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How to get the best Digital Signs within Budget?

Hi! I am Naresh Jhajharia, Director of Admire Sign & Display, India’s oldest signage company.

In the last 3 decades, we have executed over 200 projects successfully.

Most media owners looking to buy digital LED signs are often confused about the type of Display they actually want!

They seem to be ignorant about quality parameters like the pitch pixel, the controller cards or the type of input communication required, and end up making the wrong decisions.

At Admire we have built our expertise on Digital signage through years of research, factory visits, supplier interactions, component testing and client feedback.

If you want to know how to get the best LED digital signs within your budget, you should make a note of the following parameters before calling for vendor:-

1st- Location: Location of these signs play a crucial role in selecting the type, specifications, structure and has a big impact on the budget. So the 1st step is to know whether the display required by you is for outdoor use or indoor use?

2nd- Target audience: Who is your target audience? Are you targeting the moving traffic on roads or visitors inside a shopping mall? This decision influences the size, resolution, controllers, etc.

3rd- Communication: What kind of communication do you wish to display? Is it going to be just information or will it play an advertisement?
As you know, information signs are placed at eye level for quick and easy readability. Mostly text matter is displayed on information signs. For outdoor advertising signs mostly visuals with lots of pictures and videos are used to attract the audience.

4th- Size: If the target audience is moving vehicles, then the display size has to be fairly large for easy readability from a distance while travelling at high speed. However, if the target audience is pedestrians then the time available to read is long and the viewing distance is short. Therefore, the overall display unit can be much smaller in size.

Indoor units generally are viewed from a close distance, hence the overall size need not be very large.
Another aspect of size is that individual LED cabinets come in standard sizes which means there can be size restrictions unlike fabricated boards which can be modified down to a millimeter.

5th- Pitch pixel: The distance in millimeters from the center of a pixel or bulb to the center of the adjacent pixel is known as pitch pixel and is indicated as P6 or P20 for a 6mm or 20mm distance. As such the resolution of a screen where LEDs are placed closely will give a higher resolution.

Outdoor units generally have larger pitch pixels ranging from P6 to P50 depending on the viewing distance. An outdoor display on a 20 ft high billboard may be P6 or P10 while the display on a rooftop could be P20 or P50.

Due to the fast evolving technology and dropping costs, these days electric pole kiosk signs are most popular in P3 & P4 pitch pixels.

The indoor displays are viewed from a close distance so the resolution needs to be higher. Pitch pixel of P6 for large displays and P3 or P4 for smaller displays is recommended.

6th- Brightness: Outdoor Signs have to work under direct sunlight. Brightness is measured in nits or cd/m2. Higher measurement means better visibility. Outdoor LED screens brightness ranges between 4,500 to 7,000 nits.

Indoor units doesn’t have such requirements.

7th- Waterproofing: Outdoor LED display should be able to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Outdoor displays are usually measured in Ingress Protection (IP) Rating, Outdoor Display should be IP65 waterproof in the front and IP 54 rainproof for the rear. Indoor units do not require waterproofing.

8th- Connectivity for data input: The biggest advantage of a digital display is that the data can be controlled from a remote location. Due to availability of 4G and now 5G networks, wireless data communication to a remote location has become easy. The sign owners now have the luxury of controlling data from anywhere in the world without moving out from their desk. Who wouldn’t like that especially in these trying times?
In case you have only 1 or 2 indoor screens located at the same location that do not require frequent data update you can opt for the traditional system of using a computer at site.

9th- Function controller cards: Digital media offers multiple features to carry out frequent repeat jobs without any human interaction. Thus, you need to select the functions you need in order to select a suitable functions card.

For example, a function control card with sensors can monitor and automatically increase or decrease the brightness of the display depending on ambient light. Similarly, a unit can be programmed to switch on and off during desired time slots. We recommend you enquire about the available functions and select ones suitable to your needs.

10th- Interactive features: Digital displays have evolved to become interactive with the customer. For example, a Bluetooth enabled display playing a clothing ad can send an alert to the prospective buyer passing by the screen for a discount available in the store located in the mall. A camera enabled screen with recognition software can be used to display targeted ads like changing from men’s fashion to women’s fashion if more women are looking at the screen than men.

A common interactive feature is used in the information sign on highways that track a car to display its speed and warn it to slow down.

These are extra features that need to be discussed in detail prior to purchase.

11th- Budget: From the above points, you will understand that the price of a DOOH sign will depend on various above mentioned factors. An outdoor sign compared to an indoor sign of the same pitch pixel and identical product quality is always much more expensive. The prime reason for higher costs are higher brightness and waterproofing. Hence, decide on a budget you are comfortable with.

12th- Cabinet: For a permanent or fixed type installation, larger cabinet sizes are recommended. This keeps cabinet joints to a minimum and saves cost by reducing the number of receiving controller cards.
For rental units where an individual worker carries the cabinet from flight cases and installs the display within hours often, smaller cabinets of size 500mm x 500mm made of lightweight yet sturdy aluminium pressure die cast cabinets should be selected. These are a little expensive but lightweight and last longer even in rough handling circumstances.

13th- Permissions: Digital signs are the future of outdoor media. World over, the municipalities have started allowing digital signs on billboards and facades. Some states allow digital signage but have restrictions on the content that can be displayed like – Slides are allowed but videos are not. So, we advise enquiring with the respective authorities and getting permissions before placing an order for your signage.

Our prediction is that within the next 5 to 10 years, the majority of conventional signs will be replaced by digital and other new technology signs due to their extreme efficiency and accuracy. LEDs are irreplaceable and turn out to be the best for video displays today. As such, wherever the budget permits, we strongly recommend use of digital signs.

Hope we have added value to your Digital Signage buying process and you will make a well informed choice.

If you have any questions and want to know more about signages please fill the Enquiry form in the Contact Us page or write to me at info@wasmake.com and I will be happy to help.

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Let’s build a better future, together.

Namaste.