You’ve probably already used an LCD screen. As a TV at home, computer monitor or as part of your smartphone, you can find them everywhere. But why pick it as your digital signage display? Cost, tech and your use case are all factors you need to consider. And we’re here to help you break down the essential info. So you can make the right decision for your business.
The technology behind an LCD screen
LCD (liquid crystal display) technology provides the backbone of these displays. Specifically, flat panels made up of two polarized glass panes that sandwich liquid crystal in the middle form the basis of liquid crystal display technology. But what do liquid crystals do exactly?
That’s where all the cool stuff happens. Liquid crystal lies somewhere between something totally fluid and something solid. It behaves like a liquid in terms of how it flows. But it contains molecules that can be oriented just like crystals can. Zap an electric current through the liquid crystals and boom. The crystals shift and either allow light to pass or block light based on how the crystals moved because of the electric current. Therefore, the way the crystals moved to let light pass through them? That’s what creates the image you’ll see on your LCD screen.
However, because liquid crystals can’t generate their own light, each LCD screen requires a light source. So that’s where LEDs step in. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are tiny semiconductors that produce light when electricity flows through them. In LCD screens, these tiny LEDs get used as a backlight behind the glass panes or as an edge-light along the outer edges of the panel. And as a result, liquid crystals get the light they need to create what you see on your LCD screen.
Because of these LCD-LED hybrid techs, you often see LCD displays marketed in many ways. As an LED-backlit or as an LED-edge lit liquid crystal display, depending on how it’s lit. And suddenly all that marketing mumbo jumbo makes sense, doesn’t it?
The practical power of an LCD screen
Sure, knowing all the scientific facts behind the tech used in an LCD screen proves fine and dandy. But what does it all give you? After all, the cool factor just doesn’t cut it when you need to know the pros and cons. Which you absolutely need in order to choose the right digital signage display.
As a matter of fact, choosing this kind of display for your digital signage offers you lots of advantages. Firstly, it’s a very affordable and reliable technology. An LCD screen can similarly be depended upon for enhanced brightness and contrast which you need in order to show off your meticulously created content. And it’s lightweight and thin, which makes it easy to install anywhere.
Most important of all is how an LCD screen affords you a very high resolution at a very affordable price. And especially if your target viewer will get up close to your display, you need that high resolution for your videos, images and text in documents and tickers. You undoubtedly do not want someone to see your TV and remember it because of its blocky, pixelated image instead of all the useful information you’re offering your viewers. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image. And picking an LCD screen means you’ll get to see all the impressive details in your digital signage content reflected on your display.
And a couple of disadvantages
You can’t have it all. And regardless of all the advantages that an LCD screen offers, there are a few drawbacks. However, the impact of these disadvantages depends on how you’ll want to use it.
Specifically, each LCD screen has a bezel, which is basically a frame around the TV. After all, you’ve got to keep the drivers powering those liquid crystals hidden somehow, right? But what does this mean for you? Well, nothing if you’re just putting up one display in a shop or school. However, if you want to create a complicated video wall? You’ll see those frames between each LCD screen, which is less than ideal for how your video wall will look. Certainly compared to direct-view LED TVs that offer seamless technology, an LCD display won’t be as impressive for your video wall.
Consequently, LCD TVs probably won’t be your first choice for huge installations made up of intricate and impressive video walls. However, now LCD screen manufacturers keep reducing the size of bezels. So you can definitely shop around and see if you can find something that’s almost seamless for your more demanding video wall installations.
What use cases should you choose an LCD screen for?
Choose an LCD screen for basically any use case where your target viewers will be close to your display. These types of screens offer extremely high resolution images. Which means you can use an LCD screen and know your content looks great up close. Retail stores rely on this technology for end of aisle displays for example.
Got important data dashboards you want to share within the office? A liquid crystal display means your employees can get the info they need in a way that looks great. The best part is that you know you can find one that’s affordable for all these use cases.
You can even use an LCD screen for touchscreen applications. That’s especially important if you’re running a restaurant or school. Or if you want digital signage displays for museums or entertainment complexes, where you want viewers to interact with digital signage content.
Also, you can find these displays in many different sizes and aspect ratios. So you’re not limited in terms of what’s available or possible for your use case. They’re also very hardy, so you can pick one for your outdoor installation.
As has been noted above, if you want to create a video wall where aesthetics are your main priority, then LCD technology might not be right for you because of visible bezels. But even so, if you want your video wall to be more informative than impressive? LCD screens could still do an excellent job.
What does it all mean for you?
An LCD screen can offer you affordability, durability, brightness, high contrast and very high resolution. Which means you can show off your digital signage content even from a short distance. A vital requirement in a number of common use cases. Retailers, museums and schools often successfully rely on this type of tech as part of their digital signage strategy.