• Nikki Ault

Digital Signage Made Simple



That has to be an oxymoron, digital signage and simple.


Digital signage is often seen by nature as a complicated system. There are multiple components, it is technology driven, and it is not inexpensive.


Or at least that is the initial reaction.


Digital signage does not have to be a complicated system. Let's break this down to what it really is.


What Exactly Is Digital Signage?


Drum roll please...


As simple and broad as you can get, digital signage is a collection of one or more screens of any size that are displaying any thing for any reason.


Seriously? That easy huh? Well let's elaborate just a little bit more.


Let's look at a digital signage project as a puzzle.


You will start with a digital signage integrator. The integrator will assess your needs and wants and help you "pick out the puzzle." You know your goals of what you want to accomplish when it's all said and done, and the integrator is there to help determine your budget, and get you the "puzzle" that fits your needs.


The digital signage integrator then becomes the puzzle builder. At first glance, it is a big jumbled mess of craziness when you dump it out of the box. However, all of the pieces matter and have a place to make the puzzle come together. Just like with digital signage.


The Pieces Of The Puzzle


With digital signage, those pieces include:


Hardware: "The Stuff." This includes screens, media players, cables, mounts, etc. It's the physical aspect of your signage.


Screens are the displays. They can be single displays or put together to create pieces such as video walls or even art. You can also utilize multiple displays within a location that can work independently or together. Screens can range in sizes and may or may not include the media player.


Media players can be external players that are connected to the screens. Media players can also be "built-in" to the screens, such as SoC (System on Chip) technology. Media players house the software management system and plays back the content media files as you schedule them.


Software: "The Brains." The management system used for content playback through the media players. There are shockingly over 1000 different software options for digital signage.

Software can be on-premise, meaning it is housed directly into the media player, or cloud-based meaning you can log in remotely from anywhere on any connected device.


Connectivity: "The Communication." Will you be using WiFi, 4G/LTE technologies, or hard-wired connectivity to power your signage? Connectivity is an important piece as it is the communication between your media player and your screen.


You may have to involve your IT department or refer to building plans when planning for this part of your digital signage system.


Installation: "The Fun Part." From a site survey, to evaluating needs, to discerning issues, to manually hanging your signage, to seeing the finished product. Seeing the installed system is the moment everyone waits for.


Content: "The King." Yep, content is king as usual. Content can include advertising and marketing, wayfinding, current and relevant information, videos, news feeds, social networking, etc. It is what we mentioned earlier, the "any thing at any time" that is on the screen.

Support: "The Help." Providing support from start to finish is needed. I mean, we are talking about technology, and sometimes it has it's moments. Customer support can make the difference between a successful digital signage system and a failed one.


When the integrator puts all of these pieces together correctly, a digital signage puzzle has been completed.


Simple right? But how much does it cost?


The Cost of Digital Signage


Now that you know all of the components to a digital signage system, you can help determine your budget for your digital signage project.


Your digital signage system will have what is referred to as hard costs and soft costs.


Hard costs include the hardware, software, and installation. Luckily, these costs have come down quite considerably over the years as technology has advanced and demand has gone up.

Soft costs can include content creation and managing the network. Many factors contribute to these costs but some include:


· How large is the system?

· How many screens?

· One or multiple locations?

· What content is needed?

· How frequent should content be changed or refreshed?

· Will you be using live feeds?

· Who will control your content management system?


As mentioned earlier, your digital signage integrator will help you work through getting the system you want and need within your budget. Coffman Media, a leading digital signage integrator, can provide you with a digital needs assessment and walk you through this initial consultation, and at no cost to you.


To inquire on a free consultation, click the link below.

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