Outdoor Screen

Since the early 2010s, we find outdoor screens more and more in places with high public traffic. Read this article to find out what exactly characterizes these screens, where their field of application lies and what advantages they have. At the end, you will learn how our software serves you as a basis for safe operation.

Explanation of Terms

Outdoor screeen on a Bus Station
Outdoor Screen on a Bus Station

What is an Outdoor Screen?

An outdoor screen is a very robust and safe monitor for outdoor use. Outdoor screens often come as so-called totems or huge video walls in heavily frequented places to use.

What are the Advantages of an Outdoor Screen?

Since outdoor screens are exposed to weather conditions, they are built extremely robust, as well as dust- and waterproof. The installed panels can withstand extreme temperatures, shine particularly brightly, and are designed for permanent operation.

The Advantages in Detail

To withstand different weather conditions, the devices include heaters and air conditioners. Special certifications and labels according to protection classes are mandatory for these screens.

Let's start with the disadvantage: All this is reflected in the price. Monitors designed for outdoor environments are significantly more expensive than conventional displays. A high-quality totem costs more than double the price of its indoor counterpart.

Certified for Permanent Operation

Outdoor LCD monitors display certification for permanent operation. The manufacturer certifies whether the unit is usable for 24/7 or 18/7 use. Standard TV screens cannot withstand such runtimes and fail after just a few months in such a usage scenario.

Higher Brightness

Content on outdoor displays competes with sunlight during the day. As a result, these devices shine enormously brightly. Often they have light sensors to automatically adjust your brightness to the ambient light. Normal TV sets shine with approx. 250 – 400 cd/m². Outdoor screens, on the other hand, achieve at least 10 times higher values.

Extreme Temperature Ranges

It is possible to get specific panels for extreme operating temperatures from -40 to +75 degrees Celsius. In addition, these devices have an integrated air conditioner.


Especially in warm, summer temperatures, people like to wear sunglasses. With the additionally available filter systems, the advertising on the LCD can be read despite sunglasses and high sun exposure.


Due to robust construction, the LCD screens have a longer life expectancy than conventional monitors. No matter whether in rain or strong sunlight. The housing withstands all weather conditions and is therefore perfect for continuous operation.

No Broadcasting Fees

Outdoor monitors usually do not have a TV tuner. So, you save the broadcasting fees.

Cost Saving and Flexibility

Of course, the general advantages of digital signage also come into play with this solution. Printing and putting up posters costs money. Having a monitor that can be maintained remotely saves you these costs and gives you much more flexibility in your content design.

Uses for Outdoor Displays

Outdoor displays can now be found in city centers, at transportation hubs and at tourist attractions. There, they also serve as self-service terminals.


On the one hand, this solution offers the opportunity to present points of interest or their route descriptions there. On the other hand, restaurants, retailers can advertise themselves or their corresponding outdoor activities. Establish advertising partnerships with local service providers, event organizers and stores. Suggest interesting cycling and hiking trails. Tourists can book and print tickets right away at an information terminal.

There is another exciting possibility through the use of touchscreens. In the so-called Interactive Digital Signage, the devices serve as self-service terminals, sell tickets or offer city maps with route descriptions.


Entertain people while waiting for the bus. Play ads to different audiences based on their rush hour times. Display important news or when the next bus or streetcar is coming.

Ecologically sustainable Timetables

Operate timetables in an ecologically sustainable way with so-called e-paper and in any weather. An e-paper consumes 99% less power than an LCD or LED display. New content is added to the timetable via mobile communication. With suitable solar radiation, it is completely independent of the municipal power supply. Your electricity costs drop to zero. Dreams of the future? No, since 2019 reality. This article of the Sixteen Nine magazines describes an Australian project for bus stops.

Street Advertising


Save money by converting your billboards to LED screens. Printing and logistics costs are eliminated, and they get all the conveniences of digital. You'll get much more attention with video than with static billboards. And that's both during the day and visible from a distance at night.

Beware of the Law

Playing videos is not permitted everywhere. While in some Eastern European countries huge video walls display videos even along highways, other countries prohibit this practice.

Gastronomy and Retail

Provide brilliant eye-catchers in front of or at your restaurant or shop. No matter what the weather. Stop passersby with current offers and increase your foot traffic.

Our offer for your Outdoor Screens

Outdoor screens are usually used for Digital outdoor advertising. Therefore, they are often part of a larger network with several hundred or a thousand locations. The digital signage software for this requires three essential features:

  1. Remote administration
  2. Reporting and diagnostics
  3. High security in case of errors

Our solutions cover all three points with a degree of freedom that is unique on the market.

Media Player

To run an outdoor screen, you need a powerful digital signage player.

SmilControl offers software. For hardware, you have the choice between the following options:
  1. Buy field-proven out-of-the-box equipment from one of our hardware partners.
  2. Use your hardware with our free player software, Garlic-Player. You also have the possibility of a custom branding.

The Garlic player plays numerous media formats such as images, videos, websites and executes so-called widgets. It doesn't matter whether it's running on Windows, Linux, Android, or macOS. It allows the content to be transferred both via the Internet and with a USB stick.

  • You are informed about the current status (heartbeat) of your devices at all times.
  • In the case of an error, extensive log files and availability reports ensure that you can isolate the problem.
  • The ability to configure and manage the device remotely often eliminates the need for costly outside technician visits.
  • We provide higher security for your interactive terminals with a special Android launcher. It protects your outdoor screen reliably from hackers. A normal user in front of the info terminal cannot get to the operating system level, even if the player crashes. This is only possible for a service technician.

By the way, these solutions are open-source software and based on the industry standard SMIL. For maximum transparency and freedom.

Device and Content Management

Our CMS also supports the above requirements as a so-called asset, control, and content management system. You will receive:

  • Remote maintenance functions for convenient administration of large networks.
  • Logs and reports for accurate playback statistics for yourself and your customers. Combine devices into statistics groups for regional or national playback statistics. With everything included: pie chart and raw data download because openness and transparency run like a thread through our software concepts.
  • The classic digital signage “run-of-the-mill” features, such as templates, media management, channels, nested playlists, split screens, etc.

Again, there are two options:

  1. Use the CMS as a Digital Signage Cloud System (SaaS). You get the advanced features for resellers. This allows you to manage your user hierarchy, along with license and billing management and more.
  2. There is also the possibility of an installation in your data center.

As a rule, most of our customers drive most efficiently with the first variant. The second option is available for large installations, or for special IT policies in corporations, banks, or government institutions.

Did we make you curious? Contact us for more information.

More Digital Signage Solutions


Do you have further questions?

Our contact data

SmilControl GmbH
Niederaue 1a
D-30419 Hanover


☎ +49 (0) 511 - 96 499 560

Local court Hanover
HRB 221981
VAT-Id: DE 281 780 194

Authorized to represent:
Nikolaos Sagiadinos