Digital Signage Connections
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.