Behind the Screens: Outdoor Displays

town-centerNow that summer has finally arrived, businesses around the world are shifting gears to adjust to the season. One of everyone’s favorite activities during the summer is spending a day with friends or family at a mall or town center. In the past, shopping centers have added restaurants and food options to keep people within the shopping center. Today, a growing trend in the shopping center industry is the use of outdoor LED displays. These displays are used to bring in crowds to entertain, promote upcoming events, or simply display advertisements. One of the big questions for the shopping center industry is: how can we differentiate from our competition and attract consumers to our shopping center? The answer to this question today could very well be an impressive outdoor LED display. It is imperative for shopping centers to keep up with the latest technology trends in order to sustain and grow.

Outdoor LED displays are an integral part of a shopping center – most often placed in the central hub of the center near dining areas. Shopping centers with outdoor displays provide families with a perfect opportunity to rest their legs and relax after a long day of walking while keeping their kids entertained. A popular use of outdoor LED displays to generate revenue is through family movie nights or viewing parties of sporting events. These types of events draw large crowds to the shopping center, positively impacting the surrounding businesses.

With outdoor LED displays now being the center of attention, correct implementation and execution is vital. In order for the audience to be able to view the display, it must be installed properly. There are two vital components to the installation of an outdoor display: the viewing angle and viewing distance.

Viewing Angle
viewing-angleOut of these two components, the viewing angle is the most vital to proper installation once the location of the display is determined. The image quality for the audience will be best within the viewing cone of the display. In a shopping center, this will be where the audience will be seated or standing. Anything outside of the viewing cone will result in lower image quality and less than optimal results.

Viewing Distance
Viewing distance must also be considered in proper installation of the display. Knowledge of the display type and the distance from which audiences will be viewing the display are used to calculate the appropriate viewing distances. Larger characters have a longer viewing distance than shorter characters, so outdoor LED displays typically require large characters so audiences can view the display from farther away.

Another factor that affects viewing distance is the pixel pitch. Pixel pitch is the physical distance between the pixels in a display and is calculated by dividing the number of pixels from the display’s Active Area. It is because of pixel pitch that viewing large outdoor LED displays from close range becomes difficult because the pixels don’t blend well.

When it comes to outdoor LED displays, there is a lot more than meets the eye. As you can see, it takes much more than just mounting a television in a weather proof box. If you’re considering installing an outdoor display, make sure your space and your audience has been carefully considered before diving in.

Tyler Andersen
MCW Summer Intern, 2016