Product review: Christie's new WeatherAll outdoor digital signage display (Video)

Jan. 28, 2013

What is it?

It's Christie's new WeatherAll Series of LCD outdoor digital signage displays, starting with the new 55-inch Christie FHD551-W, a professional grade full-HD (1920-by-1080 resolution) display that Christie says is designed to perform in a wide range of applications, from outdoor sporting venues to entertainment parks to transit stations, and in an even wider range of temperatures — without a protective enclosure.

It's a professional-grade LED-edge-lit LCD with optical bonding protection and with integrated speakers, sealed against the elements.

What's new?

The Christie FHD551-W features optically-bonded glass for increased protection against harsh impacts and scratches in public display environments while enhancing viewability in outdoor venues by reducing reflection, the company said.

Its DACS cooling and filtration system provides a thermostatically-controlled active system that protects sensitive electronics from temperature extremes, moisture and dust. Also, Christie said, the advanced easy-clean solution eliminates the need for core filter replacement.

The FHD551-W features a weather rating of IP56/NEMA4, providing protection against solid foreign objects such as falling dirt or windblown dust in addition to rain, sleet, snow, ice and splashing or hosed water.

It's an outdoor display with an operating temperature range of -20-45° C/-4-114° F (below 95 percent humidity) that doesn't need an enclosure to protect it from the elements.

More interesting specs:

It's got viewing angles of 178°/178°(horizontal/vertical); brightness of 700 nits (cd/m2) typical (measured before adhesion of optically bonded glass); a contrast ratio of 4000:1 (full on, full off; measured before adhesion of optically bonded glass); and the panel's typical power consumption is about 175 Watts (265 W maximum).

How much?

Christie hasn't said yet, but it's debuting at this year's Integrated Systems Europe show in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and it comes with a two-year parts and labor warranty.

Anything else?

NEC Display Solutions of America has a similar offering: a 46-inch, high-bright outdoor display, the X462HB, that has a working temperature range of 41-95° F/5-35° C and was recognized last year as "the Most Innovative Digital Signage Product" at InfoComm12.

The X462HB is a professional-grade, large-screen display that NEC says is designed for the rigors of 24/7 operation in a variety of applications, including outdoor digital signage, drive-thru menu boards and video walls in heavily-lit areas. It's also a full-HD display, and it utilizes a quarter-lambda polarizing film to allow for outdoor viewing with polarized sunglasses, NEC said. The NEC display lists at $3,899 and has a three-year warranty.

The bottom line:

To repeat: It's an outdoor display with an operating temperature range of -4° to 114° F that doesn't need an enclosure to protect it from the elements. While there will likely be many who'll still prefer to throw up an enclosure to protect their displays against people and the elements, this could be a hit for outdoor deployments.

Watch a video from Christie talking about the new display below:

Christie FHD551-W Product Overview from Christie on Vimeo.

Learn more about outdoor digital signage.

Topics: Display Technology , Hardware , Outdoor Signage , Product Reviews

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