If anyone is just searching for methods to display content on one or more monitors in an able and reliable way, then this tip is for him.
Either for one display or a thousand, this guide contains useful information for newcomers. We made an effort to keep this document vendor-agnostic, but a few products are mentioned as examples. We are not affiliated with any of them, besides our very own Sysview.
What is Digital Signage system?
Digital Signage is a mix of technology that enables you to reliably show diverse information on one or thousands of screens, and manage everything centrally.
Various digital signage System
Various digital signage systems are available and let's analyze the advantage and shortcoming of each one.
DIY digital signage system
Let’s check what the most used DIY choices are.
USB digital signage system
The poor-man’s signage option . All most all modern consumer TVs have build-in Media Players designed for home entertainment. The easiest way to show content is to prepare a USB disk with the video and pictures needed, plug it to the TV, and use the remote controller to start playing back your documents. Although this is easy and cheap, this goes with a few potential risks.
• If the television is powered down (e.g. due to a short power failure, powering off at mid-night or caused by an energy-savings timer), it cannot not come back on automatically and playback does not reboot by itself. It required to turn on the TV, navigate the menu and begin playback.
• Refreshing content means that a) you have to stop playback, b) take away the flash disk, c) update the contents on it, d) plug it into television, and e) restart playing back your contents. Doing that for more than one display can be a real chore. And consider of the mess it will bring if you require people at long-distance locations working that on your behalf. People just will not work it.
• Switching are far from normal. It might require 1-5 seconds to transit from one video to the another. Professional Digital Signage solutions do instant transitions, free from black intervals.
• (Not nice) informative news are shown on screen when handling from one document to the another. These include things such as files names, files duration as well as progress bars. Things that no one wants to be seen on a signage display.
• You have no feedback on play status. You never know if remote screens are working normally, neither do you get playback record.
• Media files (mostly video) are required to be compatible with the Media Player on the television. This is hardly a problem because most modern TVs support common formats. However, it might happen that your files will require manual encoding to be compatible with each television.
Computer/Laptop Without Digital Signage System
What is more easy than connecting a PC or laptop with a screen and beginning a standard media player application? This Do-It-Yourself method contains the same issues as the USB flash disk option. When you drill down to details, it may be a little easier to refresh content, for example implementing TeamViewer to remotely access the computer and send files. However, most of the issues above exists.
The really bad issues with standard PC or laptops is that they trend to break often. Almost everyone has experience with their PC or laptops malfunctioning; think a computer working 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. In additional, you waste more electricity power than using a specialized media player, either build-in in the TV or an external player.
Centralized Digital Signage System
Often , we get users migrating from DIY setups that are a bit more professional than simple USB flash disks or standalone PCs. They go to the work of building up a server and coding to do the content sending and some basic scheduling. They use PCs or SBCs (Single Board Computers, like the Raspberry Pi) with some custom code, using a server to sync media contents.
About Sysview digital signage system
Free demo on Sysview digital signage is available, explaining how to build a centralized management digital signage system in 5 minutes,without any IT background and any third party software. Welcome click here to book demo.