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How Much Will My Digital Signage Solution Cost?

30 Aug 2017

Price matters

If you are considering a digital signage installation, you are already familiar with the benefits that professional digital display solutions can provide to your business. The next most important question you are looking to answer is “How much the solution will cost me?” If you are wondering what differentiates professional grade commercial signage from other screens, read this article first.

The price of the solution is a crucial input for any business, as it often dictates the conversation and the range of options you can consider. Professional displays are engineered to meet the custom demands of each deployment and application—from control rooms to transportation hubs. In addition, the installation’s technical specifications—number of displays, their size, resolution, brightness, placement, etc.—make it hard to estimate the full cost of the final digital signage solution.

As there is no clear “rule of thumb” to rely on when estimating the cost of the signage, we set out to give you a realistic price range for the final plug-and-play digital display solutions. Please note, that prices provided are averages and can vary substantially depending on the manufacturer, integrator, location, quality, technical specifications, and other parameters. Our goal is to give you a ballpark estimate per solution type, so you can make a more informed decision. In addition to the prices, we hope to help you understand the cost components of the digital signage and provide a framework for cost-benefit analysis.

Total cost of ownership

Understanding Total Cost of Ownership

If you have ever bought a car, you know that the vehicle’s price is only one component of its cost. Smart buyers know that they need to consider fuel efficiency, maintenance, replacement parts cost, and salvage value in their purchase decision.

As digital signage is also a long-term investment, you will need to account for both acquisition and operational costs over the lifetime of the solution when you weight your options. A combination of such direct and indirect costs is referred to as “total cost of ownership” (TCO).

Simply put, TCO of the digital signage solution over a period of time is calculated as a sum of its acquisition and operational costs less the salvage value at resale:

TCO = Acquisition Cost + Operational Expenses – Salvage Value

TCO of digital signage  

What components need to be considered when determining the TCO for your digital signage installation?

  • Acquisition costs can include the price of the signage set, processing system, software licensing fees, and installation.  Most customers primarily focus on this cost component.
  • Operational expenses may encompass such items as content management fees, energy costs, field servicing, maintenance and repairs, replacement parts, and warranty expenditures. Some customers overlook this cost and end up disappointed, while those who include this component in their calculations are at advantage.

So how do you determine the cost of your digital signage solution? To continue with our car shopping analogy, the cost would also depend on the vehicle’s type, purpose, and accessories package. The price will depend on whether it’s a sedan, SUV, or race car and the model’s configuration options: type of seats, audio system, sunroof, wheels, for example. 

TCO of Vehicle Varies Based on Type and Purpose

Digital signage pricing follows the same model. We first need to understand what types of digital signage solutions and key product segments are out there. While the exact cost of ownership will vary, we hope to provide you with a framework that can be tailored to your requirements.

We will look at solution specifications that affect performance and price. Based on these characteristics, we will then list an average price range for this solution type. Below you will find an approximate price of the professional SET solution followed by an example of how to think of the total cost of the solution.

Digital signage display SET costs

Let’s look at the digital display SET costs by the product segment first.

Definition of SET: SET is the full and final solution that is ready to be installed in your facility.

Video walls

When deploying video wall solutions, customers are typically looking to achieve impactful, attention-grabbing presentation on scale. Such installations are often used for public information distribution, branding, or aesthetical purposes.  Common applications include control rooms, public venues, retail outlets, medical facilities, and architectural installations.

Video Wall Application in Corporate Setting

Video walls are assembled with several digital displays and allow for a variety of configurations, for example, 2x2, 3x3, 5x5, or 1x4. Regardless of the size and quantity of displays, customers usually require the following features:

  • Narrow bezel displays so the viewer can enjoy an unobstructed image presentation
  • Brightness and color uniformity so the image is consistent across all screens in the installation
  • High resolution, contrast ratio and brightness for premium image quality and high visibility
  • Mura-free, 24/7 operation and longevity as in public settings displays are always on

Video wall market offers three most common segments: extreme narrow bezel (ENB), ultra narrow bezel (UNB), and super narrow bezel (SNB) solutions. Let’s explore video wall SET price ranges per panel for each of the segments.

Video wall segment

SET price range

Features

Recommended use case

ENB

(extreme narrow bezel 1.7mm BtB)

$4,500-$6,000

1.7mm bezel

46”-55” screen size

500-700 nit brightness

For uninterrupted, close-up, detailed information viewing in air traffic control, military command centers, disaster management facilities, department stores, museums and expositions, hotels.

UNB

(ultra narrow bezel 3.5mm BtB)

$2,500-$4,500

3.5mm bezel

46”-55” screen size

500-700 nit brightness

For continuous visual experience in security monitoring, traffic control, building management and control, chain retail stores, building reception, conference rooms, convention centers, restaurants.

SNB

(super narrow bezel 5.7mm BtB)

$2,000-$4,000

5.7mm bezel

46”-55” screen size

500-700 nit brightness

For installations viewed from the distance and on scale, or where each screen displays different content, such as in airports and train stations, monitoring, and wayfinding.

Interested in ENB video walls? More information here.

Outdoor signage

Outdoor signage customers are looking for high visibility durable solutions that can accommodate high-traffic environments and various weather conditions to broadcast their message. This type of signage is used for digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, wayfinding, transportation, and hospitality.

Outdoor Signage for DOOH Applications

Outdoor installations come in single or dual face configurations and demand the following features:

  • Ultra-high brightness (1,500 nit and above), and anti-glare polarization for visibility in any lighting conditions
  • High contrast ratio, resolution and frame rate for premium visual experience and audience engagement
  • 24/7 operations, durability and weather impact resistance to accommodate various outdoor conditions and high traffic environments
  • Specialized liquid crystal to perform in extreme temperature environments

Outdoor Signage for Advertising in Transportation

Outdoor signage market offers extreme outdoor, full outdoor, and semi-outdoor segments. Outdoor SET price ranges per panel for each of the segments are as follows:

Outdoor segment

SET price range

Features

Recommended use case

Extreme outdoor

(3,000 nit and above)

$5,000-$13,000

3,000 nit brightness

46”-75” screen size

 

For extremely bright environments, such as geographical locations with all day sun exposure and extreme heat.

Full outdoor (2,000-2,999 nit)

$3,000-$10,000

2,000-2,999 nit brightness

46”-75” screen size

 

For most DOOH usage, QSR, bus shelters, train and gas stations.

Semi-outdoor

(1,500-1,999 nit)

$2,500-$4,500

1,500-1,999 nit brightness

46”-75” screen size

 

For installations located in the retail store windows.

See how SDC outdoor panels power NYC—read Link NYC case study here.

Indoor signage

Customer needs in indoor signage segment typically include high visual performance and slick design. Indoor displays are widely utilized in the hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, clubs), transportation (train and bus stations, airports), retail (department stores, boutiques, small businesses), and corporate applications to provide information, engage and entertain customers.

Indoor Signage for Retail

Indoor signage usually comes in a stand-alone configuration. Top features buyers are looking for in indoor signage include:

  • Ultra-high definition, high contrast ratio screens with high frame rate for impactful, engaging visuals (moving or static) that grab attention quickly
  • Wide viewing angles and anti-glare treatment for high visibility
  • Slim, lightweight panels able to accommodate both landscape and portrait configurations for design flexibility and aesthetics

Indoor signage market is represented by premium and value segments. Indoor SET price ranges per panel for each of the segments are below:

Indoor segment

SET price range

Features

Recommended use case

Premium

$1,000-$6,000

40”-98” screen size

500-700 nit brightness

 

For retail, chain stores, small business, restaurants, receptions, lobbies, hotels, casinos, tradeshows and exhibits. If touch-enabled, brightness is reduced by 20%.

Value

$600-$4,000

40”-75” screen size

300-499 nit brightness

 

For installations in dark environments where brightness is not the key factor.

See why PID panels provide better value than TVs—see the difference here.

Key takeaways

The price ranges presented above should serve as a general benchmark for your investment. As a savvy investor and a business person, you should consider the total cost of ownership when evaluating pros and cons of various digital signage solutions.

To illustrate the importance of considering the total cost of ownership in your decision-making process, here is an example calculation* for an indoor signage solution:

Acquisition cost

Signage set

Media players

Software licensing fee

Installation

$1,000-6,000

$0-$500

$0-$1,000

$300-$1,000

Operational expenses (5 years)

Content management fee

Energy cost

Field service

TBC

$200-$500

$500-$3,000

Total cost of ownership

 

$2,000-$12,000

Annual TCO

 

$400-$2,400

*Assuming that the solution is operating for 7 years at 16 hours per day capacity 365 days a year. Currency is listed in USD. Future costs and salvage value are discounted to present value using a 10% discount rate. Energy costs are calculated at $0.11 (USD) per kWh. Cooling costs are calculated at 213.25W of cooling energy per kW of energy used. Installation and maintenance fees are using a fully-burdened labor rate of $100.00 (USD) per hour.

We hope that this helps you to understand the pricing options to consider in your digital signage choice. While Samsung Display PID is not manufacturing plug-and-play digital signage solutions, we produce and supply professional grade commercial LCD panels to leading solution manufacturers and system integrators. If your solution is built with Samsung PID panels, you can be sure that you are getting the best signage technology that is optimized for performance and ROI.

If you have any questions or need help with your digital signage needs, get in touch with us—we’ll be happy to answer any questions or connect you to one of our trusted partners in your area. Alternatively, you can visit Our Partners page and connect with them directly.