Choosing the Best Digital Menu Boards for Restaurants: Comparing Plasma, LCD and LED Screens

When you are setting up your digital signage, one of the most important considerations you will have to make has to do with the kind of screen you would like to use. Based on your needs, the best digital menu boards for restaurants could be plasma, LCD or LED.

The choice is entirely yours and granted it can be quite a difficult decision given that all three forms of technology have features, functions and qualities that are rather similar. So let us take a look at each of these options and then you can make the best decision for you.

Plasma Screens

Digital Menu Board

Digital Menu Board

Plasma technology is perhaps the oldest technology available. Its invention was in 1964 but has evolved with the times to fit into the present day flat screen market. It is basically a bunch of tiny gas-filled cells cushioned between two layers of glass. The gases turn to plasma when electricity passes through which then transmits light.

LCD Screens

The liquid crystal displays have become a staple for businesses for their digital signs. It is a much more recent entry than the plasma technology, consisting of several filters placed over a layer of crystal molecules contained within two glass plates. These filters twist as they regulate the amount of fluorescent light passing through to display the images.

LED Screens

These light emitting diode displays are the most recent developments with regard to flat screen technology. They are actually an improvement on the LCD screens, using LED backlighting instead of the fluorescent lights used in LCD screens.

Compare and contrast

Plasma screens are usually thicker than the LCD and LED screens and have the problem of image burn and glaring. However, they have better contrast that shows darker blacks than LCD screens and are now being manufactured using antiglare screens. They also have faster response times than LCDs.

LCDs and LEDs are thinner than Plasma screens which makes them easier to mount up on a wall. They can handle the challenges of glare easily and have no image burn issues. In addition, both screens have greater connectivity with PCs than Plasma screens.

However, LCDs have slower response times than the Plasmas and they have not attained to the same level of contrast. The LEDs have brighter contrast, better colors and deeper blacks than the LCD screens. Not only that, the LEDs are very energy efficient and use 40% less energy than the LCDs.

With all these difference, though, all three screens can deliver up to 60,000 hours of performance, which translates to about 8 hours per day for 20 years.

Still working on it…

Advancements on all these screens are continuous in order to ensure that they are at optimum function and can compete with each other at a level playing field. These developments have further fueling by the different competing companies involved in this industry.

In fact, if the available screens are not satisfactory, you can request for customizations from these various digital signage hardware manufacturers, at a cost of course, to include what you would like to see.

Author bio

Clay Rodham is a digital signage blogger and software engineer. He has experience in developing some of the best digital menu boards for restaurants. To know more click here.


  1. Matthew
    December 11, 2014 at 10:16 am Reply

    Thank you very much for sharing wonderful article on digital signage and digital menu boards. Digital boards are really useful in todays world in restaurant, hospitals, bars.. I like the way you have share information LED, LCD and Plasma for digital boards. You have also sharing basic points. Nice article.! Keep sharing wonderful on really hot topics like this one.

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