From Display To
Control Mechanisms:
Find Out How Digital Billboards Work

Billboards have been in our history for most of the lifetime of anyone reading this today. There is a lot of emphasis on Television commercials, digital marketing and even social media platforms as the most relevant types of advertising. But billboards have evolved with current technologies and are one of the most effective mediums for communicating a brand’s message.

Digital Screen technology has changed the world, and they are everywhere. You could see one on a highway offramp or dotted across a city metropolis; you can even interact with it and get directions in shopping malls. Digital ad displays are part of our daily lives but have you ever wondered how they work?

How Are Images Displayed?

Digital billboards can display multiple adverts throughout the day, and with smarter technology, they can also track audience metrics and engagement in real-time.

Digital displays on billboards work similarly to digital photographs, made up of pixels perfectly aligned on a grid. On an electronic billboard, pixels are made up of LED light. Each individual dot of colour is formed by a single red, green, and blue LED light bulb. By varying brightness in each colour, any shade or hue can be recreated.

Unlike a digital photograph, the resolution is determined by how close the pixels are together rather than the number of pixels on the board. Therefore, the closer they are, the more vivid and realistic the image that is generated will be.

How Are Images Transferred?

Now that you understand how an image is displayed, you may be wondering how it got there in the first place. Information is transferred via relevant software on a designated PC using what is known as a sending card and a receiving card.

To establish a connection between screen and computer, the sending card is inserted into the PC while receiving card goes into the screen display. The advertiser is then able to control what display feed is received by the screen and make relevant changes. This is called a Synchronous system display, and it is heavily reliant on the capabilities of the designated computer.

An Asynchronous system display relies only on a sending card with storage and autoplay functionality. The card is placed in a cabinet on the digital billboard and will display the data it contains as programmed. In order to change or edit the display, the card is removed and altered on a PC as needed.

Digital media impacts our lives on a daily basis; both indoors and outdoors, we are subject to media exposure. It’s easy to take for granted, but the digital display technology that has evolved with us as civilizations is truly fascinating and worth having a functional understanding of.