Digital signage solutions and capabilities are evolving quickly. Displays are wider, thinner and cooler. Technology is getting smarter as artificial intelligence enables more personalization, automation and data analysis. Beacons and sensors make it possible to automatically detect a person’s mobile device and send them digital messages with customized content.
From the user’s perspective, the most noticeable evolution is higher resolution. Believe it or not, HD is becoming dated. Most of the technology that surrounds us each day, from TVs and computer monitors to smartphones and tablets, has standard resolution. They all look the same.
As a result, more organizations are upgrading to 4K displays. With 3840 x 2160 resolution, or 2160p, 4K displays have four times the pixels of traditional, 1080p HD displays. That translates to clearer, sharper video capable of displaying significantly more detail. As a point of reference, 4K resolution is slightly smaller than the Cinema 4K that you see in movie theatres. 4K is named after the width of the image (4,096 pixels), while 1080p is named after the image height.
The terms 4K and Ultra HD (UHD) are often used interchangeably, but the two technologies are different. 4K is a professional production and cinema standard, while UHD is a standard for consumer and broadcast TV. In the consumer world, 4K is more of a marketing term than an accurate description of the technology because most TVs and monitors advertised as 4K are actually UHD. True 4K displays are designed for professional use.
4K resolution allows you to deliver more immersive content on your digital signage display that jumps off the screen. Higher dynamic range creates higher contrast ratios that make video difficult to distinguish from real life. With 4K, users can get close to a digital signage display without degradation of image quality, which was a problem with traditional HD. Being closer to a 4K display can actually allow you to see more detail.
The business use cases for 4K digital signage are virtually unlimited. Retailers have been early adopters of digital signage, and 4K allows them to show the finer details of their products. The high image quality is particularly valuable for high-end retailers selling jewelry, fashion or even automobiles. Organizations can use 4K to generate high-resolution maps that can be zoomed without losing sharpness. 4K is capable of showing multiple 1080p signals on the same display, which allows organizations using traditional HD for collaboration to consolidate displays. Industries such as oil and gas can use 4K to monitor equipment, personnel and field conditions in remote regions with greater clarity and detail.
Not surprisingly, the 4K technology market is taking off as the cost of displays drops and the price gap between 4K and 1080p continues to shrink. A recent report predicts the 4K technology market will grow more than 21 percent annually from $47.2 billion in 2017 to $150.2 billion by 2023. 4K displays are also a key driver behind the digital signage market, which is expected to grow 7.9 percent annually and reach $31.7 billion by 2025.
For more than 25 years, SageNet has been designing, deploying, monitoring and supporting digital signage solutions across multiple sites. Schedule a no-obligation digital signage analysis and let us show you how you can benefit from the high image quality of 4K displays.