a device with a CMS built-in for more flexibility, or just a network interface to your CMS or SaaS server. These simple to complex devices are designed to run nearly 24 hours a day and usually have network capability to allow easy access and control over your displays and content, from anywhere.
Digital Signage Hardware: Cables and Video Equipment
Put your best image forward with cables and equipment specifically designed to work with your solution. We offer digital, analog, audio, video, fiber optic cables in more configurations than you can imagine. We have a wide range of digital signage hardware, from wall plates and extenders to control devices and broadcast routers, so you can stay connected regardless of the devices you are connecting.