DDIY Digital Do It Yourself

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Avoiding digital signage fails.

It's disappointing and frustrating when I see a TV screen rather than professional digital signage monitor installed in a retail environment, salon, cafe or restaurant. It makes me wonder whether the owner had knew what they were doing when they bought the TV screen (obviously it's cheaper) but were they aware they are not fit for commercial use?

  • TV's are easy to spot as soon as daylight appears. Even on an overcast day, a TV in a shop window will turn dark grey.

  • Commercial monitors are designed to be left on for long periods of time, unlike a regular TV, and will last much longer.

  • A TV installed in a commercial environment probably isn't covered by the warranty.

One frustration I have is when a restaurant with a screen simply shows live TV rather than promote their products or menu items. They obviously don’t realise the value of their screen real estate or the effect mis-use could be having on their customers. We recently swapped a client's TV for a professional monitor with community signage content. Since the switch, his regular customers haven't stopped commenting on how much they prefer his new screen (they're actually referring to the content on it). And interestingly, they now tell him how miserable it used to be to have the (often) depressing news playing whilst having a meal. Even more interesting, they only told him this AFTER he replaced the screen and switched his content, so he was completely unaware of the problem.

'Glare' is also a huge problem. A TV designed to be used in a living room, just won't cut it when in, or near a large retail window with sunlight shining through. Even a typical British overcast day will turn a TV screen near black even when it is on. You could be displaying an amazing offer or the best visual content on the high street, but if nobody can see it, you have wasted your time because you'll basically have a dark, blank frame in your window.

And finally, be mindful of how you manage your content. We've all seen screens with error messages, content rotated on its side, or computer code filling the whole area top to bottom. This problem is relatively easy to avoid. There are many cloud-based content management systems out there, and there is definitely one to suit both your business and your pocket. Don't rely on Microsoft Powerpoint or jpeg slideshows - they will inevitably let you down and you could become one of the many businesses embarrassingly featured on one of hundreds of #digitalsignagefail websites or local social media.

I'll finish with this piece of advice. If you can install a TV screen then you will most likely be able to install a professional digital signage screen. But I would highly recommend you have a skilled professional install the screens for a number of reasons. The company will be insured, the installation will be safe, it will likely look far neater, and the fixtures and fittings will be right for the job.

If you're considering installing your own digital signage and need some advice, we offer a free consultation to help you decide on your next steps. You can be reassured we won't sell you a specific monitor or content management system simply because we don't sell them.

Take a look at the installation section of our website here:

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