What does it take to put an LCD or plasma TV outdoors?

One of the most important issues when putting a television display outdoors, or indoors in high ambient light conditions, is can it be seen and read easily? Obviously, if the display cannot be seen you are wasting your time and money deploying the digital signage system.

Nearby ambient light shining on a display impacts the light produced by the display itself, the result of the impact being is less contract and the colours looking washed out. The images then become impossible to read as well as the viewing angle being reduced due to the low contract level.

When a screen is used outdoors, it becomes much worse, with some types of light having disastrous affects on displays and not just washing out the colour. Direct sunlight in the form of high brightness visible standard light (VL), Ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared (IR) have the following results.

  • VL – Washed out colours, lower contract and lower viewing angles. There are no damages associated with this light.
  • UV – Discolouration over a period of time, in the form of “yellowing” of the LCD surface and the image produced. The damage is permanent and should be avoided.
  • IR – Internal heat build up, resulting in tiger striping of the images being displayed. Depending on the length of time used over a day period, this could be permanent or temporary, but should be avoided as this heat build up reduces the lifespan of the LCD display.

Over the years, many manufacturers started addressing the issues, realising they had to produce a screen that was not only durable on the outside but could also produce enough light to maintain a good picture in all conditions.

The result was high-brightness screens, designed to emit more light than commercial grade digital signage displays. To compare digital signage screens is like comparing cars…

If a standard digital sign is a striped down version of a Mini, then a high-brightness screen is a Porsche 911.

Some of the commercial grade high brightness screens are available with 300 percent brightness compared to normal displays, both plasma and LCD technology is developing almost every day and with each advancement yields an improved product.

An affordable alternative solution.

However, to take advantage of this technology, you have to have very deep pockets, with some displays costing from $15,000. Now there is an alternative, to these units…that is an outdoor LCD & Plasma enclosure, they come with a special viewing window that filters out all the IR, and UV (the damaging light) so much so it looks as clear as if you where watching a television at home. These HDTV cases are so robust they can be left out all year in all kinds of weather, from snow to rain and even direct sunlight. As well as providing protection from the sun on both flat panel monitors and plasma displays, they also protect from physical attack and theft.

Special security tooling is required to install the TV into the weatherproof LCD and plasma enclosure to secure the TV to the internal mounting frame, the tooling is supplied by the manufacture – LCD Enclosures Global.

LCD Enclosures Global -anything else is a compromise.

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