When it comes to electronic signage, your product is only as strong as its weakest link. Your electronic signage will likely need a number of cables and connections made to it in order to function correctly. Here is a brief look at some of the connection choices you will need to make.
Electrical – Most modern displays use some form of LCD or LED technology. While this greatly reduces the amount of power consumption as compared to earlier TV sets, you will still need to draw power from the internal electrical wiring of your building. Fortunately, extension cords that power such low power devices can be made extremely thin and even flat these days. If you can’t make a direct connection to an electrical outlet you will need an extension cord that is rated approximately 1 AMP or greater. This is a very minimal amount of electricity, which allows for the use of thin, light gauge wire. You can find these cables in a wide variety of shapes and colors with plugs that will allow almost a flat connection to the wall.
Surge Protectors – If you live in an area with frequent electrical blackouts, brown-outs or voltages that fluctuate up and down, a surge protector is an excellent investment to protect your electronic signage from damage due to spikes, surges and electrical shorts. It only takes a single electrical incident to destroy your expensive electronics investment. Buying a surge protector is cheap insurance against such calamities.
Internet Connectivity – Unless you are making constant use of live, streaming video, the connectivity requirements for your internet connection when using electronic signage are quite minimal. You can easily get away with using an inexpensive DSL circuit, cable modem or even wireless 4G connectivity. Bandwidth consumption should be minimal and there should be no need for expensive static Ips, fiber or dedicated circuits. Primary connectivity to your display can be made using either a wired Ethernet or wi-fi. Whatever grade of Internet connectivity you already have should likely suffice.
Video Connections – Most modern displays connect to signal sources, such as the device that generates the signal for your electronic signage, via an HDMI or VGA cable. The majority of both displays and devices already come with these cables supplied or plug directly in to the TV’s input. There is almost never a need for additional high-end, gold-plated connectors or cables. These rarely have any effect on the quality of your picture. Instead, make sure that all connections fit tightly and are firmly connected.
Wi-Fi – If your electronic signage makes use of wi-fi for its internet connectivity, you likely will not have any problems. If you suffer from repeated wi-fi connectivity problems you will need to look for possible sources of interference. Wi-fi shares frequency spectrum with numerous other wireless electronic devices such as cordless phones, remote-control toys and even microwave ovens. In rare cases you may need to reposition your wi-fi router or other devices to keep these signals from interfering with each other. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, you may want to consider the use of a hard-wired Ethernet connection using CAT 5, 5e or 6.0 cabling. Running these cables to your display may require hiring a professional installer, but it should render your internet connectivity immune from RF interference.
For many years advertisers have been paying huge amounts of money to mass media companies for not minutes but seconds of an audience’s attention. These companies with huge marketing budgets have greatly influenced the thoughts and behaviors of consumers with wonderful, emotionally charged visual ads on TV. We all have our favorite commercials, slogans, and taglines, most of these imprinted in our easily impressionable minds. “A coke and a smile”, “The King of Beers”, “The Ultimate driving experience” “Where’s the Beef” ,Ok that one dated myself. These slogans delivered after watching emotionally charged visual content with Clydesdale horses, funny old ladies or exciting fast-moving cars can make quite an impression on consumers. Impressions that advertisers will pay millions of dollars per second for these commercials and run these ads repeatedly over an extended period.
Visual impression marketing is real, and it works. We can learn in its simplest form that consistent slogans, colors, and emotions produced over time can influence or program an audience. With today’s technologies and partners like #Revilocity, even small businesses and retail owners can take advantage of visual programming. Not that you need a budget for an awesome video commercial but the fact that consistent visual messages over time can indeed influence persuade and even program an audience into thinking and feeling a certain way about a brand. When a business owner combines visual TV program touches from #Revilocity with social media posts, email marketing and other forms of communications, you can for certain create an emotional connection with your audience and influence the way they think and feel about your brand. This is a great strategy to gain more loyal customers, never underestimate top of mind brand awareness. You can now take ownership and have more control over those feelings with modern technology. Whether to inform, influence or simply communicate in a new way with your audience, #Revilocity is here to help.
Choosing the size of your display is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your digital signage deployment.
We currently recommend three different screen sizes at the moment. The proper size will depend largely upon the farthest possible viewing distance that you want the sign to be readable from. In small rooms and reception areas, a 40″ display may very well suffice. However, if you are placing your signage in a large, open room, the same size will deliver less than acceptable results. Here are our recommendations for each of the display sizes we currently offer.
40″ Display – Viewable up to 10 feet away
43″ Display – Viewable up to 12 feet away
49″ Display – Viewable up to 14 feet away
Keep in mind that the overall formatting of your content should also be taken into consideration. If your content consists largely of images and text with large fonts, the above recommendations should be fine. However, if your content includes lots of smaller text, price lists or detailed descriptions you should probably opt for a display at least 3-6 inches larger than shown on the list above.
It’s a fair statement to make that bigger is usually better when it comes to choosing the size of your digital signage display. There are hardly ever any circumstances when choosing a larger display will do any harm. Choosing too small of a display can be a serious impairment to getting your message seen though. Choosing a larger display almost always pays off in the long run. The small difference in up-front cost is easily offset by the increased effectiveness of your signage campaign.
When it comes to choosing a method for mounting your digital signage display the top choices are wall mounting or using a dedicated TV stand to attach your display to. Both choices are usually quite cost-effective, with wall mount units being cheaper but requiring more time and expertise to install. The third option is using the built-in stand that comes with most displays, but this method is usually not practical for commercial applications where the hardware must be secured to prevent theft and accidental damage.
WALL MOUNTS The majority of digital signage these days is installed by attaching the display to a wall via a wall mount. Wall mounts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all perform the same, basic function. That is, to mount the display securely by attaching the mount directly to studs or wooden beams inside the wall. It is also possible to use wall mounts on surfaces such as brick or concrete in some cases, but these installations are usually much more complicated and costly. Once installed, the display can be positioned at the optimum angle for viewing. The main disadvantage of using wall mounts is the fact that electric cables will need to be run to the back of the display in order to provide it with power. Unless outlets are already available at these heights on the wall, an extension cable will usually need to be run to it from a nearby outlet. This may not be aesthetic that many business owners desire though. Qualified audio-video installers can usually conceal the extra wiring using molded, plastic trim. This will generally add to the time and cost of the installation though.
TV STANDS Dedicated TV stands are not the type that you will find in most homes. TV stands appropriate for commercial use are generally made of very heavy, solid steel, or sometimes come in tubular steel sections. The most important aspect when choosing a proper TV stand is to make sure that the weight of the display can be adequately handled. You can generally find the maximum weight that these stands will support in their sales literature. Besides the company’s published specs, a good rule of thumb is to buy a stand that weighs MORE than the display it is meant to support. TV stands can be semi-permanently set in place or supported by lockable casters to allow some mobility. As with TV wall mounts, the display will still need electrical cables run to it, but portable TV stands can be easily placed close to nearby outlets that are located along the wall. Some assembly is usually required with these stands, but overall they are much simpler to install than wall mounts and can be easily moved from one place to another.
DESKTOP/COUNTER/VESA INSTALLATION If you are considering digital signage that is 32″ or less, you can typically find computer monitors that include built-in stands. These need to be set on flat surfaces, such as a desk, countertop, a bar, etc. Generally, the built-in stands work adequately with small displays and computer monitors. If you are placing the display in an area where it could possibly be jostled or knocked over you are probably better off securing it via a VESA type mounting solution though. These mounts will secure your display via screws on the back of the monitor. The other end of the mount is screwed permanently in place on a wall, countertop or other solid objects. VESA mounts help top prevent both accidental damages as well as theft from areas that are not always under constant watch.
There are a wide variety of electronic display technologies available today. These range from the somewhat antiquated but very capable Plasma HD Displays to the most advanced display technology on the market today… OLED TVs. For practical purposes, we are going to skip the previous generation of displays and televisions that are no longer relevant to the market today. These include older CRTs, standard definition televisions, NTSC monitors and analog projectors. Here is what you need to know in order to choose the right display for your situation.
PLASMA DISPLAYS This technology is definitely on the way out, with few, if any, new plasma displays in production today. Energy requirements are about 5x what current LCD/LED displays currently use. The results are usually a much brighter and more dynamic-looking display though. Unfortunately, these displays have a lot of drawbacks, including their expensive price tags compared to LCDs, large bezels around the screen that was necessary when they were first designed and their bulkiness. Even a 40″ plasma display can weigh upwards of 100 lbs, which can prove a problem if you are looking to mount one of these units to a wall. Another downside is the resolution. At the time the production lines for plasma screens were in full swing, 1080p HD was the highest resolution out there. Most plasma displays are limited to 1080 HD, while LCD and OLED displays can deliver UHD or Ultra-High Definition (UHD) that is nearly 4x as sharp and uses a fraction of the power that LCD displays use. Our recommendation is if you have one and it still works well, hangs on to it, but only if your signage is limited to HD content. The Large plasma screen is still effective and eye-catching. If you are starting from scratch, we would definitely not recommend this as a purchase option though.
PROJECTORS OR HOME THEATER PROJECTORS When speaking about projectors, most people’s minds turn to the technology used to display old slide shows and office presentations. However, the modern counterparts to these units are multimedia powerhouses that can fill the roll in some very specific signage needs. To be sure, multimedia projectors are one of the pricier options. Indoor units range from as little as $100 to well over $5,000. Their large, up-front cost and sometimes difficult operation make them an option that is only really applicable for niche needs. On the positive side, you can easily project a 10 foot or larger Ulta High Definition video almost anywhere there is a flat surface. They can be used on indoor walls or even outdoors on the sides of buildings, much like at an old drive-in. While the technology has advanced greatly over the years, it still does not provide as clear and crisp a picture as you could expect from a high-end LCD or OLED display. It may have a place in special events though, especially those that take place outdoors at night. Projected against an appropriate background under favorable (dark) conditions, some projections can be seen from hundreds of yards away. We only recommend the use of this technology if you have some sort of events like this in mind for occasional use though.
LCD/LED DISPLAYS The term LCD and LED seem to be interchangeable and can be a bit confusing, but here is what you need to know. LCD or Liquid Crystal Displays are the technology that most modern flat-screen displays are based upon. The technology goes back decades and has been perfected to the point where these displays are now very thin, light and provide sharp, accurate video. LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, are a type of lighting technology that has also been around for quite some time but has only recently come into use in displays. LEDs do not replace LCDs but are used in combination with them to provide brighter and more accurate pictures using backlighting. This helps to offset one of the bigger problems of LCD displays, which is the ability to be seen in low light conditions, especially at angles where you are trying to view them from side angles. LEDs greatly help to give LCDs a more viewable picture with a wider viewing area, more brightness and better color saturation for some colors. This combination is the predominant technology used in TVs and commercial displays today. It provides for relatively thin and lightweight displays with much lower power requirements than plasma screens or CRTs. They weigh only a fraction of their older counterparts and scale up to the highest resolution options available today. The majority of new, large screen LCD/LED displays to provide UHD or 4K in addition to lower resolutions such as 1080 HD and are fully backward compatible. In the vast majority of situations, LCD/LED displays provide the greatest usability and value for digital signage owners.
OLED DISPLAYS An up-and-coming technology, OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) are the latest and greatest when it comes to cutting-edge display technology. Their limited availability and high prices compared to LCD/LED displays do not make them a very cost-effective choice at the moment though. Most OLED displays feature 4K or UHD Ultra High Definition options and use a technology that is very similar to current LCD/LED models. The main difference between these technologies is their size. OLEDs use VERY thin and flexible panels that greatly reduce the thickness and weight of their screens. OLEDs are the first displays truly practical for hanging on a wall like a painting or large photograph. They weigh a fraction of their LCD/LED counterparts and are typically well under an inch thin. Some come with curved screens that may provide an enhanced viewing experience in home theater situations but are generally not very useful in electronic signage applications where you want the picture to be viewable from as wide an angle as possible. Picture quality is generally superior to most LCD/LED displays due to their ability to provide more accurate colors, brighter whites, and deeper blacks. For most digital signage applications, use of this technology is a bit overboard though. The up-front cost is several times what you will pay for a comparable LCD/LED model of the same size and features, and few customers would be able to distinguish the difference in quality between the two technologies using typical electronic advertising applications. OLEDs displays are definitely the displays of the future. They are a very expensive, and largely unnecessary, the technology presently though.
COMPUTER MONITORS Most of the technologies we have described thus far are used in integrated televisions with tuners for local TV, cable and satellite transmissions, in addition to external audio-video devices. Dedicated computer monitors typically do not include TV tuners and are primarily made to display video provided to them through a computer connection. The vast majority of computer monitors today utilize the same LCD/LED technology you will find in consumer and commercial displays. The biggest differences between TV displays and computer monitors is their size. The vast majority of TVs manufactured today come in sizes 40 inches and up. The majority of computer monitors manufactured today are 32 inches or less. Computer monitors do not always come in the standard 16:9 aspect ratio (widescreen) that all TV new displays come in. They can vary widely in available resolutions as well. If you are looking to use a computer monitor for your electronic signage you will need to make sure that it has an HDMI input, as some monitors only have VGA and DisplayPort inputs. These cannot be used for any of the electronic signage products we currently offer. Also, make sure that any monitor you buy provides resolution of at least 1920 x 1080. Higher resolutions are fine, but lower resolutions may not display your signage properly.
We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text
Psychologist Albert Mehrabian demonstrated that 93% of communication is nonverbal. Research at 3M Corporation concluded that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. People think using pictures. John Berger, the media theorist, writes in his book Ways of Seeing (Penguin Books, 1972), “Seeing comes before words.”
At Revilocity, Inc. we create visual signage for unique brands. We work with brands that make a difference, do things differently and believe in a strong community. We want to help tell your unique story and connect the brand and audience at a deeper level. We also use visual to ask and encourage brand engagement on your behalf. Share value than asking, share than ask that’s our formula for success! We help leverage your greatest assets for growth, the employee and the customer. By using effective, visual communications you can increase social media participation, reviews, contests, polls, SMS lists, hashtag sharing, business events and more. Grow brand awareness, connection, and community. Get more referrals “Robust referral-marketing programs are achieving significant revenue gains—10 to 20 percent for established products and up to 100 percent for new products, according to BCG’s research.”