How to Find a Digital Signage Device That Supports Your Display’s Resolution and Aspect Ratio

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by Abner Olivieri
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This article will go through how to find a device that supports the resolution and aspect ratio you need.  

For those times when your display has a more unique resolution or aspect ratio, it can sometimes be hard to find the correct digital signage device that supports it and displays your content on it correctly, without any stretching or distortion.

If you have a display that is a standard size like 4:3 or 16:9, most digital signage devices will support it just fine. But when you have a more unique display made with other purposes than digital signage in mind, like a 21:9 or 32:9 ultra-wide monitor made for gaming or productivity, finding a device to support it will be more difficult. For example, Amazon Fire TV devices won't support 32:9 displays, as they were made for use mainly with TVs and focus on supporting those aspect ratios.

When looking for a device that supports a more unique aspect ratio, start by looking at devices that are made for that purpose. So for example, with a 32:9 display which is made for gaming or productivity, you'll want a device that falls into the PC category, so maybe a Chrome OS, Windows or macOS device.

Next, you'll want to check and see if the combination of processor and graphics card support it. When it comes to devices with Intel processors and onboard graphics, this can be done by checking the processor details. You can read this guide from Intel about how to do this.

Let's look at an example of trying to get a 32:9 ultra-wide monitor running at 3840x1080 pixels using the Asus Chromebox 3. This device is designed for multiple use cases, including as a PC or a digital signage device and comes in a few configurations, including with either a Celeron, i3, i5 or i7 processor. When looking up each of these processors (see here: Celeron, i3, i5, i7) we can see that they all support up to 4096x2304@60Hz for monitors (4096x2304@24Hz for HDMI connections). In theory, this should be good enough to support the 32:9 resolution needed.

There are some cases though where the OS does not give you the aspect ratio and resolution option you need and shows incorrectly as we spoke about earlier with Amazon Fire TV devices. That's why we recommend using the above steps to shortlist a device that you like and that fits your budget, but then double checking with the manufacturer to get confirmation that the aspect ratio and resolution option you need is supported.

A good example of this would be the Asus Chromebit, a PC style device which runs full Chrome OS and is an affordable and good device for digital signage. Some research will show that the device's Rockchip RK3288 processor supports up to 3840x2160 output, which in theory is enough for the 32:9 resolution needed, but we would still recommend double-checking this via a live chat with a support representative on Asus's product page, just to make sure.

One final thing to note, for the most part, ScreenCloud is designed to support 16:9 displays, meaning the preset zones and documentation we have about video and image sizes are focused on helping you get your content up and running perfectly on 16:9 displays. If you use a display with a more unique resolution or aspect ratio, make sure you are creating images and videos at the correct sizes to match your display's real estate or custom zone sizes.

In conclusion, first find out what resolution your display is, then check if your device's processor and graphics chip support that resolution or higher, and finally double check with the device manufacturer to ensure that they have support for the resolution and aspect ratio you need at an OS level.

If you have any additional questions on how to find a device that supports the resolution and aspect ratio you need, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@screencloud.com or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.

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