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What is Digital Signage?
Using screens to deliver brand or informational content is called Digital Signage. Today it’s everywhere. You surely have seen it while driving down the road, walking into a restaurant or heading to an airport.
There are two main categories of Digital Signage. Static and interactive signage. Interactive Signage uses touch or gesture control. It’s often seen in places like hotels to show weather information and guide visitors to beautiful areas around. Static Signage (in terms of interactivity) is mainly used for advertising and PR at crowded places or in storefronts to attract visitors. But don’t forget, only your imagination is the limit.
What do I need for a digital signage solution?
A digital signage solution consists of multiple components, these can be categorized as follows:
- Hardware – the physical components. These can differ for each solution. The main components are displays, computers or media players, networking components and mounts.
- Software – the programs used to control the hardware. Consisting of a device and content management platform and playback software.
- Network – the connection between the player and the control interface. Standard networking equipment like routers and switches are used to connect the system to a mobile or hard line internet connection.
- Planning – the entire installation process. Signage for Small Business can be realized easily by purchasing preconfigured components. Large scale solutions may require the help of specialized agencies.
- Content – the biggest operating cost of the network. Content should be fresh and up to date. The easiest solution is using social media and website content for signage. Whereas large companies tend to specially produced marketing videos to impress with style and pure visual power.
Some say, it’s a complex and time-consuming process. We say, let’s make it easy. With this guide, our project knowledge and our responsive customer support.
How to find a solution that fits my needs?
Finding the right solution depends on your goals and in-house capabilities. Pick your goal from the list below to get started.
- Basic Signage – Using a smart TV to play content from an thumb drive may be a solution if you’re working on a limited budget. It’s feasible for a limited number of displays, locations and content updates. You could use Canva to create your graphic designs for free.
- Interactive Signage – This is the right solution if you need to match the information to the people watching it. It’s feasible if you targets are only a few people at a time. Make sure your team can handle this, because interactivity adds a layer of complexity.
- Cinematic Signage – Uses high quality video campaigns to impress viewers. This is the way to go for lifestyle brands with multiple store or showroom locations. With our content scheduling solution you can plan your content strategy. As the impression counts, multi-screen video could be a great idea as well.
- Wayfinding Signage – Help you visitors to find the right conference room or shop department. Integrating rapidly changing content may require a customized solution to enable ease of use. In past projects we integrated data from Outlook Calendar to make data entry seamless.
- Social Signage – When having limited content production resources you could reuse your social media content as digital signage. In 2019 we released the first Instagram to signage gateway making it as easy as defining the source profile and duration.
What hardware solutions are there?
Let’s use your goal from above to look for signage hardware solutions.
- Basic – You just need an affordable smart TV. But there are differences. Here are the most important features to look for: High display brightness, especially for shop windows. Automatic power on after a power failure. On and switch-off time scheduling. And that the integrated media player doesn’t show controls when switching between media items. The thumb drive should have a read-/write speed of more than 20 megabyte per second.
- Interactive – You can think about multiple solutions. The most obvious is to go for touch enabled displays. But let’s go for the special. Integrating motion sensors like the Microsoft Kinect or cameras make you stand out. For Example the Women’s Aid interactive billboard campaign used a camera feed to evaluate if people are looking at the injured woman. When they did her wounds heeled.
- Cinematic – Think about large LED billboards, daylight projectors or a cluster of synchronized displays.
Pro Tip 1: A cluster of 3 vertical FHD displays forms a unique 4K landscape.
Pro Tip 2: LED is less expensive when ordering it directly from manufacturers, most of them are located in Shenzhen, China.
- Wayfinding – Whether as a sign next to an escalator or as a mobile trolley, upright displays are best suited for wayfinding. They offer the best combination of narrow reading width, high sharpness and lots of vertical space. Make sure to buy a high-resolution display, otherwise small texts are difficult to read.
- Social – Social Signage can be used on a wide variety of screens. Just make sure to have a high-resolution device for best text readability.
What is digital signage software?
Digital Signage Software consists of up to four components.
- Media Player Software – This component resides on a media player, pc or inside a display. It is responsible for ensuring that videos, media files and web content can be played. Advanced software allows to store files locally to ensure uninterrupted playback even when there is a internet outage.
- Content Management and Distribution Software – A User Interface, which allows users to upload and organize content, create playlists and conditions like calendar control and distribute the content to a media player or groups of media players.
- Device Management Software – To operate a digital signage network information about the devices is necessary. Device management platforms collect information on the devices and report actionable data data on the performance.
- Content Creation Software – Some Digital Signage Platforms integrate content creation software. While this makes the solution “All-in-one” but there is often an gap between integrated solutions and highly specialized tools like Photoshop, Illustrator or Canva. We recommend using specialized software or to outsource content creation to media agencies.
The Videon Digital Signage Solution offers a seamless integration of content and device management software. Integrates screen synchronization, media conversion, offline playback and works with any display. Additional we offer the creation of custom extensions to make your signage solution easy to integrate and to stand out.
Still having questions? Feel free to contact us in the chat below, our support is happy to help.
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