The big deal about serial port commands

Professional grade LCD Controllers support functions and provide features that display designers can use to build extremely sophisticated LCD products. With so many features available sometimes some of the powerful features slip under the radar and don’t get exploited to their full potential. In this post I want to put a few thoughts about the serial port forward, as this has to be one of the most flexible features available.

Most display designers are aware of RS-232 and serial port commands. Essentially this is a very efficient command language that can be sent between different devices and paired with functions to perform. RS-232 has been around for a long time and is so widely supported that it is an obvious choice for building interfaces with.

A classic example of using serial port commands in LCD display systems is providing users with buttons that instantly access a feature of the system, rather than a user needing to navigate through the on-screen display (OSD) menu to find the options. This is common in broadcast equipment where there can be many more signal and display options than on standard systems.

Another consideration is for building display equipment that utilizes networks, specifically Wi-Fi. Although not as common this is a great feature essentially allowing equipment designers to extend the reach or reaction of their products. For example a desk could be used in the middle of a control room to control multiple screens mounted around the walls. The operator could press a button and send a command over a Wi-Fi network to switch a particular monitors’ source. It’s easy to see how you could build larger systems where all the components of that system interact easily.

A last point is that RS-232 can be used to upgrade firmware. So no need to worry about dismantling kit, just send an update command!

I hope you’re getting the idea that RS-232 is versatile and useful for application design, maintenance and usability.

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