A couple of months ago, I spoke with one of our Arizona integrators about a window digital signage project for a large retail jewelry store. As we discussed the project, I asked for specifics as to display size dimensions and quickly moved to content, media player, and signal distribution scheme. The spec seemed relatively straightforward and a bill of materials would be easy to create.
But as I reviewed drawings and artist renderings, I quickly asked myself:
- What direction do the windows face? Southwest exposure?
- Coverings shading the windows?
- Portrait or landscape orientation?
- City ordinances on night time brightness?
The answers to the above questions quickly convinced me that I was actually dealing with a high ambient light specification than that of a typical within-the-building digital signage project. Additionally, this window project calls for commercial grade, 24/7 displays (for use well into the night after closing hours) that must have the following design attributes:
- Higher brightness rating than that of a typical indoor display to ensure crystal clear visibility during the daytime
- Resistant to the effects of high temperatures and direct sunlight that cause an isotropic blackening effect on liquid crystal
- Advanced heat management to provide proper cooling given high temperatures and extensive operational hours
- Polarizing film on the displays so as to be seen by polarized sunglasses in either portrait or landscape orientation
- Ambient light sensors to dim displays in low sunlight or nighttime
So, as you can easily surmise, we’re now talking about specially designed displays for this project. NEC, for example, manufactures 47”, 55”, and 75” high brightness displays designed for front-facing window display applications. The XHB Series of displays addresses the above needs with:
- High brightness (2000-2700 nits) for high ambient light conditions
- High resistance to isotropic effects from direct sunlight
- Quarter Lambda Polarizing film so content can be easily seen regardless of orientation or polarized sunglasses
- Internal heat management and self-diagnostics to insure reliable 24/7 operation
- Ambient light sensors to dim the panel for lower light and nighttime conditions
Bottom line—front-facing window signage demands are different from indoor or outdoor models. Be sure to know the application when an end user mentions windows in a digital signage application. Yes, these panels are an investment, but if you can’t see the displays, why have the signage?