Digital Signage – Plasma or LCD

Digital signage is a revolution almost akin to the printing revolution following the development of the Gutenberg press. Digital advertising has allowed messages to be tailored and changed at will allowing flexibility other advertising methods cannot match.

The growth of digital advertising is due mainly to the dramatic fall in the price of plasma displays and LCD screens (Liquid Crystal Display). In the short space of time they have not only surpassed the old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) screens in popularity but they are now far cheaper than their precursors.

With the correct plasma or LCD enclosure, digital signage can be placed anywhere. Outdoor digital signage and industrial digital signage are made possible due to the use of industrial LCD or industrial plasma enclosures. These display cabinets are often designed to European IP ratings or the US equivalent NEMA which ensures the amount of dust or liquids the display enclosures can cope with.

When installing digital signage the only choice is to select whether it is LCD or plasma that is required, there are differences in the two devices that should be analysed before any decision is made.

Plasmas can be built larger than LCDs, with screens available up to a staggering 150”,  although they do tend to be slightly heavier than similar LCD screens which should be taken into account when mounting  plasma. LCD’s are not normally built larger than 46” although they are slowly increasing in size.


While both plasma and LCD offer excellent quality of image in comparison to CRT, LCD displays usually have a clearer picture in smaller models and a higher resolution although plasma screens ten to have better contrast.

Image burn

This used to be a problem with plasma screens where still images would be permanently burned on to the screen if left for too long. Very rarely a problem with plasmas now and LCD’s have never suffered from this trouble.

Viewing angle

Plasmas tend to have better viewing angles than LCD although modern LCD’s can be seen up to 160-degrees.

Brightness and glare

In a fully dark room plasmas have better contrast and brightness than LCD’s but generally in normal conditions LCD reflect less light and glare, a consideration when installing digital signage in dim or well-lit areas.


Both formats will survive up to about 60,000 hours before any dimming is noticeable.

Energy consumption

LCD’s use less power than a plasma although the gap is closing as the technologies expand. Both use over 50% less power than tradition CRT screens.

Both systems can be housed in plasma or LCD enclosures and therefore can be situated in almost any conditions although the above considerations should be taken whenever you are thinking to install digital signage.

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