If you’ve been to a sporting event recently, you have no doubt seen a shift from stadiums and arenas using LED Tickers to using LED “Ribbon” Displays. On the surface, the difference between the two is obvious: LED “Ribbon” Displays are more animated. What isn’t obvious is the difference going on under the hood.
These 2 technologies have similar properties – both use LED technology and at a glance look very similar as long, short bands of information. The real difference is with how the units are built and the control systems behind them.
We’ll walk you through the advantages of each below.
Tickers are the simpler and more economical option. Tickers have a very simple controller inside that takes a stream of data and shift the content column by column across the display. These displays are ideal for creating an environment where you want to use constant movement to show live data such as sports scores, stock quotes, or headline news.
What are the advantages of a Ticker?:
- Cost – on a per foot basis the tickers are more economical.
- Size – tickers range from 6 foot in length to infinity while ribbons typically start at a much longer length given the costs.
- Control – tickers are simple define a stream and schedule it, no dedicated computer needed.
- Flexibility – given the standardized design of a flexible cabinet you can bend a ticker into unique curved spaces on site without custom engineering.
- Smooth Scroll – these displays have 1 purpose in life, to scroll information so they have a very crisp, smooth scroll.
Ribbons are more expensive and complex. These displays require more cabling (in many cases fiber optic), multiple control computers, and need to be custom designed/engineered to fit into a space.
What are the advantages of the Ribbon?
- If set up right it can do everything a Ticker can do by way of scrolling information.
- Detailed Content Control – the Ribbon is a large matrix giving you the ability to freeze messages, scroll up, scroll down, create background animations etc.
- Matrix Configuration – many providers have multiple resolutions (4mm, 6mm, 10mm, 16mm, etc) and can configure multiple heights such as 32, 64, 128 or more thus allowing for more resolution and flexibility.
What is best for you?Ribbon Displays have amazing functionality if you have the budget and resources to control them, but if you just need something simple to scroll updated information to attract attention it is hard to beat the simplicity and price point of a traditional LED ticker tape.