If you can’t cost-effectively or cosmetically get a direct network connection to the digital signage player, what viable alternatives exist?”
I have had situations in the past where there was no cost-effective way to get a hard-wire network connection to a digital signage player. One easy solution, but painful if you make numerous updates to your signage, is to place your content on a USB drive and plug it into your monitor. The USB is probably the least expensive way to display a simple play-list on monitors. Another option is to utilize a wireless router, like a Wi-Fi device, that will enable you to create a wireless hotspot that you can connect to.