Comparisons in Digital Signage are not always apples-to-apples. It’s incredibly easy to be misled and let people play a shell game. When the eye is forced to focus on one small spot, the real trick is happening elsewhere just out of sight. All too often, I see people quoting systems by size with no mention of Pixel Matrix.
A quick bit of terminology:
Physical Size: Cabinet actual size (height, width, depth)
Viewing Size: Dimensions (Height, Width) of the actual pixel matrix
Pixel: A cluster of LEDs which make up a single grouping/pixel (usually 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Blue LED, sometimes 2 Red, 1 Green, 1 Blue)
Matrix: The number of pixels high x wide which make up the viewing space on an LED sign.
When quoting an LED Message Center, make sure you understand the difference between a quoted SIZE and a quoted MATRIX. This is a “trick” some unscrupulous dealers use. They sell an EMC with a large border and claim the customer is getting a bigger sign at a lower price. When you look at how many pixels the sign actually is, the customer realizes what they’re getting is a smaller visual area which (pixel-for-pixel) costs the same as the sign with the bigger matrix.
Sign Co. #1 says, “We’ll sell you a 20mm 3’8”x7’ EMC for $20,000 plus installation and permitting costs.”
Sign Co. #2 says, “Our 20mm 3’8”x7’ EMC costs $23,000 plus installation and permitting costs.”
Looks like Sign Co. #1 is the better deal UNTIL:
Sign Co. #2, “What’s the matrix of your sign? Our sign is a 56x112.”
Sign Co. #1, “Oh, the matrix? Our sign is a 48x96, but it’s a MUCH better sign…”
48x96 = 4,608 pixels vs 6,272 pixels. That’s a difference of 1,664 pixels which equals out the “savings” of the $3,000. The customer is getting a “better” price only because they’re actually buying a smaller sign. Sign Co. #1 doesn’t look so great anymore.
These sizes may seem small to some people, but they’re a big investment to the end-user. With business being hard enough on everyone, we need to make sure the end-user is protected from quick tricks like this. Don’t take a risk with an investment in your business, make sure all the numbers are on the table.
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