If you can’t cost-effectively or cosmetically get a direct network connection to the digital signage player, what viable alternatives exist?”
If you are rolling out a number of locations, the problem of securing a direct network connection is sure to come up. It is important to have a number of alternate options so your project does not come to a complete stop. One potential alternative to a direct network connection for a digital signage player is to connect to a wireless network. The easiest solution would be to connect to an existing, secure, wireless network that exists in accessible proximity to the digital signage player. If a wireless network is not already available, connecting a basic wireless router to an Internet source and configuring the router to broadcast a secure wireless network can create one. If the digital signage player has wireless capabilities, it can be connected to the wireless network, or an adapter can be attached to the player that will enable it to connect to a wireless network.
Another option that exists in lieu of a direct network connection is a cellular modem. Cellular modems use existing cellular networks (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.) to create Internet connections. They are often deployed in areas where terrestrial Internet options are not viable. Digital signage players can be connected directly to these cellular modems like they would be a traditional cable or DSL modem. The main limitation of cellular modems is that they are dependent on the existence and accessibility of a cellular network. With current cellular modems, we have even used an exterior hard-wired antenna to increase signal strength by getting out of the building.