VIZIO Offers a Different Path to Digital Signage.

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

VIZIO’s 32 inch display places a bright image into the digital signage and large monitor space with a bargain basement price.

For many end users, the most important element of a digital signage solution is the display. After all, the display is the only visible part of a digital signage solution.

For solution providers selling and supporting display solutions, the story is a little different – it’s all about the integration and the software needed to run a digital signage solution - that is where the profit is found.

It all boils down to customers and solution providers having a different opinion on what digital signage is all about and what matters most. That leaves solution providers with the burden of selling low margin hardware, while hoping to earn their keep on the integration side.




On the hardware side of the equation, it’s hard to go wrong with VIZIO’s VO32L 32" HDTV/ LCD display, which comes with a customer friendly list price of just $649. Offering a big picture at a low price is one of the key hooks for enticing a customer into a digital signage solution, yet VIZIO goes one step further by offering impressive flexibility with the VO32L.

The VO32L proves to be a lot more than just a big LCD screen. Users will find that the unit has a built-in ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuner, allowing it to perform double duty as a 1080i HDTV, integrated 13 watt stereo speakers and a multifunction remote control.

The display measures 31.6 x 21.2 x 4.2 (WHD, in inches) and weighs 26 pounds (27.6 with stand). The VO32L may not win any beauty contests, but still looks good in a utilitarian sense. Installers can mount the unit to a wall or any VESA compliant mount, or choose to use the included tabletop stand, which simply snaps onto the bottom of the unit.




The unit features plenty of inputs, including three HDMI (with HDCP), Analog Stereo, YPbPr component, two composite video, one S-Video and one Computer RGB port. The 32" Diagonal (31.5" Viewable), 16:9 Wide Screen, Color TFT Active Matrix LCD offers a native resolution of 1366 x 768, and supports PC resolution of 1366 x 768, 1024 x 768 and 800 x 600. The unit also supports video signals of 480i (SDTV), 480P (EDTV), 720P (HDTV), and 1080i (HDTV).

As an HDTV, the unit offers a crisp, clear picture with a contrast ratio of 1100:1. Motion does not appear at all blurred, thanks to the fast 8ms response time and the highly reflective display is viewable under bright florescent lighting from many angles. Blacks prove to be rich, and colors well saturated.

When connected to a PC, the VO32L provided an excellent image, although some users may want a display that is capable of resolutions higher than 1366 x 768.

The display was further tested by running DisplayMate, a software package that offers several reference images to test monitor quality. Images remained crisp and clear, even under DisplayMate’s most demanding pictures.

To maximize the value of the VO32L, most installers will want the unit to perform triple duty as a HDTV, PC display and digital sign. That will allow purchacers to entertain, inform and train perspective customers.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com