I had a great uncle who passed away recently. He was into his 90′s, so it was certainly his time. However, about two years before his passing, he was placed into a rest home and his car was sold off to an immediate family member. He was quoted as saying, “they took away my car!” When it comes time for retirement it means independence is often lost–which in his case was heightened with the revoking of his driving privileges. Nothing says, “it’s time to let go” like taking away the car. Retirement can be difficult on one hand and easy on the other. This depends on a couple of factors. There are two possible reactions that can take place when a signage network comes due for retirement. The first is a positive one. This generally occurs when the network has outlived its usefulness long before. The second reaction is a tentative one. It comes when the specific signage hardware and software you are using meets and exceeds your requirements and expectations. It’s like letting go of Grandpa or your Great Uncle. You’re torn. Sometimes things must be performed–in the name of progress.
But, technology depreciates. Advancements require an upgrade. I recently upgraded my computer. Not only was it worlds cheaper than my last purchase, but I’m much more pleased with the capabilities. Those who are running outdated digital signage software applications know there comes a time when an upgrade is necessary. But what do you do when it comes time to retire your old digital signage network? Hopefully the tips below will help.
Because Nitrogen Triflouride (NF3)–the chemical found in LCD displays–is 17,000 times more hazardous to global warming than CO2, it is very important that all the old LCDs in the market be disposed of properly. There are a number of ways to perform this function properly. I wrote a previous article outlining ways to dispose of an LCD display. While there are multiple options when attempting to dump off your old displays, find a recycler who will at least give you a scrap price for your depreciated screen, might be your best bet. Newer, better, and more efficient displays will slowly replace the old clunker CRTs and LCDs of yesteryear. As this takes place, we must be ready to replace the millions of commercial and consumer displays that are installed around the world.
What do you do with a digital signage media player that needs retired after a long, but faithful term of service? Do you use it for a paperweight or a doorstop? What if it still works, but not for what you want to do now and in the future? Certainly there may be someone who may need and want retired digital signage equipment. We have even dabbled a bit in that arena with persons wishing to sell off used, tested, or demo signage players. It’s a very niche and somewhat random business to be in, but as sign networks come due for retirement, there will be a lot of sign hardware out there that will still be usable, but which may have a hard time finding a good home.
Mounting devices, including mounting devices for the players to the displays will find a change as well. All-in-one displays as well as lighter screens will require less metal and cheaper mounting systems than ever before, making installs much more efficient and cost effective.
As you look to retire or replace your old digital signage network, keep in mind that there are those out there who could use your old equipment. And, if not, be careful of what you do to it–for Mother Earth’s sake. The name of the game is, “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” In terms more current to us, “reduce, reuse, recycle.”