Digital Billboard FAQ
Don’t see the answer to your question about electronic signage? Contact our digital display experts with any questions!
An LED (light emitting diode) is an efficient, super bright alternative to traditional incandescent light bulbs. LEDs are plastic capsules containing a specific chemical compound on a microscopic wafer that emits light when subjected to an electrical current. When red, green and blue LEDs are clustered together and shine at their full brightness, the combined light emission appears white to the human eye. By varying the intensity of the three colors all other colors and shades can be created.
Not all LEDs are created equal. Individual LEDs are available in many grades of quality and shades of color. It is imperative that high grade red, green and blue LEDs be used in the manufacturing process. YESCO uses LEDs from only the highest quality manufacturers. The LEDs in a YESCO display typically operate on significantly less power than our competitors’ LEDs.
The matrix of a particular exterior-use electronic display refers to the number of vertical pixels by the
number of horizontal pixels in the display. For example, if a display has a matrix of “200 by 704”, this
means it has 200 pixels from top to bottom and 704 pixels from left to right.
Here is an example of a 4 x 8 matrix:
In video applications, much like your television set, these numbers might be reversed. For instance, a
high-definition TV today is commonly referred to as “1920 by 1080”, where 1920 represents pixels from
left to right, and 1080 represents pixels from top to bottom.
Pixel pitch is the distance between adjacent pixels, measured in millimeters from the center of one pixel to the center of the other. We offer displays in 6mm, 10mm, 12mm, 16mm, 20mm and 25mm.
The resolution of a display depends on the number of LEDs per square foot, which is also referred to as “LED density.” This is the main factor in determining a display’s image quality. The more LEDs per square foot, the sharper the image. LED density should be higher at closer viewing distances.
Resolution is the total number of pixels in a display. Given a fixed square footage, the “tighter” the pitch, the higher the resolution (i.e. 6mm is the ‘tightest’ pitch we offer). Compare the images below. Each ‘display’ is roughly the same physical size. The 12mm image has 18,432 pixels (96 rows x 192 columns). In comparison, the 20mm image has only 6,272 pixels (56 rows x 112 columns). As such, the 12mm display has approximately three times the resolution of the 20mm display.
To determine what pixel pitch is appropriate for your specific application, see ‘How do I know what pixel pitch is right for me?’ or contact our sales department
Which pixel pitch is right for you is based on a combination of factors, which include:
1) The viewing distance, or range of distances, of your primary audience (See chart in ‘What viewing distances are optimal for various pitches?’)
2) The content you intend to play on the display (i.e. text only, or pictures of people of video or food, etc)
3) How big your sign is
4) Your budget
One size does not fit all. Even informed customers need guidance in this area to make sure the right
sign is purchased for a given application. Please contact our sales group for further information and
Optimal viewing range is based on legibility of the smallest “standard” (seven pixel height) alpha‐numeric
character for any given display pixel pitch. LED message centers are very dynamic and the viewing
distances in the chart below are for general reference. Using different font types and styles can affect the
legibility of the display greatly.
With enough distance, virtually any pitch of display will blend into a continuous image – where pixilation
(seeing individual diodes or pixels) is no longer present in the display.
If a user is only displaying text, pixilation may not be a large concern. However, this usually becomes a
much bigger issue if the user is intending to run images or video on the display.
Please see the chart below for recommended viewing distances for our available pitches:
LED displays vary in ‘absolute maximum brightness’ by pitch. The quality of diode used in a display can
have a dramatic impact on brightness as well. YESCO Electronics uses top quality diodes from major
world-renown companies like Nichia, Avago, and Cree to ensure displays that are more
than bright enough to compete with ambient sunlight.
Among manufacturers of LED displays, maximum brightness is generally calculated in NITs. Please refer
to our specification sheets for the NIT rating of our various pitches.
The technical definition of a NIT is as follows:
NIT: The candela per square metre (cd/m2) is the derived International
System unit (SI) of luminance. The unit is based on the candela, the SI unit of luminous intensity,
and the square meter, the SI unit of area. Nit is a deprecated non-SI name also used for this unit
(1 nit = 1 cd/m2).
Technically, a NIT measures ‘luminance’. It is the absolute measurement of light from a light source. Most
manufacturers list their maximum light outputs for various pitches on spec sheets in NITs.
Interestingly, NITs are not optimal as a regulatory guideline. If you are a jurisdiction implementing
brightness guidelines on LED displays, please reference these links below.
YESCO Electronics uses proprietary technology to create the most energy efficient displays available. As
an example, our 14’ x 48’ 20mm bulletin digital displays (the typical billboard size in the U.S.) are the only
such displays that require only 60 amp service at max brightness. Our displays have earned the coveted
Green Leaf Certification from the State of California.
In reality, few YESCO Electronics displays ever need to be run at their maximum potential output to be vibrant displays in the daytime. This is due to a combination of using high quality diodes and having an extremely high contrast face. Having a high-contrast face means you don’t have to drive the display as hard to be visible in the daytime. This saves power and prolongs the life of the display.
YESCO Electronics displays smoothly control the transition from daytime brightness to nighttime brightness through use of a light sensor, or photocell. The photocell measures ambient light conditions throughout the day, and smoothly transitions the brightness of the display as the sun sets or rises, or if there are overcast conditions. Should that light sensor fail, our displays have a backup sunrise/sunset table system that adjusts the brightness of the display at specific times of the day.
These redundant systems ensure that a YESCO Electronics display’s brightness operates within the desired specifications that the customer or zoning laws require. The sign administrator also has complete control of the daytime and nighttime brightness values which gives them the opportunity to customize each sign to the requirements of each locale.
Combining different intensities of each Red, Green and Blue (RGB) LED in a pixel allows the ability to
create up to 18 quadrillion colors, far more than the human eye can reasonably discern. When combined
with different dimming levels, this number of possible colors can actually become well over a thousand
times higher. The main point is that YESCO Electronics displays are renowned for their true color
Oftentimes on lower quality displays, you’ll see that colors that look ‘off’, or are over-saturated. Images don’t look quite
right, faces don’t look like faces because the skin color is off, etc. This is because these displays lack
color depth. Our calibration expertise ensures that your desired colors or images will be accurately
represented on YESCO Electronics displays.
No. Our technology operates with a proprietary forced-air ventilation system, which cools the LEDs from
within each LED module. Our cooling system has been tested extensively in the desert heat of Las
Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona, and has proven equal or superior to air conditioning, without the
expenses of ducting installation and higher monthly utilities associated with air conditioning.
Our displays are built to withstand extreme weather. To protect against water damage, our display
cabinets are sealed and the individual components are encased in a sealant, which prevents water from
reaching the electrical leads and wiring.
For protection against lightning storms, our digital technology is always installed with maximum
In temperature extremes, ranging from as low as -40º to as high as 130º Fahrenheit, Our digital
technology is fully functional.
We have hundreds of displays installed in coastal areas and hundreds more installed in areas of extreme
cold or extreme heat. In hurricanes, blizzards and desert heat, we have real-world proof that our displays
perform in all environments.
Our digital systems have been installed for many years in
Our PrismView software (or a content management software of your choice) sends content (images, video, text, etc.) to the digital display via the Internet (or a direct connection in many on-premise applications). This ease of operation is one of the main advantages to using an LED sign. With an LED display, changeover is simple – a single person can quickly manage and update an LED display from a PC anywhere in the world.
BMP, AVI, WMV and JPG files all work well. JPG are the most commonly used.
Our full-service creative team can provide complete programming service for your displays. To arrange this
contact our Media Services team they can provide high-quality programming on an on-going basis.
Want to see some of what we have done? Check out our demo reel.
If you need content now, check out our Media Services Webstore.
Our digital outdoor displays are available in all standard outdoor sizes, plus any custom size or shape you
might envision. This means you don’t have to restrict your creativity when designing your display. We
can produce displays any size and shape, with pixel spacing from 6mm to 25mm.
We employ a team of in-house structural engineers who can work with your outdoor structure company to
evaluate your local zoning requirements and to determine your structure’s ability to manage the
requirements of the new display. This same team of professionals devises attachment methods to meet
any structural configuration, ensuring that your new digital display is securely supported.
We work directly with you – from the time you order the display, throughout the life of the project. We
offer a project management team to help you determine if your display meets the power requirements for
the proposed design. Our people help you coordinate new power installation, if necessary, and DSL or
cable communication lines, depending upon service available in your area.
On delivery day, we work with your local suppliers to lift the sign from the back of the delivery vehicle onto
the face of the display. Your display will be delivered in one piece (in sizes up to and including 14′ by 48′)
and lifting will not require a spreader bar.
After the display is in place, our on-site technical supervisor coordinates with your local electrician to
connect the power and data lines. Once we are certain that all connections are correct and that all of the
equipment is functional, our technician turns the display on and cycle through its operating test images.
From this point forward, your display is under the watchful eye of our field service hub, via web cam.
We give you the ability, through two different methods, to monitor your digital display’s performance. Web cam and automated diagnostics assure operators that their display is running optimally.
Web cam: Ours is unique in that we can provide complete monitoring 24 hours a day, every day of the
year. Each digital outdoor display is configured with a web cam, which allows our service experts to
monitor each display from a central service hub. Each display is digitally photographed every five
minutes, providing a data base of activity.
Automated diagnostics: Each display can also be configured with a diagnostics program, which gives the
technical group real-time notification in the event of a component failure. This lets the technicians know
immediately which part in the display is failing.
We have a vast network of service personnel. To ensure that we always employ the best available
technicians to handle on-site repairs, we continually increase and update our service network.
When a technician in our service hub detects a failure that cannot be remedied remotely, he contacts one
of our local on-call technicians, regardless of the time of day. This technician, who is under an agreement
to respond within four hours, goes to the location of the display to complete the repair. At each sign
location is a locked spare-parts kit, which is stocked with duplicate parts for the display. The defective
part is replaced from the spare parts inventory and sent back to our service hub for repair or replacement.
Yes. With proof-of-performance, display operators have the ability to generate reports summarizing play
counts and date ranges. You can customize reports for each of your advertisers, providing POP reports
within a variety of parameters.
Contact one of our sales specialists, or call us toll free at 866-939-3726. We will direct you to the appropriate digital outdoor specialist.
Each member of our sales team is trained in all phases of digital outdoor advertising, and each is familiar with
the outdoor advertising industry. If you wish, we will arrange to meet with you in your office. To further
assist you, a project manager will be assigned to work with you or your operations people. We can even
teach you advertising sales strategies, specific to the digital technology. We makes it easy to begin your
digital outdoor advertising venture.