Deciding when it’s time to replace your digital display can be tough. After all, you want to get as much use as possible out of your investment. But even the best displays don’t last forever. So how are you supposed to know when it’s time to replace your display? Here are some common signs it might be time to upgrade.
The most obvious place to start is with your board’s age. Ask yourself:
- How long ago did you purchase the board?
- What was the lifespan your manufacturer quoted you?
- Is your board still under warranty?
The average display lifespan is between seven and 10 years. Though boards can last much longer than the average, when you exceed that age range is when problems start to arise.
You should also consider how long your manufacturer stated your board would last. Perhaps your specific board was quoted as a 10- to 12-year lifespan. If you’re approaching the end of that range, it may be time to look into an upgrade — while you still have the luxury of time. With age also comes warranty concerns. If your display has aged out of its warranty, any issues that arise can be costly to fix.
Mechanical issues can be any number of things, but often include:
- Degradation of brightness and consistency
- Failure of LED components
- Obsoleting of parts
Even with the best maintenance, displays are subject to mechanical issues and failure. Older displays, especially those outdoors, receive a lot of environmental wear and tear over the years. Sunlight fades and degrades individual diodes, decreasing display brightness and picture consistency. With an inconsistent picture, your display is less valuable to both you and your advertisers. And as with any aging product, parts can fail. It happens, and without a warranty to replace or repair, those parts can be a big hit to your budget — if you can find obsolete parts at all.
Like it or not, cost is always a contributing factor, and evaluating the cost of your current board versus an upgrade is another effective way to weigh your options. Some considerations include:
- How much does it cost to power your board?
- Are the parts for your board old or hard to locate?
- Will a warranty still cover repairs?
- How much ad revenue are you bringing in with your current setup?
- How does the manufacturer support the product after the warranty expires?
Aging boards require more power to run than newer setups — up to 80 percent more. That means higher operating costs in your budget. Due to the increasing rate at which products become obsolete, it becomes more difficult and more expensive to replace broken parts. Older boards also attract fewer sponsors and advertisers than new boards with better picture quality.
Tech upgrades and industry standards
Perhaps you’ve gone through the previous questions and feel your board still checks out. You feel good about your ad revenue, and you don’t foresee any mechanical issues. But with rapid advancements in display technology, an upgrade may be necessary to stay competitive or compliant.
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“At [some] point it’s not because the product is bad, but because things have evolved so much that you have to upgrade,” says Todd Orme, director of customer care at Prismview. Accelerated tech advancements and higher industry standards can take shape in a number of different ways, including:
- Safety and emissions standards
- Smaller pixel pitch
- Brightness standards
- Faster uptime and color capability
- Room for growth
- Price reductions
Industry visual standards are always getting higher. Improvements are constantly being made to safety and emissions, and it’s crucial that your board meets advancing standards.
Pixel pitch has continued to decrease and brightness standards are also changing. Not long ago, 5,000 nits marked ideal brightness. These days 7,500+ nits is the expectation. On top of pixel pitch and brightness, the industry has come to expect additional capabilities like better uptime, cloud-based management and HDR color.
The major rule of thumb: Your board should give you headroom, giving you the flexibility to grow with industry standards. If you’re already at max capacity, it may be time to upgrade.
It can be difficult to rationalize (or even know when you need) a new board. With the help of Samsung experts, you can stay ahead of the game, make the most of your board while you have it and determine when it’s the right time to spring for an upgrade.