There are a growing number of outdoor digital signage systems and outdoor TVs being utilised in many sectors. There use has boomed in recent years thanks to the falling cost of LCD technology (and plasma) and the development of outdoor LCD TVs and LCD enclosure.
Both outdoor TVs and LCD enclosures that house conventional indoor TVs but provide a protective outer enclosure are becoming increasingly more common.
Of course, outdoor digital signage provides challenges to the technology that is not normally relevant for indoor TV systems. Rain, snow and wind blown debris are common elements outdoors and are also elements that can permanently damage sensitive electronics such as LCD TVs.
Fortunately a rating system has been developed in Europe that can provide guidance to the type of protection that an outdoor TV or LCD enclosure can offer.
The IP rating (Ingress Protection) provides consumers with a clear indication of the type of protection the LCD enclosure of outdoor TV offers. The IP rating comes int eh form of a double digital number the first digit indicates the amount of protection against solid bodies (such as dust) that the enclosure offers whilst the second digit indicates the liquid protection offered. In both cases, the higher the number the more protection is offered.
The most common IP ratings used in outdoor digital signage are as follows:
IP54 – These enclosure offer adequate dust protection ensuring that any dust that does enter does not interfere with the device whilst it also offers protection against liquid splashes. These enclosures are better suited for industrial or factory applications.
IP65 enclosures are even greater dust protection and are completely dust tight whilst it also offers protection against directed or falling water (including rain). These enclosures are ideal for outdoor use.
IP66 enclosure are similar to IP65 enclosures but they offer protection from high powered water jest (such as a power washer or jet wash) and are ideal for wash down environments.