Nov 07 2022

Delivering on Digital Signage: What Businesses Need to Know About DvLED

Direct view LED displays can help businesses capture consumer interest and keep audiences informed.

Digital signage solutions are getting bigger, with brighter colors and sharper images. Even better: As the technology evolves, overall costs are coming down, making solutions that previously came with unwieldy price tags — such as direct view LED (DvLED) displays — an achievable purchase, even for many small businesses.

DvLED solutions are being adopted in a variety of industries, including retail stores, restaurants, airports and banks — from small businesses to enterprises — and many manufacturers are producing the technology. DvLED displays deliver a powerful impact for businesses looking to get customers’ attention or deliver useful information. “The quality of DvLED is phenomenal as we progress into 2023,” says Kimberly Kutnick, category supervisor for digital signage with CDW.

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What Is DvLED, and How Does It Differ from Traditional Digital Signage?

“The basic difference between LCD and DvLED screens is that DvLED consists of light-emitting diodes mounted directly on a panel, while LCDs are backlit,” says Mia Shen, product manager of DvLED and projectors for ViewSonic.

LCD screens are made up of a layer of liquid crystals sandwiched between two sheets of glass. When electricity is applied to the LCD layer, the crystals shift to create an image. The problem? Liquid crystals don’t produce light, meaning they must be backlit to display the image. LEDs are the most common type of backlighting, and the light they emit is filtered through the glass and crystal layers to produce the screen’s picture.

DvLED eliminates the LCD panel, instead using a surface array of LEDs as the actual display pixels. This allows for incredible contrast, vibrant colors and brightness levels several times that of LCDs.

“DvLED is a significant notch above LED,” Kutnick says. “It’s clearer, the visibility goes further out, and it’s less pixelated. It’s a beautiful display.”

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What Are the Advantages of DvLEDs for Businesses?

DvLEDs offer two important advantages for businesses.

The first is size. “People always want bigger and brighter displays,” says Shen. “That’s where this trend originated. It’s difficult to find an LCD bigger than 98 inches — you need to put an array of LCDs together.”

By contrast, there is virtually no upper limit for DvLED display size. If needed, Shen says, “a direct view could scale to 100 feet.” Despite their larger size, DvLEDs are lighter, consume less energy and are easier to replace because they lack glass panels.

The second advantage is the viewing experience. Because DvLED tiles come preassembled with all necessary components, it's possible for companies to simply snap them together for a seamless content experience. No matter how thin an LCD may be, there will always be a bezel between screens that detracts from the overall picture quality. Shen also notes that while many LCDs can achieve brightness of up to 400 nits, DvLED displays can deliver 10 times the brightness, at 4,000 nits.

Mia Shen
People always want bigger and brighter displays.”

Mia Shen Product Manager of DvLED and Projectors, ViewSonic

How Do Businesses Effectively Deploy DvLEDs?

When it comes to deploying DvLEDs, several considerations are essential, including location. “Is the display going to be set up indoors or outdoors?” Kutnick asks. “Outdoor displays are built differently and are able to handle weather such as rain and snow, and even hail.”

Because DvLED screens can scale to virtually any size and are much brighter than LCD options, Shen says, “they’re a great fit for outdoor applications such as billboards or displays in sports arenas.” She also highlights their effectiveness in areas such as hotel lobbies, airports and conference rooms because they’re thinner and more easily blend in with existing environments.

Budget is another important factor in planning digital signage. DvLED screens are more expensive to purchase than other displays. “But there are hidden costs when it comes to LCDs, such as the fragility of LCD panels, which can lead to more frequent replacements.” Shen says. In some cases, LCD screens may offer a lower initial cost but ultimately be more expensive to maintain over time.

The bottom line: For applications that require substantial picture brightness, the ability to scale up size or create seamless screen images, DvLED signage may be an ideal investment.

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