Defeating Display Downtime

September 26, 2019 Joey Davis

We’ve written in this space before about the importance of off-axis viewability because the greater the angle from which an audience can see your display, the more likely it becomes that your message is communicated. A detail that went unsaid in that piece was that your display must actually be fully functional for off-axis viewability to matter at all. Displays are designed to communicate something, be that a message, an emotion, or a call to action but if your display is down, what you communicate is failure, regardless of the angle from which an audience can see it. Malfunctions like dead pixels and discolored tiles that result in display downtime can corrupt your brand image and cost you business by turning off audiences uninterested in a turned-off display. So how does a display owner prevent these issues and avoid display downtime?

Prioritize Technology with Interchangeable Parts

While LED displays –at least those built by NanoLumens– are composed of interchangeable and interlocking subcomponent boards, LCD displays are not. We make a habit of providing each client with an allotment of spare “Nixels,” our tablet-sized LED subcomponent boards, so that in the (rare) event of a malfunction on a tile or even a single pixel, they can quickly swap an identical new board in for the old one. This quick fix takes only a minute or two and can be easily performed without the need to bring in a technician. This isn’t the case with LCD videowalls, which are instead built by stacking larger, heavier units alongside one another. If one of these monitors experiences a malfunction it is not only more difficult to dismount and replace but the owner is also quite unlikely to have a spare one lying around due to their more substantial unit cost. Ultimately, what this means is that LCD videowalls are more likely to require wholesale replacement while issues with LED products are often fixable with spare parts on-hand, minimizing downtime.

Prioritize Technology with Available Replacement Parts

Already more expensive than the spare part swaps LED display owners can execute, LCD monitor replacement is complicated further by LCD manufacturers’ tendency to sunset old model lines. Sunsetting is the act of discontinuing the manufacture of a product once all of that product has been sold off. While LCD manufacturers often enact sunsetting policies to keep their plants rolling out only the newest display lines, LED manufactures tend not to for a few reasons, one of which being the prolonged viability of older generation LEDs. Product replacement is not a desirable outcome but in the event that it’s needed, having a like-for-like replacement is obviously ideal. Because LCD manufacturers sunset their old models however, LCD customers aren’t able to get that like-for-like swap, forcing them to integrate a screen of a separate model than the others around it. A video wall of mismatched displays will still get the job done, but if audiences are sharp enough to spot an off-colored pixel, they’ll spot an off-colored display. The lesson? If you don’t have spare parts on hand, at least make sure your manufacturer does or else your downtime (or diminished display performance) might drag on.

Prioritize Software that Monitors Your Hardware

If you are trying to avoid display downtime and present an impressive image to audiences, it is probably best that you notice display errors before your audience does. Since its unlikely anyone is able to constantly check the performance of a display in person, it is necessary to integrate software that monitors display performance on its own. This is where platforms like AWARE from NanoLumens come into play. AWARE is our custom display network management platform that combines traditional CMS functionality with analytics tools, a third-party marketplace, and crucially, real-time display diagnostics. The platform is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection which means display owners can set alerts that notify them immediately if any performance-related issue arises. This lets them address malfunctions right as they happen, minimizing the time audiences see a less than perfect display.

Prioritize Technology with a Strong Warranty

Ultimately, nearly all technology products will experience the effects of wear and tear after years of consistent use. In the event of a malfunction that necessitates some period of downtime, you will want to have a technology partner on hand that will expedite your needs and resolve your issues at no further cost to your organization. NanoLumens rises to this task with our industry-leading 6-year warranty that covers every part of the display down to the single pixel and our American-based support staff is on-hand 24/7. When purchasing a display that minimizes downtime, customers should not look for a product but a partnership because it is important to have someone you can call if you encounter an issue. If you’re interested in learning further about why LED is a more durable display solution than LCD, we encourage you to check out our latest Total Cost of Ownership survey report! The report is based on a survey we conducted of hundreds of industry professionals to gauge what they believe about LED and LCD technologies.

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