Finally … a company that makes screen covers

June 21, 2007 by Dave Haynes

I am sitting in LAX waiting for my flight.

Bad news is I have a middle seat. The good news is I have a seat. They’re bumping people.

The other good news is the ever-hapless folks at Northwest Airlines (I’m not flying them) have not locked down their wireless, so I am sitting out with the masses but merrily using their business lounge wi-fi.


Banging around the InfoComm show Wednesday I wandered into Display Devices booth, drawn in by an aluminum enclosure designed to protect LCD screens from the great unwashed in public places. I have been looking, literally for years, for a company that does this on a real basis. I have found a couple of other firms that do something like what is needed, but could never get any sense it was a real part of their businesses.

I have been looking because most fledgling network operators don’t seem to realize screens hung in public places will get stuff thrown at them, stickers slapped on, scratched with pens and sticks, and on and on. A “naked” LCD will NOT typically last very long, but investing in some sort of protective enclosure or face will greatly extend the lifespan.

Deisplay Devices is a Denver-area company that is is the metal-banging and bending business and has been fabricating enclosures and mounts and other gizmos for the AV industry for years. They came up with a rugged enclosure for LCDs to act as a “pickle guard” — an aluminum fascia with a polycarbonate lens that protects the screens from 12-year-old boys they discovered were making a sport of flinging hamburger pickles at fast-food restaurant LCDs to see if they would stick.

The units are not cheap, at$500 for a 32 inch version, but it will likely cost much more to have your versions designed and fabricated.

Craig Winterhof, who sells their custom stuff, also showed me a big environmental enclosure that protects a screen from just about anything people or Mother Nature can throw at it, with 1/2 inch protective glass and NEMA-rated seals (meaning you could turn a fire hose on the thing and it would stay dry inside.

“Vandals will see this as their Mount Everest,” joked Winterhof.

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