What Makes a Digital Display Look Amazing

William Hall, Friday, February 17, 2017

You’ve done it. You’ve decided to invest in digital displays for your business.

However, now that you’ve made that decision, you still need to decide what to buy.

No matter your decision there, you need to be sure your digital display attracts attention. And that means it must look incredible.

But what makes one digital display look better than another?

That all depends on the display’s features and how you use it.


You probably know from purchasing televisions or computer monitors that resolution is important to a clear image.

That doesn’t mean you need to buy the digital display with the higher resolution.

Resolution is calculated by dividing the height and width of a display by the pixel pitch (the distance between the center of one pixel to the neighboring pixel). A small pitch equals more LEDs in the display.

But do more LEDs equal a better display? That depends on where you’re viewing your display from.

The cleaner lines of a small pitch may sound more readable, but a large pixel pitch actually increases character size. That makes your text easier to see from a distance.

Is your digital display on urban furniture or standing in a shopping center? Up close and personal is where high resolution excels.


Speaking of pixels, what type of pixels does the display have? Are they real pixels or virtual pixels?

Real pixels are the traditional configuration of LEDs. The pixels are triangular, with one red, one green, and one blue diode.

Virtual pixels, however, are rectangular. The diodes consist of one green, one blue, and two red. The rectangular shape allows the pixels to share diodes.

The diode-sharing characteristic of virtual pixels gives you a much sharper image without having to invest in a higher resolution.

The Right Color

Color temp and Color Rendering Index (CRI) are two measurements regarding color in lighting.

Color Temp

Color temp, measured in kelvin, compared the color of light to the color seen when an object is heated. White light has a higher color temp than light with a reddish hue. For example, candlelight has a color temp of 1850 K while an overcast day is 6500 K and daylight with a clear sky might be 15,000 K or more.

Since you don’t want your digital display’s content to look pinkish, choose a display with a higher color temp.

Color Rendering Index

CRI, however, measures color accuracy. It compares how similar the colors produced by a light source are to what is seen under sunlight.

It might be tempting to choose a display with a high CRI. It’s not needed, however. Most billboard lights do not go above 80 because high CRI does not improve readability. (Besides, billboards are already being viewed in sunlight, so high CRI might be redundant.)

Protection from the Elements

Your display does you no good if it can’t be seen. A display that’s improperly sealed may allow moisture or dust to enter the enclosure. And once moisture and debris is in, it’ll mar the content on your display.

Be sure you purchase a display with a rating of at least IP65. This means the display is completely enclosed against dust and low pressure jets of water.

Optimum Angles

Your display is beautiful. The content is just right for the audience you expect in your location.

But none of that matters if people can’t actually see your display. Before installing your display, ensure your viewing angle (the area that provides optimum viewing of a display) matches where people will be seeing your display.

A roadside billboard needs to be seen from a vehicle. A video wall in an airport needs to be seen as people are coming up the escalator.

Another consideration is readability angle. This is the angle where your display can be read. It’s generally larger than the viewing angle.

On Operating Displays

It doesn’t end when you buy your digital display and have it installed. Consider these points when operating your display.

Aspect Ratios

Once you have your content uploaded, you may need to adjust the aspect ratio of the display.

You know your aspect ratio needs to be adjusted if your content appears fuzzy (pixelated). The problem may be the content wasn’t created for the correct aspect ratio. You can adjust the size of the graphics in your design software.

Or you can adjust the aspect ratio of the display. However, this may affect the resolution of your screen.


The intensity of a display needs to be highest during the day. This helps the display’s content remain visible against daylight.

At night, however, the display can be dimmed to avoid light pollution and save on energy consumption.

Your Eye-Catching Display

Your display is ready. You’ve made your choices based on where it’s located, how you’ll use it, and the features available to you. Now you can sit back and your digital display amaze your customers.

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