How Is A Digital Billboard Connected To A Computer

Connecting a digital billboard to a computer


The digital billboard is no more a strange term. The huge application has created a user awareness about this hi-tech product. In simple terms, digital billboards are basically electronic displays that show changing content after a set time interval. The content can be static or dynamic. In the earlier days of billboard history, the main objective was to inform the general public about local laws. They were also used to display important announcements. However, later advertisement and marketing became the prime motive of digital billboards.


Digital billboards are all around


Today we all are surrounded by various forms of digital advertisement probes. Be it LED video wall, digital billboard, interactive displays, graphic displays or street furniture there are numerous examples. Digital sign advertisement is a part and parcel of modern business. Every company is integrated with digital advertisement according to its resources and needs. The reports of EMC outdoor states that different US companies in 2010 offered more than 2000 digital billboards for rental purpose. The digital billboard and signage industry altogether scored a whopping $19.6 billion for the year 2016. The figures are still growing. It is quite hoped that by 2032 the grossing figures will be around $32 billion. The LED display market holds immense growth potential.


Sizing of digital billboards


There is no such difference between digital billboard sizes as compared to the traditional billboards. The dimensions are the same as the standard static billboards. Normally poster and bulletin are largely used. Poster measures around 12’*24’ while bulletin stretches about 14’*48’. Digital billboards employ numerous light emitting diodes to form an image.


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How we can control digital displays?


Well, more often you have been wondering about the control mechanism of digital displays. Basically, there are two broad segments of LED displays on the basis of the control mechanism.


Synchronous system display: Plainly speaking, your digital or electronic display will exactly display what your computer screen will display. The entire assembly constitutes sending a card, receiving card, and relevant software. To establish a connection between screen and computer, sending card goes in the PC or system while receiving card goes in the screen. The advertiser is capable to edit or change the content via specialized software. If the content is good to go with, you can send it via sending card. The receiving card will automatically transmit the content to the screen after receiving the input. Thus, the digital billboard screen will telecast the visual content. A well-functioning computer is the lifeblood of synchronous display. If unluckily the system shows faulty behavior LED billboards cannot display anything.


Asynchronous system display: This type of display system does not rely on a computer. The display system has both the attributes of storage and auto play function. There is no such requirement of the computer system because sending card contains memory function by default. The card is normally placed in the cabinet of a digital billboard. Data transmission to the sending card occurs via computer.


There are no such strong rules about the presence or absence of computer cables. You may use Ethernet cables for transferring data. Else, the wireless transmission could occur through 3G, SD card, USB thumb drive or simple Wi-Fi. Programs or data uploaded to the sending card will ultimately transfer to the receiving card. Thus the digital billboard screens will automatically display the content. You will face zero downtime even if the computer crashes. One of the unique features of asynchronous display is that it can support multi-screen network at a time.


How is a computer connected to a digital billboard?


Digital billboards are purpose specific. Once your chosen digital display manufacturer produces the desired quality billboard you will receive it at your place of installation. Normally billboards are shipped in parts due to the huge size. The parts are then offloaded. The digital display manufacturer assembles them with extraordinary skill. Later they correctly install them in the spotted place. After the hardware installation, the digital billboard will be paired with the electrical network. The entire network connection may replicate the working of any web-enabled device, depending on either fiber optic, cable, Wi-Fi, cellular data or DSL.


Digital billboards heavily rely on content management software (CMS). Normally digital display manufacturers equip your device with relevant software prior shipment. However, don’t panic if this installation does not occur at the factory. You can get CMS at any time later and begin entering the visual content for the adverts. Usually the CMS will be set up on a host system. It controls the digital billboard via a network connection.


Today brands focus more on profit making. For that matter, they are utilizing all their means to enhance their maximum visibility. Therefore they are exploiting the public spaces to their full potential. They do so by placing multiple digital billboards to run their advertising and marketing campaign. To serve the purpose a small computer is usually attached to the electronic or digital billboard. It has become very convenient for advertising agencies to control and monitor the digital billboard content remotely. They have access to billboard computer via the wireless network of cellular phones. Thus the entire connectivity is hassle-free involving no cables. The updated IT team is always a prerequisite of a digital billboard advertisement. The designer creates digital adverts on the system that can be uploaded to various digital displays simultaneously.


Choosing a CMS


Well, plenty of CMS providers are working well in the LED display industry. Your digital display manufacturer can rightly guide you about the most suitable CMS for your digital billboards. As long as you are dealing with compassionate and reliable digital billboard manufacturers like DAKCO you need not worry about anything. From purchase to installation DAKCO cares for you like no other. But in the end, it’s completely up to you to pick a CMS that is user-friendly. Also, it can handle multiple digital billboards at a time.


Features of CMS


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CMS controls all the adverts that run on your electronic billboards. It allows you:

To upload content in any form for numerous ads

To Monitors which advert will run when. Also, determine the stretch of each advert before switching to other ad

Determine how switching of the screen will occur while playing different ads

To integrate with other social media platforms or local updates, such as scoreboard and weather alerts

To schedule content in different time slots.


Prevailing advertisement practice


Do you know that digital displays show the advert for 6-10 seconds? Customarily its 8second advertisement practice. However, there is a limitation on the maximum ad sharing space. Not more than 8 businesses can share a digital billboard.


Digital billboard advertising is more than a few clicks


  • Digital billboards are so mesmerizing due to their amazing picture quality. One may simply forget to blink an eye while watching them. A layman or a simple viewer may regard digital billboard advertising as easy as ABC. However, the case is not so. It involves several steps and a sophisticated mechanism rather than uploading a content file and clicking the ‘’loop’’ tab.


  • The screens of digital billboards remain under close scrutiny. All the screen are remotely monitored to timely address a technical issue. Remember the sooner the better. Immediate repairs not only save the additional wear and tear cost but also extend the useful life span of digital displays.


  • Advertisers adopt a pre-defined sequence to display the advertisements. The entire procedure is synchronized.


  • For the new entrants wishing to market their business, the new advertisements can be remotely uploaded. They can then be slotted in particular loops. Yet, the advertiser may choose to add them in individual digital display boards


  • Every time when the advertisement goes public, the system records the airtime to inform the advertiser.


  • Due to amazing software advert scheduling is possible. You can schedule each advertisement or loop of advertisements in particular time slots for effective marketing. For instance, a theatre company wishing to attract maximum viewers may choose night or evening time slot to run their promotional adverts)


  • The assessment of ads, traffic data along with aggregate footfall are important tools to determine which time of the whole day is the most precious. The advert pricing will reflect the worth. Therefore, digital billboard advertising undergoes a bidding process. This ad space selling strategy brings maximum revenue to space owners or advertisers.


Don’t confuse Digital billboards with digital signs


Big advertisers and local businesses employ digital signage differently. The use of different market jargons to define their signage. A large number of people still confuse digital billboards with the digital sign because of external appearance. They think the difference lies only in the size. However, there are more couple of differences between the two. Although both LED sign and digital billboards are powered by LEDs each have certain distinct feature. Let’s explore them


On-premise/ off-premise


LED sign and digital billboards are destination devices. This is so because they target far audience. However, you will find on premise digital signs within the vicinity of the business. They serve the advertisement or navigational motive of a single business. Digital billboards, on the other hand, fulfill the purpose of outdoor advertising. They offer extraordinary viewer engagement.




Most of the time LED signs are the business’s property. For a Digital billboard, it is not necessary that business owns it. Normally someone else owns the billboards and sublet to businesses on a rental basis. Many organizations can simultaneously hire the very same billboard.




Digital billboards appear larger than LED signs. However, that is not the case every time. When vinyl printing was the main medium for outdoor advertising, the advertisement industry set some size benchmarks. Digital billboards are no exception to the rule. The typically abide by the set measurements. Some graduated sizes common in the billboard industry are


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Poster measures around 11’*22’

Jr. Bulletin measure around 10’*36’

Bulletin measures 14’*48’. This size is the commonest size of the advertising industry.




LED signs and digital billboards have separate permission governing bodies. For a digital billboard installation, an operating license is necessary from both municipal and state level. On-premise sign requires only local municipality permission. And luckily in some case like for athletic boards or schools applying for the permit is not necessary at all. Some states and regions in the world have zero tolerance for digital billboards. Like in Hawaii and Alaska, the governing body completely bans digital billboards. Also, note down that permits may put some stringent restriction on LED signs relating to size, height, and proximity from the road, and the frequency of changing the message. The governing rules are area specific, so consult the relevant body for more accurate information.




Content is also a key difference between the above two types of LED displays. A business using on premise signs can display the content as per their choice. They can run live feed, animation, graphics, visual content or whatever they like. However, federal laws strictly prohibit digital billboards from running animated content.

LED signs and digital billboards may also differ on the grounds of pixel pitch, resolution, screen thickness and operating software. Remember customization option is always available with DAKCO LED solutions. So, whether it’s an off-premise billboard or on premise LED sign DAKCO is a one-stop solution.


Some similarities


LED signs and digital billboards both belong to the same LED display industry. They have some common features as well. Both are solidly weld encased in thick walled cabinets of aluminum. Digital billboards and LED signs are absolutely encapsulated modules resilient to harshest conditions. They can survive for years without causing major troubles. In house, support is available for LED signs and digital billboards, where state of the art technology, skilled staff, adroit engineers, IT and manufacturing team all work together under similar roof.

We hope that by now our readers have got sufficient food for thought. However, we do know that some other questions may pop up in active and intriguing minds. So, for further queries contact DAKCO today and get satisfying answers for all your questions.