I got an email about a screen’s SD card failing. Why do some SD cards fail?

The most common reasons for SD cards to develop errors in a digital signage solution are:

  • Power fluctuations. These can very easily and quickly introduce small errors on an SD card. Poor power supply us caused either by the Power Supply Unit (PSU) itself, the bit you plug into the wall, or poor wall sockets in public places where Screenly nodes often run.
  • Turning the power on and off often. We recommend that you leave your Screenly Raspberry Pi running at all times, while only turning off the television itself to save energy. The Pi uses very little electricity.
  • SD cards developed for infrequent use (like cheap camera cards). An SD card in a Screenly node is read from all day, every day, and written to quite often as well. “MLC” and “SLC” type SD cards are good for this purpose. If the card doesn’t state what type it is, it is most likely of the “TLC” type, which is best avoided.
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