In the world of digital signage, your display is the heart of everything. So, just like a skilled conductor leading an orchestra, your displays must harmonize seamlessly to create a captivating symphony of visuals.
If you've already acquired your screens, then you're making the first step toward establishing your digital signage network. However, if you haven't made the purchase yet, here's a concise guide to help you select the ideal display for your digital signage needs.
Also this article will be focused more on technical parameters of displays generally and less oriented on business cases.
Top factors you should watch before you buy a display
- time to play
- size, resolution, viewing distance and brightness
How much does display cost?
The price of a digital signage display can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the type, size, resolution, features, and quality of the display. Generally, smaller displays with lower resolutions and fewer advanced features tend to be more affordable, while larger displays with higher resolutions and advanced features are typically more expensive.
The price range for digital signage displays can vary from a few hundred dollars for small entry-level displays to several thousand dollars for larger, high-end displays. However, it's important to note that prices can change over time due to market trends and technological advancements.
Having established the potential cost ranges for the display, we can now examine one of the key factors that greatly affects the price - the type of display.
What type do I have to choose?
In the world of displays, there are several types of imaging technologies. Here are the most used - LCD, LED, and OLED. Maybe you know plasma technology, but these days it is a dead type, because this technology is very prone to faulty displays and is 3 times more energy consuming than LCD. So which type should I acquire?
Let me explain the differences in 4 main categories (price, true colors, energy saving, and lifespan) through the graph below.
It is evident from the graph that everything is dependent on your priorities. If you want low-budget digital signage, your best option is to buy an LCD, otherwise, if you are an enterprise client with high demand for colors and emitting quality your choice should be OLED type. The golden middle path is led display - it is very balanced between price and quality, so if you are not setting up a low-budget digital signage system, you should choose this type of display. Also, the lifespan parameter is a very discussed topic because there are two different qualities of displays - one for consumers and the second for commercial uses. You can guess which one has a longer lifespan. Of course, it is for commercial use and it can have 2-3 times more lifespan than for consumer use. Display in commercial use has also one specific important parameter - time to play.
How long will I play content every day?
Commercial displays are specifically engineered to endure extended usage without causing harm to their internal components or compromising image quality. They possess superior durability, enabling them to withstand rigorous conditions, unlike typical consumer displays found in local electronic stores, which are primarily designed for limited residential use. While consumer displays are suitable for casual movie viewing, they are not intended for continuous operation, and it is advisable to refrain from using them for more than 8 hours at a time to prevent potential internal damage or overheating.
Commercial displays incorporate features such as internal fans or specialized components for effective heat dissipation. This ensures that these displays can run for extended periods, ranging from 16 to 24 hours a day, all year round. Their reliability makes them ideal for digital signage, offering reassurance that the display will endure without unexpected failures during usage. When selecting a display, it is essential to review the operational hours specified in the product's specifications to make an informed decision. The price also depends on that.
From where and who will watch the content?
This is a good question to ask before buying a display - otherwise it can be a waste of money. I will explain more in a few examples.
If you have a store with a shop window, it is essential to ensure that the display has adequate brightness. Insufficient brightness can result in poor visibility of the content, making it difficult to see in sunlight. Therefore, it is crucial to check and verify that the display has appropriate brightness levels to ensure optimal visibility even in bright outdoor conditions. So brightness is a very important parameter to watch - outdoors it should definitely be a commercial display with brightness at least 400 nits (more is better). Inside it should be at least 150 nits.
If your target audience is a specific group, such as older individuals watching advertisements at a pharmacy, it becomes even more crucial to carefully consider the display parameters like size and resolution. These factors should be aligned with the viewing distance to ensure optimal viewing experience. In such cases, a general guideline suggests that for a viewing distance of at least 5 meters, a display size of 55 inches or larger, paired with a Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), would be suitable. However, it's worth noting that larger sizes and higher resolutions can enhance the overall viewing quality even further. Therefore, it is advisable to prioritize providing a comfortable and clear display that meets the specific needs of the target audience.
Will the display be accessible from a public place? (should i protect the display)
It's really important to keep your displays secure and take precautions against theft. This helps prevent unauthorized people from messing with your screens and interfering with the messages you want to share.
With consumer displays, it's easy for someone to change channels or connect their own devices, which could lead to inappropriate content being shown. Accidents can also happen. Thankfully, many professional displays already have built-in protections that stop people from tampering with the power, volume, or other controls that are accessible to the public. These measures help ensure that your content stays intact and communicates your intended messages effectively.
What can go wrong with the display?
Each screen is designed with specific purposes in mind, which means what works well in a restaurant setting might not be suitable for a lobby environment. It's important to consider the intended use of a display to ensure optimal performance and avoid potential warranty issues.
Using a display in a scenario it is not specifically designed for, such as surpassing the recommended daily operational hours or exceeding temperature limits, can have consequences. If the display is used in a way that goes beyond its intended capabilities, the manufacturer may no longer honor the warranty. This means you may be responsible for any repair costs or replacements.
To avoid such complications, it is advisable to carefully review the specifications and guidelines provided by the manufacturer. By selecting a display that aligns with the intended usage scenario and adhering to the recommended operating conditions, you can ensure both optimal performance and warranty coverage. Taking these precautions helps safeguard your investment and reduces the risk of encountering unexpected issues with your display.
In conclusion, choosing the right display for your digital signage is crucial for creating a captivating visual experience. Factors such as price, type, time to play, size, resolution, viewing distance, brightness, protection, and warranty should be carefully considered before making a purchase.
Price ranges for digital signage displays can vary depending on the display's type, size, resolution, features, and quality. LCD, LED, and OLED are common display types, each with its own advantages and considerations. LCD displays are often a more budget-friendly option, while OLED displays offer superior color quality and emission. LED displays strike a balance between price and quality.
The operational hours of your digital signage play a role in determining the type of display you should choose. Commercial displays are designed for extended usage and have features like heat dissipation systems. Consumer displays, on the other hand, are meant for limited residential use and should not be used continuously for more than 8 hours at a time.
Considering the viewing environment and audience is crucial. Brightness levels should be suitable for outdoor or indoor viewing conditions, and the display size and resolution should be chosen based on the viewing distance. Protecting your display from unauthorized access and potential tampering is also important to maintain the integrity of your content.
Using a display outside of its intended capabilities can void the warranty, so it's essential to adhere to the manufacturer's specifications and guidelines. By selecting a display that aligns with your usage scenario and following recommended operating conditions, you can ensure optimal performance and warranty coverage, reducing the risk of unexpected issues.
In conclusion, by carefully evaluating and selecting the right display for your digital signage, you can create an engaging and impactful visual experience that effectively communicates your messages.