Happy National Coffee Day

I LOVE coffee!


Anyone who knows me knows that coffee is my life blood. Not sure what I would do without that first cup in the morning that gets my eyes to open all the way, and gets the blood pumping at high octane.


While driving six hours last week to our latest E4 in NJ (http://e4avtour.com/) I had to pull off the thruway to fill up…not just on gas but on coffee. As I pulled up to the drive thru, I was staring at the menu…like staring, staring.  Not in confusion of what I was going to order (duh, I know that by heart) but because I totally recognized the beautiful outdoor menu display that was super bright and sharp. It was the 46-inch Samsung OH series high-bright displays. I was sure of it!

After several more coffee and bathroom stops along the way I finally got to my hotel and jumped on line to do some digging. Come to find out there was an article written this past spring about Dunkin running a pilot program at some of their locations with Samsung Outdoor Displays.  Check out the article on Samsung’s blog here:  https://insights.samsung.com/2017/04/04/dunkin-donuts-serves-up-an-enhanced-customer-experience-with-outdoor-menu-displays/

When you’re amped up on coffee it’s hard to slow down…  and the deeper I dug the more fascinated I became at just how impactful outdoor menu boards are.  For example, over a five-year period, a QSR with a 10-store pilot can increase profit by almost $1.5 million and reduce costs by over $1 million!  That’s a LOT of lattes and donuts!

An in-depth study on ROI with Outdoor Displays in QSRs

Get yourself a cuppa joe and download the study by Forrester Consulting on the Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI) of Samsung Outdoor Digital Menu Boards that examined the ROI Quick Service Restaurants experienced when deploying outdoor digital menu-boards in their drive-thru locations.

What’s your go-to fast food fix, and do they have static posters or digital menu boards?



Building a winning team not entirely unlike building… well, a building.

Ah, it’s that time of year.  The kids have gone back to school, the northern states have a crisp evening chill in the air, and the pigskin has begun to fly.  Millions of people across the United States can once again cheer on their favorite teams as they compete in high school, college and pro football contests throughout the fall.

This is not an article for the bars and restaurants that should consider professional displays rated for high-brightness in outdoor applications or 24/7 usage.  This is an article to connect the technology behind the scenes to the magic that unfolds on the field every weekend and in those all-important primetime games.

In college and pro especially, winning teams are money makers, generating tons of ticket sales at the stadiums, apparel and advertising revenue.  And while talent and athleticism are huge factors in whether any given team on any given Sunday can prevail, there is an incredible amount of planning and even architecture that goes into the ultimate victory celebration or dejection and defeat.

With vastly different backgrounds, the coach of a team and a highly educated architect have very similar job descriptions, and similarly can find identical technologies extremely effective in accomplishing their goals.  Consider the parallels of building a winning team vs. building a dwelling or office complex:


  • Must understand strength of players and competition
  • Must understand rules of the game and penalties for violations
  • Communicate plays and game plan to players and other coaches
  • Oversee overall game play
  • Problem solve when injuries occur and adjust when original game plan fails to work
  • Win the game within regulation time and with current players
Imagine this on an interactive display!


  • Must understand strength of materials used for structures and buildings
  • Understand and adhere to building codes and zoning requirements
  • Communicate plans to clients, contractors and other architects
  • Oversee overall project and construction
  • Problem solve when mistakes are made or delays are encountered
  • Ensure completion of projects on time and on budget

The play-calling and planning, and communication to teams of players or departments can be easily communicated with a dynamic and interactive touch screen.  One such screen highly effective for both very different but very much alike fields is Sharp’s PN-L401C AQUOS BOARD® Interactive Display.  This board can work as a sophisticated bulletin board or flip chart.  Data can be imported for display or written freely by hand, and the 2mm-tip touch pen has a pen-on-paper feel to it which allows smooth and accurate onscreen writing of fine text and lines – critical for game play, precise planning and many other applications.

Through September, this and other Sharp models qualify for a special rebate when you complete a simple online form.  See more details and qualifying models here.

Whatever your sport this fall, whatever projects you’re the master architect for, Sharp is ready to play ball.


How could something much smaller have even greater impact? The latest addition to the AQUOS BOARD family answers that question for virtually any environment, in either landscape, portrait or face-up orientation.

Main Features:

  • Includes the Sharp Pen-on-Paper user experience, which resists fingerprints & scratches, as well as providing an anti-glare surface.
  • Full HD (1920 x 1080p) resolution
  • 10-point multi-touch functionality
  • Advanced connectivity
  • Detachable tabletop stand

The Great Outdoors (Part II): Selecting the Perfect Outdoor Digital Signage Solution

While we know it can be challenging to pin down application details in the early stages of a project, gathering as much info as you can early on can help save thousands of dollars from the get-go and can even save you from headaches later where you might need to modify your proposal to reflect the correct product and adjusted labor.  In Part I of The Great Outdoors,  we highlighted 5 questions to help our reseller partners uncover specific needs for getting outdoor digital signage right the first time.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the unique features Samsung has engineered as part of their totally new 2016 outdoor lineup and see if we can put the answers to those questions to work for you!

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For example, knowing who the audience is and where the unit(s) will be located may clue you in on the need for durability features.  Let’s say you’re working on an application for a movie theater, college campus or theme park, you may want to suggest a model with Magic Protection Glass which can withstand whacking from a hammer or even a baseball bat to protect the investment your clients are making in digital signage against rowdy patrons or students.  Three of the five new series include Magic Protection Glass: OHF, OHD & OHE Series. (See chart at bottom).  Another feature is Polarized Sunglass Support which ensures a perfect picture regardless of the viewer’s lenses and eliminates the blinding glare on most flat panels.

IP56 Certification is another important feature that can be essential to the longevity of an outdoor unit if directly placed in the elements. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof.  Samsung has IP56 certification on the OHF, OHD and OHE Series outdoor units. (See chart at bottom.)

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Depending on the application, some locations may require round-the-clock operation.  With Samsung, select outdoor units are rated for  24/7 usage meaning they are engineered to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 5 years to half brightness.  This means the display will run a full 5 years without any noticeable degradation in brightness; if used only 24 hours a day 5 days a week, this life span would be extended beyond 5 years, minimizing total cost of ownership.  Don’t forget Samsung’s 3-Year On-site manufacturer’s warranty on all professional displays, plus New optional, Protection Plus extended and expedited service options to help you meet the requirements for overnight replacements for more critical installations where down-time is simply NOT an option. Ask your Almo rep for more details.

Speaking of brightness, did you know Samsung’s new 24” compact display, the OM24E can not only take direct sunlight without blacking out the panel like many outdoor units, but it has also been engineered and tested to withstand temperatures of 110 degrees!  Plus, the display can now automatically optimize brightness control and increase energy efficiency using the new Auto-Brightness Sensor.  This allows the display to automatically reduce brightness to 200 nits or up to 1,500 nits depending on the ambient light which maximizes effectiveness of digital signage in any lighting conditions.  In addition, the OM24E also allows users to manage digital signage content wirelessly with built-in Wi-Fi and mobile app support.06.20 pic04

Although most applications are a great fit for complete products that are ready-to-hang right out of the box, we realize there are plenty of unique applications where digital signage displays are incorporated into an overall design theme or as part of another structure – Samsung hasn’t left you hanging in this regard.  In the OMD Series, Samsung offers two versions to accommodate needs for a fully-enclosed, ‘complete product’ (OMD-W) as well as a KIT version (OMD-K) which can be installed into a more customized enclosure.  Both versions can stand up to direct sunlight in a store-front window or out in the elements in a weatherized enclosure (provided by others); both versions now available in 46”, 55” and 75” sizes for maximum design flexibility.

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Let us know how we can personally help you on your next outdoor digital signage project and we’ll help confirm the right solution for your specific application.

Here’s a snapshot of the key specs on Samsung’s 2016 Outdoor Lineup: (see www.almoproav.com for full details)

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And don’t forget to register for this Friday’s Webinar on Samsung’s High-Bright, Outdoor and Weatherized Displays!

The Great Outdoors: High Bright, Outdoor & Weatherized Displays Defined on Jun 29, 2016 2:00 PM EDT at:
Drive-thru restaurants, theme parks, stadiums, retail window displays – these are all places where specialized displays are a necessity due to the outdoor elements, lighting and more. In this session, learn the differences between these types of displays, when to use them and in what applications. Through an examination of real-world case studies, you’ll explore the essentials for installing these specialty displays and important considerations BEFORE you start to specify a project.
Presented by Jonathan Brawn, Brawn Consulting on behalf of Samsung.

Large Format Displays as Window Signage – Is There a Difference?

NEC LCD High Brightness Displays

A couple of months ago, I spoke with one of our Arizona integrators about a window digital signage project for a large retail jewelry store. As we discussed the project, I asked for specifics as to display size dimensions and quickly moved to content, media player, and signal distribution scheme.  The spec seemed relatively straightforward and a bill of materials would be easy to create.

But as I reviewed drawings and artist renderings, I quickly asked myself:

  • What direction do the windows face? Southwest exposure?
  • Coverings shading the windows?
  • Portrait or landscape orientation?
  • City ordinances on night time brightness?

The answers to the above questions quickly convinced me that I was actually dealing with a high ambient light specification than that of a typical within-the-building digital signage project. Additionally, this window project calls for commercial grade, 24/7 displays (for use well into the night after closing hours) that must have the following design attributes:

  • Higher brightness rating than that of a typical indoor display to ensure crystal clear visibility during the daytime
  • Resistant to the effects of high temperatures and direct sunlight that cause an isotropic blackening effect on liquid crystal
  • Advanced heat management to provide proper cooling given high temperatures and extensive operational hours
  • Polarizing film on the displays so as to be seen by polarized sunglasses in either portrait or landscape orientation
  • Ambient light sensors to dim displays in low sunlight or nighttime


So, as you can easily surmise, we’re now talking about specially designed displays for this project. NEC, for example, manufactures 47”, 55”, and 75” high brightness displays designed for front-facing window display applications.  The XHB Series of displays addresses the above needs with:

  • High brightness (2000-2700 nits) for high ambient light conditions
  • High resistance to isotropic effects from direct sunlight
  • Quarter Lambda Polarizing film so content can be easily seen regardless of orientation or polarized sunglasses
  • Internal heat management and self-diagnostics to insure reliable 24/7 operation
  • Ambient light sensors to dim the panel for lower light and nighttime conditions


Bottom line—front-facing window signage demands are different from indoor or outdoor models. Be sure to know the application when an end user mentions windows in a digital signage application.  Yes, these panels are an investment, but if you can’t see the displays, why have the signage?

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