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.