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Samsung Electronics said today it has begun producing a more economical breed of digital displays for indoor applications where round-the-clock use isn’t needed.

The so-called Basic Digital Information Displays, (B-DID), will widen the market for digital displays, the South Korean company said. The displays can be used in stores, restaurants, schools, museums and other places.

These displays are cheaper to use as digital signs than liquid-crystal displays that consume power 24 hours a day. These B-DID displays will begin shipping next month. They come in sizes ranging from 32 to 52 inches. The contrast ratios — a quality measure of the brightest white colors to the darkest blacks — range from 3000:1 to 4000:1.

Samsung says that the displays are made with a different kind of liquid crystal material that retards image retention. A 46-inch model consumes about 260 watts of power. Pricing is expected to be aggressive and pretty close to that of regular LCDs.

But it’s likely that these displays don’t need all of the electronics that TVs do, and that probably makes them cheaper and less power-hungry. Digital signs made from LCDs are a big business now. They’re being used in everything from shopping malls to Starbucks.

We’ve written about various companies that are installing the displays into all sorts of retail outlets and public places. According to market analysts eMarketer and PQ Media, the out-of-home video industry is expected to grow to $2.25 billion and $3.22 billion, respectively, by 2011.


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