Providing the public with information has always been a challenge for many businesses and industries. From transport hubs like railway stations needing to keep people informed of delays and cancellations on the platform, to displays relaying ticket prices and show times outside theatres– using modern display screens is by far the most efficient method of getting this information across.
With information screens, updates can be added in real time, providing information to customers as soon as the details come in, and with modern flat screen displays like LCD and plasma screens, their thin nature and design makes them easy to mount and remain unobtrusive.
Modern screens are not designed to operate outdoors, however, so using an LCD or plasma an outdoor information screen can face you with several challenges:
One of the most obvious challenges in using an outdoor screen is protection from the weather. Any LCD of plasma screen used outdoors needs to be weatherproofed but this doesn’t mean an expensive waterproof screen has to be used as there are simpler and less expensive solutions such as using an outdoor LCD enclosure. Any weatherisation needs to include temperature control too as there is a finite temperature range for most LCD or plasma screens.
The sun can cause problems for outdoor information screens as it can create glare while its brightness can make the display impossible to read. Anti-reflective coverings and high brightness screens are often the best solution if the sun poses a problem, but placing the screen out of a direct line to the sun can also work.
Physical protection is also a consideration for an outdoor screen as it is most likely going to be left unattended and could fall foul to vandalism or an accidental impact.
The size of screen can make a big difference to the effectiveness of an information screen which needs to be large enough to be read at a distance. Although the type of device, either LCD or plasma, will make very little difference.
Finding the right location is also a challenge. Unlike outdoor digital signage where a screen has to be really noticeable, people will seek out an information screen so you have some leeway, but the device needs to be positioned in a place where it is visible to the oncoming or waiting audience.