What improvements have you seen in hardware that have made it easier to install, operate and maintain displays in outdoor locations?”
Content is king, but it always seems to go back to hardware. This month’s question revolves around hardware and how hardware improvements make installation, operation and maintenance for displays in outdoor locations easier. Today’s hardware is faster, smaller, more powerful and best of all … smarter. The hardware continues to expand on these efficiencies and others. To start, take a look at Smart-TVs. In addition to displaying, they are able to stream just about every on-line solution available, interface to DVRs, have built-in Ethernet and Wi-Fi, auto firmware updates, web portal and access via smart device anywhere in the world. Similar solutions exist in output devices; LCD, LED, etc. These devices are all coming with CPUs built in, allowing for status updates, built-in and interface configurations all on the fly. If a device can get an IP address, the unit is accessible and manageable. In the digital signage environment, this allows for integrators to have easier integration and more control of their systems. This benefits us in so many ways, but also complicates things. Now, more detailed monitoring of the system is required. No more sign working or not; now it is temp to high or low, pixel/LED status changes, media updates, viewer recognition, continual feedback, etc. Your control panel/system needs to understand what is a critical issue, or just an anomaly. Who is going watch this or is it an automated response? This is really an exciting time where the control we have been asking for is really a reality today and an expected requirement for the future. How are you going to be part of the system; get the call when the system is down or realize there is problem and fix it before anyone even knows? That’s why technology is your friend!