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Common Digital Signage Certifications and Ratings Explained

Posted on 23, May, 2023

Last Modified on 31, August, 2023

In today’s connected world, the need for reliable measurements for digital products has never been greater. With the digital signage and device landscape having an abundance of products and services, how can we differentiate the trustworthy from questionable? That’s where digital certifications and ratings come in. These labels help govern the power of digital devices to establish credibility, safety, and trust. They are a distinction of how we can recognize and evaluate the devices we are looking for. The ability to assess their worthiness is important in our digital-dependent world.

At Displays2go, while shopping for your new digital signage device, you’ll likely encounter a number of references to certifications presented in an acronym or shorthand label. So, what are those ratings and certifications, who administers them, and what do they tell you about your digital signage device? In this article, we’ll break them down so you fully understand these seals and insignias as you make an informed decision in your digital signage investment.

ENERGY STAR

Energy Star

Now, this may be a name you are familiar with from shopping household appliances or home electronics. ENERGY STAR is a voluntary government program backed by EPA that provides unbiased information to organizations and consumers about cost-effective, energy-efficient products, practices, and services. For more than 20 years, people across America have looked to EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Why does this matter to your digital signage purchase? Digital signage products with this label help use less energy and cause fewer of the emissions that contribute to climate change. As an added bonus, it can also save you money on your electric bill. ENERGY STAR products get this certification by meeting guidelines from the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

UL

UL

When you see this certification you can rest assured that a product has passed important safety tests and is free from common hazards. UL is short for Underwriter Laboratories, and it’s a safety science company that has tested products for more than a hundred and twenty years. It’s one of many companies approved by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to perform safety testing. For digital products specifically, the UL tests to make sure wiring is safely connected and conducts the correct amount of electricity. The UL allows the manufacturers themselves to test their products with their standards, which makes it easier to acquire this certification. However they will check up on the manufacturers regularly to ensure all protocols are being followed correctly.

ETL

ETL

Like the UL certification, the ETL certification is also a mark that a product has met safety standards. ETL stands for Electrical Testing Laboratories, started by Thomas Edison’s Lamp Testing Bureau. Today, the ETL is known as an NRTL, Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, another OSHA program for testing product safety. A manufacturer with this certification can independently test products for safety specifications with regular check-ins from a NRTL like the ETL.

IP Rating

Planning on using your digital device outside? An IP Rating is an important alphanumeric score to look for. An IP Rating will tell you how well a product can shield itself from both solids and liquids, most commonly dust and water. Ingress Protection (IP) codes can specify many levels of protection. This rating starts with the letters “IP” and is followed by two numbers, with the first digit indicating the protection from solids and the second from liquids. The higher the number, the better. Check out our infographic for an in-depth description of all IP Ratings. If you’re planning to use your digital products outside, you want it to have a high liquid rating in the event of rain or other inclement weather conditions.

FCC

FCC

The FCC is the Federal Communications Commission. This organization is part of the United States government and is responsible for the regulations of all telecommunications across the country, including wireless and Bluetooth devices, radios, televisions, and more. They also decide which radio frequencies products can use, preventing interference between different devices. If your digital sign is FCC certified, then you can feel confident it doesn’t interfere with the wireless spectrum and create issues with public networks or other devices. All communication products have to undergo testing to be sold in the US.

MFi

You may have noticed that the lowercase “i” in this acronym is similar to a popular line of digital products. While that “i” is usually in the front, if you guessed Apple, you are right! The MFi program is made for devices that communicate with iPhones, iPads, and other iOS devices. A product with this label is guaranteed to be compatible with and connect to your Apple products, and has been approved and certified by the company.

RoHS

RoHS

RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances and regulates the levels of harmful substances that can be used when manufacturing electronic devices. It originated in the EU but other countries and US states have followed suit with similar policies of their own. Substances like lead, mercury and cadmium are hazardous to the natural environment during production and disposal, and can be dangerous in manufacturing facilities. RoHS specifies maximum levels of restricted substances to minimize negative externalities in the supply chain. Products undergo testing at certified testing centers to receive an RoHS certification.

Embrace Your Digital Expertise

Digital certifications and ratings will continue to shape the future where we can trust technology to perform at its best and help industries thrive in the digital world. Here at Displays2go, we take certifications seriously to provide you with the highest quality of devices. Informed decisions are just a click away now that you understand the certifications and ratings our digital devices pass.

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