One of the most important choices you have to make for your project is which software vendor to partner with. There are more than 350 software providers on the market and selecting the one that fits your project can be intimidating and is available in two forms: Subscription or software as a service (SaaS), and as bundled or packaged software bought outright or included with a display purchase. Digital signage software packages are usually made up of a group of components, each designed to perform different tasks. Different vendors may call these parts by different names, but let’s take a look at the basic components, and what they do.
- Scheduling. The scheduling component allows the user to define when each content item will play chronologically, and what displays the content will play on.
- Player. The player software is the component that will reside on the player hardware, and will actually drive the video being sent to the display device.
- Server. The server component of the signage software package acts as the brain of the system, handling the distribution of media to the player software.
- Content creation. This may or may not be built into the software package. Content creation allows the user to build the media files used for the digital signage system.
-Alan Brawn, principal, Brawn Consulting