LCD enclosures are an innovation that allows standard consumer or commercial grade LCD screens to be taken outside to be used as outdoor digital signage. The key function of the digital signage enclosures is, therefore, protection, ensuring the enclosed LCD (or plasma) is protected from the outdoor elements.
Rain, snow and airborne debris need to be kept away from the screen so LCD enclosures are typically waterproof and impervious to other ingress too.
Temperature too, can be critical for an outdoor screen. Too hot and an LCD can overheat, too cold and trapped condensation can freeze – damaging the screen.
LCD enclosures also protect from physical impacts, knocks and vandalism too so are often manufactured from a tough material such as steel.
Practicality and durability are, therefore, the most important facets to an LCD enclosure, however, there is another consideration that few manufacturers pay heed to when designing their digital signage enclosures – aesthetics.
Digital signage is a visual medium. Whether it is display advertising, branding, information or promotions, one of the benefits and reasons people deploy digital signage is because it is visually more attractive than traditional print media – it is modern, aesthetically pleasing and visually stimulation.
Unfortunately, not all manufacturers of LCD enclosures appreciate this and while they may produce a good quality product that will defend an enclosed screen from the rigours of the outdoor environment, few producers put any consideration into the visually appeal of their products.
The consequence is that most LCD enclosures on the market are not what could be described as aesthetically pleasing. They are produced solely with practicality in mind with little regard to the visual appeal, looking bulky and industrial – but there are exceptions.