Why is everyone so excited about digital signage, and why are you seeing new digital signage solutions pop up all over the place? Because it makes sense to replace static print displays with attractive and dynamically managed information. Digital signage players are essentially specialized computers that display customized information in a variety of settings and locations. Since those locations are not always easily accessible they can be remotely controlled and managed via wired or wireless IP connections. This makes it possible to easily program, schedule and update playlists; remotely monitor player status; and issue remote commands no matter where the player is located, even if it is far away.
Digital Signage Ecosystem
A successful digital signage roll-out required the mass collaboration among players within digital signage ecosystem, from hardware provides of media player, display, to software vendor, content provider, and system integrator. It’s not just about technologies, not also about the services package like continuous content refreshment. It’s not just an IT project but also required some sorts of artist sense to make the signage campaign eye-catching.
(1) Media Player: typically, there are two main types of signage media players e.g. PC-based (x86-based) or RISC-based (SoC/ Non-PC based solution) .
RISC-based signage players, on the other hand, are relatively low-cost, reliable platform with lower TCO. Typically, the SoC is dedicated for high performance video decode; and hence can provide superior HD video playback.
(2) Display: there are two tiers of displays e.g. consumer-grade v.s. commercial-grade display solutions. For signage application, a commercial-grade display is highly recommended due to longer product life as well as dedicated design for commercial usage
- size and resolution are key factors to verify for each signage project
- appropriated mounting kit to better accommodate the signage display in each application scene is also a winning factor
(1) Player s/w:loaded on the signage media player; simply to playback the contents per predefined schedule; depends on different software design architecture, the content can be either “Pull” by the player or “Push” by the server
(2) Management s/w (aka CMS s/w):loaded on the server for the following functions:
- content editing (including media file management) , scheduling, and campaign dispatching àit’s the what, when, and where of signage campaign management
- advanced features such as grouping, device management
- It’s typically centrally located in the company’s network management center to control the multi-site network remotely
- Content is typically provided by the customer and/or their outside advertising/ marketing agencies. Some of the signage network operators form its “creative department”that offer content creation as part of the service
- Content is prepared for delivery via software scheduling function
- Network Management
- High-bandwidth communications, usually high-speed internet for routine control and monitoring
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