To the end user – the person viewing the screen – a digital signage system may seem simple. After all, sending a video feed from a server to a screen can be done at home. Doing so in a retail venue, hospital, or corporate office should be just as easy. But underneath the surface, there is a mini-labyrinth of technologies that make it all possible. Venue owners and managers must be able to navigate them if they hope to fully leverage their DOOH networks.
In this article, we’ll provide a top-down view of the components that drive a digital signage system. Even if you plan to outsource certain elements, such as content creation, knowing how the technologies and disciplines dovetail will help you to take fuller advantage of your network.
#1 – Screens, Mounts, And Other Pieces
Hardware represents one of the largest expenses of a DOOH system. The digital displays, wall and ceiling mounts, and media players, can make up half or more of your entire investment. The cost can be mitigated by renting or leasing the hardware rather than purchasing it outright.
Among the various elements of a digital signage network, this is the most straightforward. There are dozens of manufacturers, which broadens your options and pushes prices down. Indeed, the price of DOOH hardware has consistently declined each year over the past decade.
#2 – Software Applications
This area of digital signage is confusing to a lot of people, largely due to the breadth of options available. There are several applications you’ll need for your DOOH network. Each is created by hundreds of vendors offering numerous features. First, you’ll need the player application that sends feeds to particular screens. This app is loaded onto the media players mentioned earlier.
Second, you’ll need software to schedule your content loops and clips. This application will allow you to change feeds on-the-fly or in advance, and ensure everything plays in the order intended.
Third, a server application will house your content (i.e. loops and clips). This app “talks” with the player software, and manages your content’s distribution.
These applications can be purchased or licensed. Some companies choose to design them in-house, though doing so is costly and requires in-house support.
Follow the link below for the third, fourth, and fifth essential elements.