Digital Signage

With Digital Signage systems electronic content services can be provided via an IP network. The system includes a content editor application for preparing the material to be displayed, a management component for scheduling and publishing content and the devices for playback. Depending on the manufacturer, the editor and management components can either be installed as applications, or require a separate server to be run. On the display page, simpler, display-integrated solutions can be separated from systems that are able to handle more complex contents using a special player.

Display-integrated Digital Signage

If displaying complex contents is not necessary, display-integrated content replay with SoC (System on Chip) system can be the right solution. This is both cost-effective and makes it easier to install the end point since it does not require a specific player. In this case, displays are directly connected to the IP network and register to the centre where they receive the scheduled content from. Since the content is uploaded to the display, a continuous replay can be ensured even in case of a network outage. The amount of simultaneously displayed information is limited compared to the external player solutions, typically a full-screen content or playlist can be displayed. Some manufacturers offer split-screen content display after purchasing a licence key but the number and nature of displayed zones are restricted.

Systems with external players

All features of Digital Signage systems can be exploited using external players. In this case, players are placed behind the displays to which they are typically connected to with an HDMI cable. Scheduling, uploading and displaying of the content is similar to the integrated player systems but there is a significant difference in regards to the usable content and the simultaneously displayable layers. Almost any screen division can be applied and the list of supported file types is also extended. Supporting dynamic content display from a data file (RSS feed), commonly used by Digital Signage systems, is typically the ability of external players.

Dynamic data and interactivity

In many cases with Digital Signage systems, continuously and automatically updating information also needs to be displayed besides pre-uploaded content. To achieve this, objects that can read from data files (xml, csv, txt) in specified intervals can be created with the content editor application. The content can also be changed externally, like a press of a button on a website or mobile application, perhaps as a result of an external trigger. This way, Digital Signage systems can be transformed into interactive surfaces or menu systems where the content can also be changed by the ones standing in front of the display. Interactivity is also increased by the spreading of touch-sensitive screens or screens that are made so by an external frame.