Getting Technical with Kiosk & Display – Wiring Matters

Digital Signage

Sometimes the latest technology is not our friend. Using digital merchandising screens with VGA (analog) connectors versus the latest HDMI (digital) connectors means your system will be a lot less susceptible to interference from other devices.

Branches have all sorts of electronics that can cause interference, such as copiers, printers, computers, fluorescent lighting, electrical wiring, and so on. VGA connectors do a better job minimizing all of this noise. All of these sources send out interference that can cause images on the screen to flicker or become distorted.

To help combat this interference, shielded Cat 5e or Cat 6 cables should be installed in the walls. Shielded cable has a special metal jacket inside the covering that deflects interference from other devices. The additional cost for shielded cable is minimal. Also, go ahead and install 2 runs of cable to each device. Having 2 runs allow for expansion and upgrading to digital extenders in the future. Plus adding Digital Extenders to allow for long cable runs boosts the signal for minimal loss.

There are a myriad of choices when it comes to selecting a good quality Digital Extender, so K&D is providing the following review of some of the more popular ones.

VGA Adder

  • Model # ALAV100P
  • List Price $395
  • Advantages: Most reliable extender track record, works up to 1000’ of cable length, Comes with built in audio
  • Disadvantages: High Cost, Needs power at both sides
  • (No longer available.)

VGA StarTac 

  • Model # ST121UTPEP
  • List Price $199.99
  • Advantages: Lowest cost option, good for short cable distances
  • Disadvantages: Not reliable on long runs of cable, sub-par picture quality, requires extra fine tuning, Shortest cable distance rating
  • See More.

VGA Gefen

  • Model # EXT-VGA-141LR
  • List Price $299
  • Advantages: Requires very little fine-tuning. Works great on long cable runs (up to 330’), power on one side only
  • Disadvantages: Expensive for the quality of the product, Common problem with screens turning green after a couple of years of use

VGA Black Box

  • Model # AC603A
  • List Price $244.95
  • Advantages: Medium price range, good quality picture
  • Disadvantages: Can be difficult to source from vendors, Short track record of performance.
  • See more.

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