Using TV equipment for the purposes of out of home advertising is a relatively new idea. The slim line nature of LCD and plasma has enabled them to be used in places where their predecessor, the bulky cathode ray tube (CRT), could not. Using this type of advertising for non broadcast purposes has been given a whole host of names such as digital advertising, digital signage, narrowcasting and digital out of home advertising (DooH).
The purpose of these digital signage systems is not just limited to advertising either with more and more informational applications such as interactive maps in shopping malls and information kiosks on the high street. LCDs and plasmas are now regularly being implemented outside and the expansion of outdoor digital signage is expected to triple in the coming years as more and more business realise the greater audience potential by using this technology outdoors.
Using LCD and plasma displays outside requires protection. Rain, wind-blown dust, snow, sleet, extreme heat and freezing temperatures are elements that have the potential to permanently disable a digital signage system.
Other areas also contain harmful elements that can damage LCD or plasma screens. Factories and other industrial areas often require the use of monitors; displays or digital signage and these areas often contain large amounts of dust or in places that deal with food manufacturing, water too.