Message Center FAQs

What is an Electronic Message Center?

An Electronic Message Center sign is a programmable, outdoor LED screen that composes lettering, messages, and photographic images. EMCs are programmed by computer software that communicates to the sign by either a hard wire or wireless connection. You can create messages within the computer software program, and compile a playlist of images that can convey your messages to the public outdoors from your business. Accessories like time and temperature can be added to attract viewing interest and provide a public service. EMCs are available in a single color (monochrome) Red or Amber, and in full color Red, Green, Blue (RGB) pixels that can create billions of color combinations. EMCs are manufacture and engineered in sizes from 2 x 4 feet up to 14 x 48 feet



What determines if an EMC is high definition?

The pixels are the LEDs “Light Emitting Diodes”, they are made up of one or more LEDs. A full color EMC typically has three (3) LEDs grouped in one pixel. The pixel emits a combination of color and light intensity from the three primary colors to create any color combination needed within the composition. The pitch is the spacing between pixels. This pitch is typically a measurement in millimeters that is the measured distance or spacing from pixel to pixel. The closer the pitch, the higher the picture definition will be. Keep in mind that a small pitch is not always desirable, you’ll need to take in to consideration the viewing distance, and determine how far you want your message center to be readable and seen. Sometimes a higher pitch may offer better readability from increased distance.

Has technology made EMC’s more dependable?

Yes, today’s Electronic Message Centers are far more dependable than the earlier units once manufactured. In the early 2000’s manufacturers discovered how to encapsulate the driver boards and computer circuit boards within the sign to withstand the adverse weather conditions. As manufacturing became more stable, these components soon became able to withstand the extreme hot and cold, salt, air, and wet weather conditions.  Today, the LEDs are arrayed in a grid on a driver board, which is an encapsulated array of pixel LEDs. The driver board units are modular and easily replaceable. The other computer components within the sign are also better manufactured and typically last much longer than the earlier manufactured units. Today most manufactures offer a five year parts warranty. The expected unit life is greater than 10 years.

How do you what unit is right for my business?

Sign Graphics & Design will provide a complete survey for your business.  We will determine the optimum viewing distance, what the local zoning code allows, your specific conditions at your site, the best communication method, and we will provide a detailed proposal that will work best for your business at your specific location. We can manufacture the entire sign ensemble, including your business identification along with your electronic message center.

How does an Electronic Message Center communicate with my computer?

An EMC has multiple options for communication with your computer. An EMC can be hard wired directly from your computer to your sign. The sign could be connected with a fiber optic connection.  It can have a wireless connection, both computer and sign will have a radio antenna where they are coupled to the same frequency. Message Centers installed today can be programmed from anywhere through the internet cloud. Through the cloud, you could program your messages from anywhere that you have an internet connection.

What is the best manufacturer?

Sign Graphics & Design is an authorized dealer for many EMC manufactures. We are trained is service and sales for the following manufactures:

Daktronics        Adaptive          Electro-Matic

We have dealt with each of these manufacturers for over 10 years. We have been to their manufacturing facilities, and have been trained in technical issues, computer coupling, and diagnostic trouble shooting. If you are having an issue with your EMC, Sign Graphics & Design can service your unit back to working condition.

What is important to consider when buying an Electronic Message Center?

EXPERIENCE! You want to purchase you EMC from a company who knows and is trained in the industry. Sign Graphics & Design has been providing and installing EMC’s for over 20 years! We’ve seen bulb style, halogen lighted, and ultimately LED illuminated message boards. We’ve been through the evolution process with our manufactures that we represent. We know what works and why. We’ve been in business since 1990, our experience and knowledge can provide you with a well-designed, quality display that will last for years.