Main Types of Digital Signage

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Digital signage technology has grown tremendously over the last few years and there is now a digital signage solution to fit almost any situation. From small android tablet kiosks, all the way to large bespoke LED walls capable of bending and twisting to suit the environment. Panel technology, touch screen technology and modular LED displays have all developed to provide the best signage solutions for any environment.

Over the years several different signage technologies have developed independently each with their own application and benefits. In this blog post, we will be looking at 3 different technologies, display panel technology, touch screen technology and modular LED display technology.

Display panel technology can be found in many different forms such as LED display, LCD Displays & O-LED Displays. Commercial displays LED Displays have become the most popular due to their production costs and lifespan. OLED and displays have a shorter lifespan and have a higher production costs compared to LED and LCD displays. While they offer higher contrast ratios and brighter colours they are unsuitable for always-on commercial displays. LED and LCD displays differ very little, in fact, they are almost the same product. LCD displays or Liquid-Crystal Display technology can be traced back to it’s infancy in the 1800’s through not widely used until the 1970’s when the technology found its way into many emerging products including calculators and lead to the birth of the digital watch.

Fast forward 50 years and the technology has changed very little however the technological advances in this area has allowed for the introduction of colour displays along with a much higher resolution. The future does seem promising during the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 several display manufacturers were showing off their 8k consumer grade displays. While they are expensive now, once production techniques mature the cost of production will drop making 8k monitors much more affordable and in turn popular.

Returning to LCD and LED panel technology, while they are very similar technologies their only difference being the way they are backlit. Without a backlight to the LCD colour they would be very hard to see as LCD doesn’t produce light rather changes colour based on electrical charges. More information on this can be found on Wikipedia at the following address; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid-crystal_display . With a backlight, the colours are radiant and give excellent visibility. LCD and LED panels are backlight in different ways each offering their own benefits. LCD panels were traditionally backlit using cold cathode fluorescent lamps or CCFL for short while LED panels are backlit using an array of white colour balanced LED’s. With LED technology developments CCFL backlighting is costlier to produce and demands a higher power draw due to CCFL lamps requiring approximately 1000v to operate. This requires a built-in power converter increasing its weight. There are several different implementations of L
ED backlighting which details can be found on the above link and we may cover this in a future blog post.

All our digital signage panels at Andesign incorporate In-plane switching technology or IPS. The details of this technology and how it works can be found at the above link however it’s key features include a much wider viewing angle making the panels viewable from almost any angle along with brighter whites, darker blacks and higher contrast giving the displays superior image quality and life-span.

LED and LCD Panels are available in many sizes from 7in up to 85inch measured from corner to corner however for larger displays we are able to connect multiple displays together into a matrix of screens most commonly being a 3x3 display with 3 Panels in width and 3 panels in height. We often refer to these as LCD video walls. Details of these can be found at the following link; http://www.andesignds.com/our-products/lcd-video-wall/

Touchscreen display technology was originally thought of and patented in the 1960’s however it took over a decade for the technology to be used as in interface for computers in 1972.  Older touch-screen technologies were low-resolution and unreliable at best. The introduction of a capacitive touchscreen combined high-resolution and extremely thin material made it suitable for use in mobile-phones and larger touch screen devices. Today touchscreen technology is much more accurate, reliable and robust making it highly suitable kiosks and self-serve consoles. Interactive touchscreen digital signage gives the user an immersive and interactive experience and can be used almost anywhere. From exhibitions to shopping centres touchscreen displays can be used in almost any environment with interactive content serving more information than slideshow displays. Interactive displays can be used as information points, game consoles, wayfinding signage, point of sale kiosks, data input devices and more.

For bespoke sized graphic displays or displays that require to be formed, bent or twisted around different objects LED Modular Displays would be much more suitable. They are produced in modular form and can be made to most sizes. Often seen in cinema foyers with animated graphics their brightness and ability to run animated graphics gives a high impact display that is unachievable with other technologies. LED Modular displays use red, green and blue light-emitting diodes to display all colours including whites. While the construction is very simple the design is suitable for outdoor usage and is often used for large exterior signage such as the digital signage found at Piccadilly Circus in London or Times Square, New York.

Andesign Digital Signage continuously search for the latest technology and best solutions for our digital signage products. If you would like some information on digital signage give our team a call on 0808 129 2272 for more information.